From Iceland — MP Will Likely Submit Alcohol Bill Again

MP Will Likely Submit Alcohol Bill Again

Published July 6, 2015

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Magnús Andersen

Independence Party MP Vilhjálmur Árnason, undaunted by public opinion and parliamentary defeat, still wants to legalise the sale of alcohol in stores.

Vísir reports that Vilhjálmur is considering submitting his bill a second time when parliament reconvenes this fall. The bill, if passed, would make it legal to sell alcoholic beverages in stores not run by The State Alcohol and Tobacco Company of Iceland (ÁTVR).

While he intends to submit the body of the bill unchanged, he says he has additional data to back up his reasoning. He points to a new report from Clever Data which he says shows that ÁTVR does not generate a profit. ÁTVR, for their part, have dismissed the report as having “little connection with reality.”

Vilhjálmur adds that a new study from the Institute of Economic Affairs showed that lengthening pub closing times did not increase average consumption; on the contrary, it decreased from 2005 onwards.

The MP believes this additional data will help gather more support for his bill’s passage.

As reported, about two-thirds of the nation were against Vilhjálmur’s idea. Ultimately, the Welfare Committee majority blocked the bill’s passage, and it was defeated.

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