Sweden should ban Baltic booze cruises, doctor says

Sweden’s approach to alcohol is puzzling, Rupert Wolfe Murray argues
Sweden should ban tax-free boozing on cruises in the Baltic Sea, says the European representative for Castle Craig Hospital, a leading British rehab clinic. The country’s approach to alcohol is puzzling, Rupert Wolfe Murray argues in an article published in The Local.
“On the one hand its general attitude towards alcohol is among the best I have ever heard about anywhere in the world,” he writes, pointing out the restrictions on alcohol retail sales.
In Sweden the per capita consumption of alcohol was 9.3 litres of pure alcohol in 2014, compared to the European average of 12 litres.
But “Scandinavians are known to be binge drinkers and prone to alcoholism”, so “what I don’t understand is why the government therefore allows thousands of Swedes to board massive cruise ships, sail to the Baltic states and drink themselves silly every weekend,” the doctor says.
“Passengers can access booze at duty-free prices on board these tubs and when they get to Estonia, Lithuania or Latvia can buy even more drinks at a cost price far lower than on home soil. How is this even possible? Both Sweden and the Baltic countries are part of the EU and the sale of tax-free booze while travelling between these states should be illegal.”
He adds: “Some passengers never even leave the boats; they just eat, get very drunk and load up their cars with cut-price alcohol. I spoke to one paramedic who works in the ambulance service near the harbours at Grisslehamn and Kapellskär. He told me that his team picks up people at least twice a week with alcohol poisoning from these cruises.”
The Local


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