wine glasses

Majority opposes ending state monopoly of alcohol according to surveys


A bill is currently being debated in the Icelandic parliament regarding the state monopoly of alcohol retail. Passing the bill would mean to abolish the state monopoly of liquor and close the Vinbudin, presently the only retail store chain where Icelanders can buy wine, bear and strong liquor.

The bill has met with fierce debate; both in parliament and in society and two recent surveys show an overwhelming majority, over 61%, against it.

Majority of the public supports continuing with Vinbudin, according to Kjarninn a recent survey revealed that six of ten Icelanders oppose the bill, or 61.5% and only 23% support it. A second survey shows that 74% of Icelanders are opposed to alcohol in grocery stores while 15% supported the idea, 57% oppose allowing grocery stores to sell wine or beer and 33% support the idea. 15% of Icelanders support allowing grocery stores to sell liquor while 33% supports allowing them to sell only wine or beer.

The bill was submitted to parliament on 2 February, sparking disapproval and debate. Similar bills have been submitted before, but none has been considered as likely to pass as this one. The current bill is backed by MPs from the three parties that make up the current parliamentary majority, as well as members of the Pirate Party. So its chances of passing are considered great despite the majority of voters strongly opposing it.