- Associated Press - Friday, February 18, 2011

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The Danish Supreme Court on Friday gave the government the green light to take control of a largely self-governing Copenhagen neighborhood that was occupied by hippies four decades ago.

The Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision from 2009 saying the roughly 900 residents of Christiania have no irrevocable right to use the former naval base.

The decision ends a six-year-long legal battle and means the government can go ahead with plans to “normalize” the neighborhood and tear down scores of ramshackle homes built without permits.

Residents say they will resist any attempts to evict them from the neighborhood, which has become a major draw for tourists curious about its counterculture lifestyle and liberal attitude toward soft drugs like cannabis.

“The court process is now finished,” Christiania spokesman Thomas Ertman said. “We have to now look to the future and need to sit down with the state and work out a negotiation for Christiania. We will still be here in 40 years time so we need to find a political solution.”

There was no immediate comment from the government over the verdict.

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