The Swedish authorities have agreed to discuss their high level of alcohol tax with the European Commission. Taxation and customs commissioner Laszlo Kovacs met with the Swedish Finance Minister Pear Nuder for a "fruitful" exchange of views, the EC has said.

The ministers agreed on the need to find a solution to distortions caused by widely divergent taxation rates on alcohol and the health concerns of countries like Sweden.

In Sweden, taxation on alcohol is among the highest in the EU. The country also operates a monopoly for the sale of most alcohol products through retail chain Systembolaget.