Majority oppose freeing up alcohol sales

Proposals exist to allow the sale of alcohol in retail ...

Proposals exist to allow the sale of alcohol in retail food stores. Photo: Heiðar Kristjánsson

A majority of Icelanders oppose allowing the sale of alcohol in retail food stores, according to a new opinion poll.

Icelandic national broadcaster RÚV reports that 47% of respondents oppose selling wine and beer in retail food stores, while 41% are in favour (link in Icelandic).

When it comes to the sale of spirits, 67% of respondents oppose any change to the current system. As things stand, the Icelandic State has a monopoly on retail sales of alcohol, which is only available in specific State-run outlets operating under the ‘Vínbúðin’ brand.

Just 21% of respondents to the Gallup survey are in favour of selling spirits in regular retail food stores.

Younger people are more likely to support deregulation of alcohol sales, with just over 50% of those under 40 supporting the sale of alcohol in retail food stores.

Supporters of Iceland’s current two-party governing coalition seem to be split on the issue. 59% of Independence Party (‘Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn’) voters of the support selling wine and beer in retail food stores, as compared to just 24% of Progressive Party (‘Framsóknarflokkurinn’) voters.

Vínbúðin stores are the only place to buy retail alcohol ...

Vínbúðin stores are the only place to buy retail alcohol in Iceland. Photo: Vínbúðin

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