Finland, Sweden Set to Ease Alcohol Laws

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The Facts

  • Finland and Sweden have planned to soften the stringent laws that control the sale of alcoholic beverages to ease up their government monopolies.

  • The Finnish parliament has approved the sale of fermented beverages with an alcohol content of up to 8%, up from the current limit of 5.5%, in supermarkets.

The Spin

Narrative A

This proposal is a step toward greater freedom. Swedes and Finns stand apart from the rest of Europe due to their strict alcohol policies. Allowing small-scale brewers, distilleries, and wineries to sell alcoholic beverages directly to visitors at their establishments would bring Sweden more in line with the rest of the continent. Significantly, this limited reform would benefit around 600 small businesses while maintaining the strict alcohol monopoly.

Narrative B

The Swedish government's proposal to allow farm sales of alcoholic beverages is nothing less than a Trojan Horse for multinational alcohol producers rather than benefiting small, local independent breweries. This proposal undermines the alcohol monopoly and aims to overthrow it. It may lead to an increase in alcohol-related deaths, bringing those numbers more in line with the EU. Such proposals could have a detrimental impact on public health.

Metaculus Prediction

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