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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

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