Finland is bracing for increased drinking this Monday, when state-regulated alcohol prices drop by nearly 40 percent.
The move to reduce alcohol prices comes in anticipation of neighboring Estonia's entry into the European Union on May 1st. EU regulations allow travelling Finns to bring home up to 300 bottles of beer or 12 bottles of hard liquor without paying duty. In order to prevent a wholesale exodus of Finns travelling south of the border to buy cheap booze, the government decided to reduce the taxes on alcohol to compete with Estonian prices.
The downside to all this is that Finns have very little resistance to the lure of alcohol. The high taxes were designed to curb overconsumption, and with the reduced prices come an expectation of increased drunkenness. Around 1,000 trucks are rolling across Finland at this very moment, delivering extra stock to stores so that they will not sell out when the buying frenzy begins on Monday.
In related news, sales of coffee, headache remedies, and emergency contraception are also expected to rise sharply soon in Finland.