Our bad alcohol culture

I WAS in Madrid recently to witness the return of the Spanish football side, following their success at Euro 2012. Madrid’s main square, the Rondald Square, was packed with thousands of screaming, delirious fans welcoming home their heroes. The surrounding area was lined with restaurants and bars, full of people enjoying the party atmosphere.

What was significant was that during the five hours I spent revelling in the celebrations, I did not witness one incident of antisocial behaviour. There were no young hoons trying to pick fights and no teenagers passed out in the gutter. The police were present but their role was focused entirely on keeping the crowd away from the players’ open-deck bus.

When the players did arrive, they were not falling over themselves drunk, acting like fools. They were drinking soft drinks. There is no way this type of behaviour would happen in this country. We need to change our cultural attitude to alcohol and understand that alcohol abuse is not cool.

Leon Sokulsky, Valentine

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