Health and Labor Minister Urmas Kruuse said the government is combating alcoholism, and 10 million euros will be spent during the new seven-year EU budget period toward this aim.
“The current government has used alcohol and other vice excise duty increases to clearly show that we can not tolerate alcoholism,” Kruuse told ETV today.
He said Tallinn's methods against alcohol consumption have been approved by the government, but the city is more focused on politics than problem solving.
“Only recently we saw how the city put up signs which said that alcohol is permitted to be consumed in certain places,” Kruuse said, forgetting to mention that the government removed the open container ban in the first place, leading to many local governments, including Tallinn, to limit areas where alcohol consumption is allowed.
Kruuse said that small shops are in the center of the problem, as research has found that youngsters were allowed to buy alcohol more freely from small shops, compared to supermarkets. Tallinn City Council recently ruled that the minimum shop size which is permitted to sell hard liqueur, will be increased from 75 to 150 square meters from next summer.