Blog: Chris Brook-CarterSystem break down

Chris Brook-Carter | 17 November 2003

The scandal that continues to build momentum in Sweden concerning bribery and corruption within the alcohol retail monopoly Systembolaget shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.

There have been mutterings for some time by disgruntled producers that listings at this monolithic organisation were not always above board.

No, the surprise is that it has taken so long for the government to realise that there need to be changes and that, within that framework, privatisation is still not being considered.

After all, any organisation entrusted with so much power is open to abuse. They can clean out the corrupt operators, but in ten years' time there is every chance they will have been replaced with new ones; such is the way of monopolies.

The only way to really sort this out is to dismantle the system itself and introduce a free market. But, for all the hand-wringing in Stockholm, that particular topic still seems to be off the radar.

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