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SV Wants More Flexible Alcohol Sale in Norway

The proposal aims to give the authority to municipalities for determining the nightlife and alcohol sale without government guidelines, writes Klassekampen.

– I believe in giving municipalities more responsibility, including serving policy, says Torgeir Fylkesnes, deputy chairman of the party’s program committee.

If congress approves the proposal, SV will align itself on alcohol policy with two right wing parties, the Conservatives(Høyre) and the Progress Party (FrP). 

The first reaction to the coalition member SV’s proposal comes from the government partner Centre Party (Sp). Sps health spokesperson Kjersti Toppe found the porposal very extreme.

Alcohol Sale Timely Restricted in Norway

In Norway, beer is classified into four categories by ABV (alcohol by volume), labeled from A to D. The class both determine the tax level, age restrictions, where, and when it can be sold. Class A beer has an ABV of less than 0.7%, and is for all intents and purposes alcohol-free beer. It is not taxed more than general foodstuffs, and can be sold anywhere, any time, and be bought by anyone. Class B beer has an ABV between 0.7% and 2.75%, and is considered “lettøl” (light beer). It is lightly taxed, and can be sold anywhere, anytime, with an age limit of 18 years.

Class C beer has an ABV between 2.75% and 3.75%. This category is not in common use. Class D beer has an ABV between 3.75% and 4.75%, and is considered standard strength. Taxation is significant, age limit is 18 years, and sales are subject to local regulation. In most parts of Norway, class D beer can be purchased from common supermarkets, but only before 20:00 on weekdays and 18:00 on Saturdays. In some parts of Norway it can only be purchased through licensed beer stores.

Beer over 4,75% is considered sterkøl (strong beer) and is only sold through the government-controlled liquor store chain Vinmonopolet. It is taxed according to ABV level as with wines and spirits, and carries an 18 year age limit.

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