NORWAY: Government steps back from drinks sector shake-up
The new Norwegian Government will not expand retail coverage of beer and wine
Wine will not be sold in grocery stores under changes planned by Norway’s new centre-right government, despite initial reports.
Late last month, the Conservatives (Høyre) and the Progress Party (Framskrittspartiet), which formed a coalition following this year's election, were considering the sale of high abv beer and wine in mainstream grocery stores, as well as state monopoly-run Vinmonopolet outlets.
However, a pact with Norway’s other two parties, including the Christian Democrats, means that Vinmonopolet will undergo only minor changes to its operations.
“There will be no change in the way of importing and distributing alcohol in Norway with the new Government,” said Pål-Helge Kraknes, MD of Altia-owned Strøm. “The parties now running Norway need support from other parties, including Kristelig Folkeparti [Christian Democrats], which is anti-alcohol.”
Vinmonopolet’s Ida Brenden Engholt confirmed that the company’s stores would start opening on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve, Easter Saturday and Pentecost, probably in 2014.
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