Jonas Roosens

Leuven pubs to close earlier? Mayor says 'not necessary', but puts forward certain conditions

The Leuven University rector Luc Sels has demanded a general closing time for a number of Leuven pubs, to avoid that young pupils are being confronted with drunken students when they go to school in the morning hours. However, Mayor Mohamed Ridouani said this will only be done if the pubs don't stick to certain rules. 

Luc Sels had uttered his request (which applies to a number of cafés which are situated close to secondary schools) after cases of alcohol abuse. He is unhappy about the fact that youngsters are being confronted with drunken students in the morning. 

However, the socialist Mayor Mohamed Ridouani says a general closing time would be a bridge too far. He first wants to impose stricter rules for the pubs concerned: "I want no people drinking or engaging in loud speech on public grounds in the morning. Also, pubs should make sure their terraces are clean, and nobody should be outside. Pubs flouting these rules, will risk a closing time."

The typical student fakbars already follow a general rule to close at 5 AM or to make sure everything is clean outside and everybody is inside. "This is a good rule to be extended to all cafés."