Originally Posted by frizz
Your main point is valid, but the quoted one is debatable. Consider that in many or maybe most European countries, you can go to prison for expressing certain opinions. Then consider Britain's horrible defamation laws.
Rapist Roman Polanski successfully sued a magazine publisher for libel over a rather minor and unrelated error that cast him in a bad light.
In general, about the only thing that you cant say in Germany is something bad about Jewish people. That is illegal.
But in day to day life, you would be surprised. I was walking in the middle of Stuttgart yesterday drinking beer. I sat a table in the beer tent. There were 16 year old kids (they had an arm band saying they were 16 or 17) drinking liters of beer. No police bothered anyone.