The Swedish Prime Minister is to push for a reduction in alcohol excise duty, according to local reports. Speaking to Svenska Dagbladet, Goran Persson said yesterday (16 August) that he would demand the reduction by the autumn.

Persson stopped short, however, of specifying how big a reduction he would hope to achieve.

Sweden has seen the alcohol black market damage sales domestically, following the accession of the neighbouring Baltic states, where alcohol is taxed at a far lower rate, to the EU last year.

Earlier this year, the Swedish Government commissioner and MP, Kent Harstedt, proposed a 40% cut in alcohol taxes.

The alcohol tax in Sweden currently stands at some SEK200 (US$26.5) per litre of alcohol. In comparison, alcohol taxes in neighbouring Finland stand at SEK100 per litre and in Denmark at some SEK75.