Blog: Chris Brook-CarterHave they started started something they can't Finnish?

Chris Brook-Carter | 14 June 2004

In light of last week’s television documentary in the UK warning of the dangers threatened by extending licensing hours in the country, it would seem that Finland is suffering from similar results following slightly different legislation changes.

Police in the Scandinavian country have reported a leap in alcohol-related violence and drink-driving since 1 May – the date that the neighbouring Baltic states, with their lower alcohol taxes, acceded to the European Union.

The Finnish government cut alcohol tax in the country by 33% to bring levels more in line with its neighbours. Finns are also heading to Estonia to buy their spirits for as little as £3 a bottle.

Are these merely teething problems that the UK can look forward to next year when the licensing hours are extended? Or is this a more longer-term shape of things to come?


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