Sweden welcomes EU alcohol crackdown

Sweden has welcomed a reported new EU initiative to deal with alcohol's effects on public health.

The EU health and consumer protection commissioner, Markos Kyprianou, is expected to announce plans to set out a new alcohol strategy, and will encourage EU member states to back his plan, according to Svenska Dagbladet.

Sweden has long been lobbying for the EU to adopt its strict anti-alcohol position, but has faced resistance from many wine-producing countries. Health minister Morgan Johansson welcomed the news as a political success for Sweden.

Bertil Schwartz, head of industry group Swedish Spirits & Wine Suppliers, said he had nothing against stricter alcohol laws in other EU countries.

“We want the same rules in the whole of the EU, and the same goes for taxes,” he told Svenska Dagbladet.

The Finnish presidency of the EU, which starts on 1st July, plans to use the Commission’s report to give alcohol issues a higher priority in the union, SvD reports.