September 1, 2014
PRAGUE (AP) - The Czech Republic has banned the export to EU countries of spirits with more than 20 percent alcohol content after 23 people who drank bootleg booze tainted with methanol have died in the country.
Health Minister Leos Heger issued the ban Thursday at the request of the European Union.
For the first time ever, the government banned the sale of spirits at home last week to fight the methanol poisoning. Liquor stores removed all spirits from their shelves.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Petr Necas said his government hopes to lift the ban soon when new regulations go into effect requiring all spirits to be sold in the republic with stamps showing their origin, contents and distribution.
Poland and Slovakia had already banned the sale of Czech liquor.
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