The Society of Pub Owners has issued a proposal calling for pubs and restaurants to be sold beer and wine at a lower price, so that they can sell it at a more affordable rate.
The 2008 economic collapse rippled through many aspects of Icelandic society, not least of all the price of alcohol. Prices for beer, wine and liquor increased dramatically, and some pub owners believe this has actually led to more drunkenness and irresponsible drinking.
Arnar Þór Gíslason, who owns the English Pub, Den Danske Kro and Oliver, told Vísir that he believes that with the high price of a half-litre of beer in a pub, more people – especially the young – are resorting to drinking landi, Icelandic moonshine.
Furthermore, he contends people are more apt to buy their alcohol from one of the state-run stores and drink for longer at home before going out, at which point they arrive downtown already quite drunk.
As such, he believes that the state should sell beer and wine to pubs and restaurants at a lower price. This will enable pub and restaurant owners to in turn sell it at a lower price, and theoretically reduce landi consumption and public drunkenness.
ÁTVR, the state-run company which sells alcohol to companies and individuals alike, is under the authority of the Ministry of Finance. Finance Minister Steingrímur J. Sigfússon told Vísir that no such idea has been presented to him, but said that he would like to see more logical support for the proposal before commenting on it.