Norwegian Liberals Says No to Opening Wine Monopoly on Christmas Eve

The government proposes state-control wine monopoly stores can stay open on Christmas Eve. However, Venstre, supporting the government out of the coalition, decides to oppose the proposal.

– We send out an important signal that Christmas Eve, primarily children’s day, should not be associated with negative experiences because of alcohol, says deputy Terje Breivik to the newspaper Dagen.

Venstre health spokesman Kjetil Kjenseth also noted the commitment of some stakeholders who work against drugs appreciated this iniative by his party.

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 wine monoplies (Vinmonopolet). It is taxed according to ABV level as with wines and spirits, and carries an 18 year age limit. 

These Vinmonopolets are closed on certain days including Christmas Eve.

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