Tõnis Mölder (Centre), chairman of the Social Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu, said that he welcomes the initiative of Tallinn Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart (Centre) to introduce a stricter alcohol policy in the capital city, adding that the imposition of stricter regulations could be deliberated on a nationwide basis.
"Tallinn has been working hard for years to reduce and prevent problems caused by excessive consumption of alcohol," Mölder said. "To date, the overnight restriction on the retail sale of alcohol has been in place in Estonia for more than a decade, and it is unlikely anyone left anymore who would consider this decision to have been stupid."
He acknowledged that this issue is understandably the most burning in the capital city, which is a magnet for entertainment establishments, but the debate on restrictions on alcohol sales could extend further.
"I believe it is a fundamental issue when we have bars and pubs that open their doors at 7 a.m. in order to serve the hard stuff for their first customers," he continued, adding that the goal of the restrictions is not to make life difficult for entertainment establishments, but rather to maintain reasonable standards.
Mölder, a former deputy mayor of Tallinn, also affirmed his support for the idea suggested in Tallinn to ban the operation of alcohol stores less than 150 meters away from childcare institutions.
"I am certain that all parents are fully in favor of the idea that alcohol stores should move further away from schools and kindergartens," he said.
Mayor suggests new alcohol restrictions
Kõlvart on Wednesday proposed launching talks in Tallinn regarding the possibility of imposing new restrictions on alcohol. These would include both time-specific restrictions on the sale of alcohol at entertainment establishments as well as restrictions on the location of alcohol stores in relation to childcare institutions.
According to the mayor, these restrictions are needed to better ensure public order and protect the health of the city's residents.
Editor: Aili Vahtla