center party says no

Government split over home alcohol delivery

Three out of the four parties in the Swedish center-right government coalition would like to allow the state liquor monopoly to take online orders and make home deliveries. But one party says no.

The newspaper Svenska Dagbladet reports that the Moderate, Liberal, and Christian Democrat parties all favor home deliveries, as long as they come from Systembolaget, the state liquor retail monopoly.

But the small Center Party objects, citing directives that the state-owned company is supposed to implement a restrictive alcohol policy.

The plan was originally proposed more than a year ago by Liberal MP Carl B. Hamilton, who also sits on the board of Systembolaget.

It was proposed to protect and to justify the existence of the monopoly in an era where Swedes can not only bring in large amounts of alcohol from neighboring countries, but also purchase it by mail order from other members of the European Union.

Instead, the Center Party wants to permit sales of locally-produced wines at the handful of Swedish vineyards, a move the other parties fear could threaten the position of the retail monopoly.