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Temperance society slams proposal for new alcohol laws

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11:53 CET+01:00
Restaurants serving cold food, such as sushi, will be able to obtain alcohol licenses if a proposal for new alcohol laws is accepted. The move has been branded deplorable by Sweden's temperance society.

The proposal, which includes a number of revisions, was put forward by Minister for Public Health Maria Larsson on Friday.

Anna Carlstedt, chair of Sweden's temperance society (IOGT-NTO) is highly critical of the suggestion which will make more alcohol licenses available.

”It's deplorable,” she said.

“The laws and rules that existed were in need of modernization,” she continued.

”But that it will become easier for caterers, trade fairs and restaurants serving only cold food to sell alcohol leads to thousands of more outlets for it to be sold.

”It's not what we need in Sweden today,” she added.

An earlier government inquiry made recommendations to restrict drinking hours in bars and clubs to 3am, which would have affected around 50 bars and clubs in bigger cities, which stay open until 5am.

The proposal submitted by Larsson, however, concluded that drinking hours should remain unchanged.

Social Democrat MP and former government-appointed alcohol investigator Kent Härstedt is disappointed after anticipating the capping of drinking time to 3am.

He believes it would have contributed to less trouble on the streets in the early hours.

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”It is those that drink between 3am to 5am that account for much of the unprovoked violence that happens both out in the city and in people's homes.” he said.

”Intoxication and tiredness are a very bad combination.”

In a further revision to existing laws, businesses selling medium strength beer (folköl) would be required to join a local authority register.

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