West Germany: End of an Oasis

When it comes to tippling, nobody in West Germany out-topes the West Berliners. Low taxes have made liquor so cheap (75¢ a fifth for gin, $1.25 for local whisky) that the Communist-encircled city not only produces 20% of West Germany's bottled cheer, but also consumes it at the elbow-straining pace of 18 fifths per year per person-double the rate in the rest of the country. Last week the 15-year-old oasis of cheap alcohol was drying up, the victim of a forthcoming New Year's tax increase. Long queues of customers stood through hail,...

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