A Weaker Brew For 2008?

Are the Austrians losing their nerve about Euro 2008, or are they just being sensible? Austrian authorities are trying to cut a deal with breweries to sell a low-alcohol beer during the tournament. At places such as Rathausplatz in Vienna, huge viewing areas are to be created, replete with beer and sausage stalls. Yet the prospect of thousands of soccer fans has led to one or two nerves being rattled.

Besides the weak beer, authorities are pushing for plastic glasses to be used throughout the tournament. Those that remain unscrunched will have some commemorative value, as they'll come adorned with the Euro 2008 logo.

As it goes, Austrian police have already begun combat training, using tennis balls as stand-ins for rocks. Tickets for places have been selling like hotcakes, and the cup is already five times over-subscribed.

But surely these are all sensible precautions? All in all, it doesn't seem overwhelmingly necessary to have glasses that can be smashed to smithereens. And there are plenty of places to sample the full gamut of beers outside the viewing areas, so it's not as if fans are being deprived of choice. Roll on 2008!


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