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Sweden has a long history of trying to manage rampant drinking in the population, going back to the 19th century when the combination of stills and potatoes is traditionally blamed for the country going on a decades long binge. Since then a a strong sobriety movement with a significant overlap with the socialist/labor movement has to a large extent set the agenda.

The prohibition referendum in 1922 was narrowly defeated with 51% against. Despite striking posters such as this:

Payday evening
Vote Yes.

Instead there was monopoly and rationing until 1955 when rationing was abolished. And taxes. We still have an alocohol monopoly, though rules on private import has been liberalised by the EU (in contravention to what was claimed about the exception when Sweden entered the union), though the last decades drinking has gone down, and youth drinking has been halfed since the 1980ies. Alcohol liberals often claim that drinking has gone down because of liberalisation, I think it is the other way around, liberalisation has been tolerated because it hasn't caused spikes in consumtion.

Swedish alcohol taxes are rather well accepted, even though home stills are still very much existing and brining home a lot of duty free is a national sport. Taxes are proportional to the amount of alcohol, so drinks with less then 2,25% alcohol has no alcohol tax, and then it is climbing. A 50 cl bottle of 5% alcohol (beer, cider etc) has a alcohol tax of about half a euro. While a 70 cl bottle of 40% alcohol (so whisky, vodka or similar) has a alcohol tax of about 14.5 euros. So a bottle of cheap booze starts around 20 euros.

by fjallstrom on Tue Jan 11th, 2022 at 01:50:13 PM EST
It is possible to brew an acceptable beer at 2,25% so the taxes wouldn't be too onerous for me. Wine being an imported product would be more expensive anyway. According to these figures, Sweden's alcohol consumption has increased by 50% - 1996-2016, but are still some way below Ireland and Spain. There appears to be a pattern of increased consumption in most countries over that period.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jan 11th, 2022 at 05:34:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Most Swedish beers are, well not up to continental standards. Sweden isn't much of a beer or wine nation, it is part of the vodka belt.

According to Folkhälsomyndigheten, the peak consumtion was in 2004 at 10,5 litres, then a gradual declne to 8,5 litres in 2020. If we add the WHO numbers we get:
1996 6 litres
2004 10,5 litres
2016 9,2 litres
2020 8,5 litres

Between 1996 and 2004 was the year 2000, when the guarantees Sweden received on joining the EU expired and the much more limited rules on private import was voided, and the private import quota went from rather limited to functionally unlimited. If that had been clear in 1994, the sobriety movement would have been campaigning on the side of not entering the EU, and considering the slim margin - 52,8% in favor - Sweden probably wouldn't have joined.

by fjallstrom on Tue Jan 11th, 2022 at 10:06:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there any significant "Swexit" political movement?

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jan 11th, 2022 at 11:48:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not really.

Last years number's regarding the membership was 16% opposed 58% in favour, while on the euro it was 64% opposed and 21% in favour.

There was a majority against EU membership in the first years of membership, so this is pretty much as popular as the membership has ever been.

The euro had pretty even numbers until the euro crisis when support plummeted to around 10%.

by fjallstrom on Thu Jan 13th, 2022 at 09:50:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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