THE sale of alcohol in Finland continues to be a delicate matter for both sides of the argument of moderation. While wine lovers have to plan their consumption in light of Alkos being closed around the country on Sundays, Helsingin Sanomat reports that mid-strength beer may next on the list of restrictions in order to curb the enthusiastic consumption of alcohol around the country.

Amongst a number of proposed new measures, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is pushing for beer sales at grocery shops, kiosks and service stations be outlawed after 6 pm on Fridays and Saturdays, as well as on Sunday mornings.

Aside from the cut in hours of availability on shelves, it has also been proposed that beer’s alcohol content be diluted from 4.7 to 3.5 per cent by volume. Furthermore, a gradual tax hike is proposed in the coming years, as is the restriction of late-night sales of alcohol in pubs and restaurants.

How this all advances, it remains to be seen. However, with vehement opposition already gathering voice, the debate will continue to rage on for some time.

James O’Sullivan