• Sweden's news in English

Swedish government split on rural booze sales

TT/The Local/vt · 17 Nov 2010, 14:14

Published: 17 Nov 2010 14:14 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The inquiry is set to propose allowing the sale of alcohol from privately owned farm shops, both made on site but also imported brands, according to the Dagens Nyheter (DN) daily.

The question has split the ruling centre-right Alliance government.

The Moderates and the Centre Party are in favour of the proposal, while the Liberal Party and Christian Democrats are against it, who argue that it may risk the future of the Swedish alcohol retail monopoly, Systembolaget.

Liberal party economic policy spokesperson Carl B. Hamilton argued that the EU could challenge Systembolaget's exemption from EU competition rules that it was granted when Sweden entered the union in 1995.

"For those who wish to maintain a restrictive alcohol policy, there are major risks with the proposal," Hamilton told DN on Wednesday.

The Christian Democrats also expressed concern over Systembolaget's monopoly in Sweden, with economic policy spokesperson Anders Sällström arguing that it could "loosen" Systembolaget's monopoly.

According to EU law expert Lotty Nordling, who leads the inquiry, the proposal to extend legislation to the sale of imported liquor as well as locally produced, has been developed in response to EU criticism of a similar system in Finland which it is claimed favours domestic brands.

However, the proposal does include limits: 1 litre of spirits, 3 litres of wine or 5 litres of beer per person. Total annual farm alcohol sales would be restricted to 10,000 litres annually.

Story continues below…

According to a recent Sifo poll, Swedish support for Systembolaget's monopoly has fallen for the first time in years, but remains popular with around 66 percent backing the status quo.

The inquiry is set to be concluded by the end of the year, while legislative proposals will likely be developed during 2011.

TT/The Local/vt (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

15:42 November 17, 2010 by balbright
"According to a recent Sifo poll...Systembolaget...remains popular with around 66 percent backing the status quo." Not only did the Swede's invent Stockholm Syndrome, they are showing it's alive and well.
15:48 November 17, 2010 by Kevin Harris
When Apoteket lost its monopoly, we heard that the sky would fall in. The sky didn't fall in, we just got a lot more pharmacies which were a lot more efficient. Even Apoteket has raised its game to meet the competition.

Monopolies are never, never good. They breed laziness, arrogance and corruption. Those adjectives fit Systemet very well.
16:36 November 17, 2010 by Swedesmith
Hey maw, get that still out of the barn. We're back in business.
17:14 November 17, 2010 by Nemesis
I hope this goes ahead.

It will help boost the local economy in rural areas.

As for Systembolaget. The sooner that monoploy is broken up, the better.
00:36 November 18, 2010 by kzjh72
"The inquiry is set to propose allowing the sale of alcohol from privately owned farm shops, both made on site but also imported brands, according to the Dagens Nyheter (DN) daily."

Made on site???? That sounds like "Hembrännt" (Moonshine)
08:40 November 18, 2010 by samwise
the government can't be off the hook if they impose the monopoly, the system has to serve all people equally, so, build a liquor store in every village, no discrimination against remote rural residents.

It won't be an issue in a free market system, because it runs on free choice, it honors personal responsibility. Everything becomes straightforward and natural, like it was prior to any government ever existed.
12:07 November 18, 2010 by jazzIIIlove
I hate SystemBolaget...I want to buy my stuff where and whenever I want...
13:13 November 18, 2010 by Alf Garnett
Bout time the monopoly was put to rest, I want to be able to go to ICA & buy some more booze if I run short.

Not sure if Svensson can cope with the fact of having Off Licences & proper wines & beers on sale in the local super. Keep syetemet as an option if required but give us a choice.
13:41 November 18, 2010 by timhipkiss
It's not surprising to see that most non-Swedes find Systembolaget archaic and annoying, while Swedes think their alcohol policies are the best in the world. I think Systembolaget is ok as a shop (compared to most high street off licences in the UK), but would like to be able to buy beer and wine with food in the supermarket, to highlight that these really are quite civilised grocery items.

As to the esatablishment of new pharmacy chains - that's been great. I'm just waiting for Boots to come over here, so I can buy all the normal medical supplies that are mysteriously absent from Sweden (e.g. Germolene antiseptic cream instead of buying its chemical constuents in plain plastic bottles, and Lemsip/Beecham's Powders instead of Paracetamol tablets + anticongestant tablets + vitamin C)...
13:13 November 19, 2010 by jamtlandtom
I didn't know there are "Farm" shops in Sweden but anyway if the sale of alcohol had been allowed in village shops over the years I reckon there would be more villages with shops (including ours, as it is a chore to travel some distance to shop for the basics. Of course one could be organised enough to plan....................but that is another tale!!! Maybe if this proposal was carried through( and it only seems to be the anally retentative Politicians who think they know how WE should live who are against the notion),Village shops may reopen.

There was a lot of squealing when Apotek's monopoly was ended but the whole of that market has been invigorated and Apotek has generally woken up to the 21st century.
Today's headlines
Meet Sweden's lonely Donald Trump voter
A Donald Trump campaign button. Photo: Rogelio V Solis/AP

The Local talks to an American Donald Trump supporter on what it is like living in progressive stronghold Sweden.

Forgotten Ingmar Bergman script to be made into a film
It's thought the script was part of an ill-fated collaboration between Bergman (left) and Federico Fellini (right). Photo: AP

Written in 1969, the script is 'up to the standard of his best', according to the Ingmar Bergman Foundation.

Sweden's consumption footprint 'among the worst'
Trucks transporting goods on a Swedish highway. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Sweden has been criticized for its unsustainable consumption of the planet's resources in the latest edition of a major WWF study.

Video: How to be Joel Kinnaman for a day
Kinnaman with one of the camera rigs that will allow people inside his head. Photo: Tele2

The Swedish Hollywood actor will strap a camera to his head, stream it live and allow viewers to interact with him this weekend.

Presented by Invest Stockholm
How Stockholm's cold climate boosts creativity
Photo: Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se

Do long, dark winters actually make Swedes more creative and more productive? We spoke to Stockholm startups to find out.

Sweden to keep record-low interest rate in 2017
Sweden's landmark negative interest rate will continue towards 2018. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

The Swedish central bank said that it will take longer than expected to reach its inflation target.

Presented by Stockholm University
9 unexpected programmes at Stockholm University
Photo: Niklas Björling

Did you know Stockholm University offers 75 master's programmes taught in English? And some of them are programmes you won't find anywhere else...

Creepy clown messes with the wrong dog walker in Sweden
Not the clown in the story. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A dog helped its owner fight off a creepy clown chasing the pair in southern Sweden.

A million Swedes are digitally excluded: report
How should Sweden bridge the digital divide? Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Tech-savvy Swedes? Perhaps not. A new study suggests that at least a million of its residents feel the pain of the digital divide.

Malmö's 19th Swedish title sets Champions hopes alight
Malmö fans celebrating after the match. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

Malmö FF have their eyes set on the Champions League after winning the Swedish league for the 19th time.

Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 26th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast
Is Game of Thrones coming to Sweden?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Will Swedes soon be looking for fairtrade porn?
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available