Dancing Queens

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The Swedish government plans to abolish a decades-old requirement for restaurants and other venues to obtain permits to allow dancing on their premises, removing a law that observers have called outdated and overly moralistic, the Associated Press reported.

The ruling center-right coalition said venues would no longer need to get a license to organize dances. Instead, they would only have to register with the police, which they can do verbally and free of charge.

Under the current rules, nightclubs and other establishments need to pay a fee of at least $67 to allow their patrons to dance. Failure to do so can result in owners losing their liquor and business licenses.

The law in question has been a topic of debate for many years following its implementation in 1956.

At the time, politicians wanted to regulate gatherings attended by young people, where they consumed alcohol and engaged in activities perceived as immoral, such as listening to certain types of music and dancing, according to Agence France-Presse.

Justice Minister Gunnar Strömmer said the new move aims to “reduce bureaucracy and costs for entrepreneurs and others who organize dances.”

The government suggested that the adjustment take effect on July 1. Legislative approval, however, is required.

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