Saturday, January 07, 2006

Oddly Enough News Article |
AMSTERDAM - Dutch troops helping earthquake survivors in Pakistan have complained that while they are subject to an alcohol ban, Spanish and British soldiers laugh at their austerity and turn up drunk at their campfire.

"We were told before we arrived that alcohol was banned in this country or else very difficult to get hold of and we accepted this," one soldier told the Dutch daily De Telegraaf.

"The Spanish drive around with cars full of Heineken ... and the English laugh at us when they show up at our campfire drunk," another Dutch soldier said.

A Dutch defense ministry spokesman said it was standard policy to ban alcohol in Muslim countries in line with local custom and Dutch troops were being well looked after.

"Tens of thousands of people lost their lives in the earthquake and hundreds of thousands lost everything they had," he said. "Going without alcohol is a small sacrifice toward a very good cause."

© Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.