Alcohol sales in Sweden last month plunged dramatically following the accession of neighbouring countries to the EU. Sales at alcohol retail monopoly Systembolaget fell in May by 14.2% year-on-year, figures released yesterday show.

The three bordering Baltic states were admitted to the EU on 1 May, signalling an exodus as Swedish consumers travelled abroad to buy their alcohol cheaper.

The Swedish Government is reluctant to reduce tax on alcohol based on public health fears, and is hoping that other EU members will raise their taxes instead.