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Sweden Wants Germany to Fix Mess

Published tisdag 25 april 2006 kl 11.35
German beer confiscated by Swedish Customs

Recent reports say Swedes are buying somewhat less alcohol in cheaper neighboring countries, but now there’s concern about all the cans of German beer being brought here and thrown away.

In recent years, EU rules and reduced alcohol taxes in surrounding countries have led to Swedes buying as much abroad as at the state liquor stores here.

The government has proposed lowering duties, but the Green and Left parties have blocked the legislation. According to reports, between 400 and 500 million cans of German beer are being brought into Sweden every year.

While Sweden has a deposit system for all beverage containers sold here, there is no such system for the German cans and bottles.

On a visit to Berlin Monday, Swedish Environment Minister Lena Sommestad called on the German authorities to take responsibility for the mess in this country. German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel only promised to look at the problem.

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