Police in Sweden continue to crack down on so-called spontaneous dancing in bars that do not have special dancing permits, even though lawmakers voted last year to drop the rule.
In 2016, Sweden’s national legislature, the Riksdag, agreed to scrap decades’ old legislation that forced bars and pubs to have a licence in order for their customers to dance in them.
As reported by The Independent, however, police are still cracking down on bar owners for the crime of dancing customers and the punishments are harsh – ranging from the removal of other permits, to harsh fines or even prison.
Eva Östling, who heads the industry organisation Visita, said: “The government has to do something about it. It’s not fair that we have police doing this as part of their work. It’s ridiculous, thinking about the societal problems that actually exist and they should be focusing resources on. The entire world, at least all of Europe, is laughing at us.”
She told the Independent: “Luckily the law has no effect on, or for, visitors coming to Sweden. It is not criminal to dance for customers, but it is of course ridiculous and plain stupid that restaurant and bar owners can be charged for ‘illegal dancing’ in the year 2017. We need the police for more urgent and important matters.”