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BLAST ORDERS; EXCLUSIVE Tesco boss: Alcohol age limit has to be raised in the home.

Byline: By STEPHEN MAGUIRE

THE BOSS of Tesco has said he wants the legal age limit for children drinking at home raised - just days after we revealed his supermarket chain is selling beer cheaper than water.

Sir Terry Leahy, CEO of the supermarket giant which has 86 stores across Ireland, said most alcohol drank by young people was in their houses.

Under EU rules children can drink at home from the age of just five as long as they do it under parental supervision.

But the supermarket exec now wants this changed and the age-limit raised.

He said: "It might even help families - because young teenagers can be quite difficult to control - if they the parents are backed by a clear message from the law which says this is the age at which you can consume alcohol."

His comments come in the wake of studies into the explosion of cut-price booze across Ireland.

A supermarket price war has pushed the price of shop-bought lager to below EUR1 a pint. One survey found Tesco's own brand of Biere D'Or, pictured right, was actually-cheaper than many bottled waters.

But a Tesco spokesman claimed cheap booze was not the issue.

He said alcohol abuse among young people on the Continent is less of a problem than in Ireland - despite EU drink prices being "far cheaper".

He claimed the company was merely meeting the demands of customers, and added: "We have a strict alcohol policy and all our shelves which stock alcohol are clearly marked with an ID age requirement."

But Fionnuala Sheehan of the Mature Enjoyment of Alcohol in Society group said: "We are against the sale of cut-price alcohol because of the consequences."

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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 25, 2007
Words:286
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