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Yle poll: MPs split on coming alcohol bill

An Yle-commissioned poll finds that Finnish MPs are split fifty-fifty on whether or not a new alcohol law should be passed in November. The change would raise the maximum allowed alcohol content of beverages sold in shops, allow barkeepers to sell drinks to go and extend the opening hours of Alko.

Olutpulloja alkon hyllyssä.
Supporters say quality trumps quantity, opposers say health costs will skyrocket. Image: Ismo Pekkarinen / AOP

A new poll commissioned by broadcaster Yle finds that Finnish MPs are split almost exactly down the middle on the question of more lenient alcohol legislation.

The bill would raise the maximum allowed alcohol content limit of beverages sold in shops from 4.7% to 5.5%, restaurants would be allowed to sell booze to go and the opening hours of restaurants as well as drinks monopoly Alko's stores could be more easily extended.

Of a total of 128 MPs, 53 said they are for the bill while 47 respondents said they were against, and 28 declined to answer.

Many MPs say they are waiting on a report from the Social Affairs and Health Committee before locking their vote, which they will cast in November.

Government parties have allowed each MP to vote on their own conscience, leading to wide differences in the cohesion of party lines.

Almost all respondents from the National Coalition Party, the Blue Reform group and the Finns Party say they would support for the bill. The highest number of no's came from SDP, Greens and Christian Democrat MPs.

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