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SWEDEN: PM favours alcohol tax reduction

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Sweden's Prime Minister Goeran Persson is in favour of lowering tax on alcohol, to try and reverse a decline in sales at the state-owned retailer systembolaget, which has been hit by an increase in the number of Swedes shopping for drink abroad.

Systembolaget has seen declining sales since neighbouring countries reduced taxation on their alcohol products, resulting in an increasing number of Swedes travelling abroad for their wines and spirits.

"The tax reduction has in practice already gone into effect for a large portion of the Swedish population who shops abroad. The problem is clear and we have to act. If we don't act we're going to lose control over this," Persson told Swedish news agency TT.

However, Persson is waiting for the results of a government-commissioned report before making any formal proposal for a reduction in alcohol tax.


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