Norwegians back alcohol restrictions

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An overwhelming majority of Norwegians still support the country’s strict alcohol regulations and Vinmonopolet, Norway’s state-controlled liquor retailer. Now there may also be a majority in Parliament in favour of turning tax-free sales at Norwegian airports over to Vinmonopolet.

Newspaper Dagbladet reported during the weekend that several parties including the Christian Democrats, SV and the Center Party want to at least commission a formal study of transferring the lucrative contract for airport tax-free sales to Vinmonopolet. It’s currently held by the partly German-owned Travel Retail Norway, and extends until 2022.

The Labour Party is also likely to support the move, as are the Liberals. The two government parties, the Conservatives and Progress Party, want to keep the system as it is. Tax-free sales are huge in Norway, and help finance the country’s airports.

As debate over tax-free sales in Norway continues, a recent survey showed that fully 80 percent of Norwegians questioned agree that Norway’s Vinmonopolet system, which controls all legal sales of alcoholic beverages, should be maintained. The survey, conducted by Sentio Research for the Actis organization that promotes retraints on alcohol, also showed that 82 percent of Norwegians want to maintain the country’s ban on advertising for alcoholic beverages and that 87 percent want to maintain the current ban on sales to anyone under the age of 20.

The results come despite the ongoing boom in tax-free sales among Norwegians traveling abroad, and despite all the Norwegians who often travel to Sweden to stock up on cheaper beer, wine and liquor across the border.

newsinenglish.no staff