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Systembolaget reports supermarket wine sales

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Systembolaget reports supermarket wine sales
08:51 CEST+02:00
Swedish liquor monopoly retailer Systembolaget has reported supermarket chain City Gross to the police for giving customers the chance to purchase wine along with their weekly grocery shopping.

"While waiting for a clearer legislation we have decided to report City Gross and the company Winefinder as we can't see how this type of alcohol sales in Sweden could be legal," said Cecilia Schelin Seidegård at Systembolaget in a statement.

Systembolaget's statement complains that existing legislation in Sweden needs to be clarified and tightened up to establish clearer ground rules, claiming support in a government inquiry released on Tuesday.

"It is now incredibly important that the government and Riksdag clarifies who has the right to sell alcohol in Sweden and who doesn't," said Systembolaget CEO Magdalena Gerger.

Supermarket chain City Gross announced plans in late June to launch wine deliveries in cooperation with Danish firm Winefinder.

"We know that many of our grocery customers want to combine food and quality wines and that is why we are offering the possibility," said Carola Grahn at City Gross at the time.

City Gross's move will test an EU Court decision in 2007 that opened up the possibility for consumers to privately import wine from other EU countries, despite the existence of the Systembolaget monopoly, once designed to curb alcoholism in Sweden.

The court ruled that the Swedish ban on imports of alcohol ran contrary to EU rules on the free movement of goods and has become known as the Rosengren ruling after the individual who took the case all the way to Brussels.

Systembolaget has itself been running a home delivery service since November 2012, later expanded to cover workplaces.

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