Alcohol, Latvia, Markets and Companies

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Monday, 29.05.2023, 01:06

Alcohol producers and distributors in Latvia present state officials with empty vodka bottles for Christmas

Nina Kolyako, BC, Riga, 21.12.2009.Print version
Cabinet ministers, the head of the government and chairpersons of several Saeima committees will receive empty 0.7-liter vodka bottles adorned with black ribbons and labels stating "Legal Alcohol 2009" as gifts from the Latvian Association of Alcohol Producers and Distributors, as the association's representatives informed the business portal

"Unfortunately, there will be no lavish presents this year, and this is all that we can treat them to – both in direct meaning and as a symbol of the revenue from excise tax on alcohol producers," says the Association of Alcohol Producers and Distributors' Christmas cards to the premier, the ministers of economy, finance and interiors and chairpersons of several Saeima committees, writes LETA.


"2009 will be remembered by alcohol producers and distributors as a year of short-sighted, destructive decisions highly damaging to the business, and a year of triumphant march by illegal business, which already accounts for 30% of the entire Latvian alcohol market," the Christmas cards read.


Producers of liquor and spirits have been one of the largest excise tax payers in Latvia for many years. This year though the industry saw a 30% fall due to the new tax policy of the government and the expansion of bootleg producers.


The association emphasizes that the amount of money that the state will fail to collect in the excise tax on alcoholic beverages is estimated to reach LVL 68.8 million, taking into consideration that the bootleg alcohol market share has increased to about 30% of the market. This money could have been used to, for instance, cover the budget needs that the government had to cover by altering the budget in accordance with the international lenders' instructions.


However, taking into account that Christmas is a time when some of wishes may come true, the alcohol producers also inform in their Christmas message to the officials of what they would wish the next year to bring: amendments to the Criminal Law and Administrative Violations Code that would foresee penalties for trademark forgery attempts, give the police more right to take action against bootleg alcohol producers and distributors, and others.

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