No Booze for You

So in Sweden, as I have probably mentioned before, you can’t buy a bottle of plonk in the evening, or on a Sunday. And the only place at all you can get a bottle of plonk is between 10:15 and 10:37 at the state alcohol monopoly shop called Systembolaget.

You very often come across arguments from Systembolaget as to why they should retain the tight alcohol monopoly just the way it is. Most of the arguments have to do with the projected increase in alcohol-related deaths and violence if alcohol was more freely available (and suspiciously few have to do with how much money they would stand to lose if their monopoly was threatened).

More freely available? Come on – you can get beer at 3.5% in any shop, strong beer for 20:- (2 euro) in the right bars and pretty much everybody over the age of 12 knows the number to a gentlemen called “Big Kalle” or “Daddy Love” who will get you whatever you want, whenever you want it.

Restricting demand to popular things creates a black market, and more criminals, and more contact between ordinary people and those criminals. As well as this, is is quite a slap in the face to the Swedish public, as the state has officially decided that they can’t handle their booze.

So is this something in the Swedish character? That, if allowed, they will charge around the grocery store, swigging wine, making slobbering love to unattractive people and smashing car windows on the way home?

And if this IS the case (which I doubt) then let’s do like this – have wine and booze available in the grocery stores, but allow it to be sold only to foreigners. We can handle our drink, you see, while you poor Swedes need to be cushioned and protected from the evil liquor.

So I will be able to buy wine whenever I want, since I lack the Swedish gene which would make me an instant alcoholic as soon as I saw a bottle of wine in a shop after 7 in the evening. Sound like an idea?

/ paddy

7 thoughts on “No Booze for You

  1. Apoteket och Systembolaget is free to gtfo on my part. If you live somewhere in a pretty small place, and you get sick during saturday afternoon, you just have to lie there and DIE until monday morning when you can get ahold of the drugs you need, even if it’s minor pain killers that won’t hurt a fly even if you melted the stuff and rolled the fly in it.
    And on top of that, you won’t even be able to buy booze to drench your sick soul while waiting for apoteket to open.

  2. Dude, I say you got a pretty sweet deal there. In Holland, its ‘no groceries for you’ after 9pm, and most certainly NO groceries on sunday. Forgot to stock up? Yep, you’re screwed…

  3. Paddy, I’m with you, man. You don’t want to drink on Sunday because it’s your god’s day, fine. But I don’t believe in your god so I should be able to drink on Sunday if I bloody well please.

  4. What are the prices like? When I lived in Norway ten years ago, the cheapest bottle of plonk from the monopol was about 90kr. It was double irritating when you had to pay those kind of premium prices just to get some cooking sherry or the like. And let’s not even mention the booze cruises from Sweden and Norway to Denmark. Please.

  5. ullis: Yes, it sucks. Especially apoteket. You can buy ciggs in a store, but not headache pills? Fucking stupid.

    Alina: No groceries at all on a Sunday? Good for dieting, I suppose…

    Alex: Indeed!

    csrster: Prices are OK, it’s just the whole take-a-ticket-and-stand-around-like-a moron part that I don’t like.

  6. Hey Paddy, I assume you don’t use Systembolaget where there’s no self-help? The behind-the-counter-thingie disappeared long ago, thank the cookies.

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