Health Ministry OKs controversial WHO alcohol proposals
PR dla Zagranicy
Poland's Health Ministry has accepted a controversial raft of proposals from the World Health Organisation (WHO) designed to counter alcohol abuse in the EU.
The WHO document proposes that all liquor stores must be licenced by the state, and that these shops should only be open for business for only eight hours per day.
Some alcohol shops in Poland are currently open through the night.
Although EU countries are not immediately obliged to create legislation in response to the document, the EC will begin work on a new strategy to confront alcohol abuse this spring.
"We had consultations over this document and we didn't raise any objections to it," spokesperson for Poland's Health Ministry Agnieszka Golabek told the Dziennik Gazeta Prawna daily.
"Indeed, we decided that all these strategies and measures to reduce harm associated with alcohol consumption should be recommended for introduction in European countries," she said.
Leszek Wiwala, CEO of the Association of Employers in the Polish Spirits Industry, however, believes that stricter control over the sale of alcohol will not get rid of alcohol problems, and that it may actually lead to a boom for the black market.
"The new EU strategy is due to be finally completed by the end of the year," he noted, although in the alcohol industry many believe that WHO's stringent new proposals will not be approved by the EU parliament. (nh/pg)