Alcohol monopoly bill must wait

Photo: Heiðar

A bill proposing the abolition of the State’s monopoly on sales of alcohol will not be dealt with before the Icelandic Parliament (‘Alþingi’) adjourns for summer recess.

Vil­hjálm­ur Árna­son, MP for the centre-right Independence Party (‘Sjálfstæðisflokkurinn’) and first mover of the bill, blames opposition “filibustering” for this development.

The bill, which proposes extending the right to sell alcohol to all retail outlets, is a ‘private member’s bill’, as Árnason is not a member of the Cabinet.

Alþingi adjourns for summer recess this Friday and, according to Árnason, time pressure means that far fewer private member’s bills than usual will make it onto the agenda.

“It has not been possible to fit the ‘alcohol bill’ in, despite cross-party consensus on the issue,” he explains. “Obstructionism is to blame for how few private member’s bills have made it onto the agenda, and the opposition has thereby succeeded in reducing its own influence.”

The bill (full Icelandic text here) will be moved again when Alþingi reconvenes in the autumn.

Vilhjálmur Árnason MP.

Vilhjálmur Árnason MP. Photo: Ómar

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