The Finnish government is to back its Scottish counterpart's push for minimum pricing on alcohol, according to a report.

Finnish officials will present papers to Luxembourg’s European Court of Justice this week in support of the Scottish National Party's bid to introduce a GBP0.50 (US$0.80) minimum unit price, the BBC reported today. The Finnish health ministry's head of alcohol policy, Ismo Tuominen, told the BBC:  "Finland has decided to back Scotland in this court case. 

"This is a question of principle. If a nation wants to have its own decisions concerning public health and concerning alcohol policy, we are at the same side of that nation."

Tuominen could not be reached by just-drinks for further comment.

A decision on whether Scotland will get MUP currently rests with the highest court in Europe. In April, Edinburgh's Court of Session referred the drinks industry's legal challenge over the measure to the European Court of Justice

Alcohol distribution in Finland is largely controlled by the government and strict laws on advertising are in place. Tougher laws on alcohol advertising are also due to come into place in January.