Alcohol sales fall in South Estonia

Against the backdrop of general price increases and large energy bills, alcohol sales in South Estonia have fallen.

According to the representatives of 16 food stores belonging to the COOP chain in south-eastern Estonia, the sales of alcohol in their stores have decreased in January so far.

Gerti Karilaid-Vidder, a social worker in Põlva municipality said that large electricity bills have meant excessive alcohol consumption among people with social problems have not risen at least.

"There has been no real change in alcohol consumption in recent weeks, which could be attributed to the arrival of these high energy bills, which has now led to some increase in alcohol consumption," he told ETV news program "Aktuaalne kaamera".

The police say they have also had a normal workload since the beginning of the year. "At the moment, the police cannot say that the picture has changed a lot now with this price increase," Chief Operating Officer of the Police Border Guard Board (PPA) Ottomar Virk said.

Between Võru and Räpina lies the settlement of Leevi, where the local store claims that the sale of alcohol has not increased in recent weeks.

"Sales of alcohol have not increased significantly, rather decreased. More food and manufactured goods are being bought," Eneken Raudsaar, the manager of the Leevi store said.

She said that people have started to buy more sweets. as a result. "Sweet things makes the mind more content and are much cheaper than alcohol," Raudsaar said.

South Estonian residents are also finding that high electricity bills, rather counter-intuitively, are helping them save money.

"I believe that more money will be saved in the countryside to get bread and food. And there's nothing left to do, it's a reserve just to be able to survive here," a local said.

"I live with my mother and my mother is a full-time child, we don't have this problem at all," another local said.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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