Bondevik to alcohol meeting
Bondevik will once more attempt to establish a united Nordic front against EUs alcohol politics at the Nordic Council in Stockholm Monday.
Bondevik addressed the issue for the first time when he met with his colleagues on Iceland in August. Norwegian Minister of Social Affairs Dagfinn Høybråten followed up on the issue.
«I have become more and more optimistic after the meeting on Iceland,» said Bondevik to Avisenes Nyhetsbyrå (ANB). «The Nordic health and social affairs ministers have now presented a report that gives hope.»
The report states that the low minimum duties on alcohol in the EU have to be increased, and the high import quotas between the different EU countries have to be lowered.
However, a Swedish report suggests that the alcohol duties should be reduced with 40 percent.
The Swedish Prime Minister Göran Persson indicates that the Swedes may be forced to decrease the duties due to the so-called domino effect. While Norwegians travel to Sweden to purchase cheap alcohol, Swedes travel to Denmark and Finland. Danes travel to Germany, while the Germans travel to Poland.
«Its important that we now have a joint Nordic understanding of the problem of the domino effect, and that this is now addressed to the EU,» Bondevik said to ANB.
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