Finland's alcohol restrictions put to the test

Finnish alcohol legislation in Finland was eased somewhat just over two years ago. Fears that this would lead to a rise in consumption have not been confirmed. In 2019, consumption was 4 percentage points below the previous year. Is it time to trust the younger generation, loosen the state's retail monopoly and allow wine and spirits to be sold in supermarkets?

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Iltalehti (FI) /

Get rid of the state monopoly

The Finns should be given more self-determination, Iltalehti demands:

“Now at the latest it's time to admit that classic strategies for reducing the damage caused by alcohol no longer work. Easing restrictions doesn't automatically increase consumption, and a drop in consumption doesn't automatically improve the situation. Finland's alcohol policy, and in particular the monopoly position of the alcohol retailing company Alko, must be reviewed. The next step would be to allow the sale of wine in supermarkets as part of a reform of Finnish alcohol legislation. Judging by historic precedents this could well lead to a reduction in overall consumption. Instead of a nanny state the Finns deserve a more European alcohol policy.”