Finland calls time on drunk awaydays
Wednesday 01 May 1996
According to a representative of the Tallinn Ferry company in Helsinki, all four crossings to Tallinn were fully booked as customers sought to take advantage of the old regulations one final time. "We have been fantastically busy in the days leading up to the new rules," said the representative. "And it is pretty clear why people have been going across."
Since Estonia regained its independence in 1991, it has become a magnet for heavy drinkers from Finland seeking to avoid the country's 65 per cent tax levy.
Gangs of drunken Finnish revellers have become a regular sight in the streets of Tallinn and journeys home on ferry boats and even planes are seldom made without the maximum allowances of spirits, wines and beers.
Under the new regulations, the import of duty free alcohol into Finland will now be possible only if at least 20 hours has been spent out of the country. The immediate targets will be the day-trippers to Tallinn and nearby Russia, where even greater bargains on alcohol are to be found.
The law will also restrict sales of duty free alcohol within Finland itself. This will be aimed primarily at Russians who have been entering the country with truck loads of elicit liquor to sell off to eager takers at impromptu market places which have been dubbed "Red Squares".
The combined effect of "alcohol tourism" and the "Red Squares" has been to slice 1bn markka (pounds 140m) from annual tax revenues channelled through Alko, the State company which has a monopoly on alcohol sales in Finland.
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, GAME, PC World and Argos
Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado's stylist Luis Alfredo Garcia is found stabbed to death
Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler following death of batsman Phil Hughes
Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh: Voyeur doctor jailed for eight years after using network of hidden cameras to film patients, colleagues and friends on the toilet
'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Ed Miliband's 'north London set' must be demolished to save Labour, say critics
Green Party Caroline Lucas interview: 'We could be on the edge of something very big'
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: SURREY MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: What do you want to do with your career? Do yo...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Development Scientist is required to join a ...