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Alko, originally Alkoholiliike, is the Finnish state-owned alcohol monopoly. Alko has the legal monopoly to sell all alcoholic beverages, except low alcohol drinks, which have less than 13% alcohol. In practice that is 4.7%, because a special permit is needed for selling 4.7%-13% alcohol. Alko used to have a complete control over production, too, but now they only have the retail monopoly, thanks to the EU. However, the state-owned production company Altia Group is an important producer.

It used to have a complete control of the market, but now private import corporations are legal. On the other hand, they do decide what is sold, and they have set up a besserwisser board to dictate what Finns should drink. There are some ways to circumvent this, which are presented by Alko as if this was a bad thing.

The prices are at about four times the general European prices. Thanks to Estonia joining the EU, the government had to drop the tax on alcohol significantly to curtail import. The prices are only about two times as high as in there. E.g. Captain Morgan 0,7 L ~20 €.

The price tags always read the price, price per liter, grams of pure alcohol per liter, percentage of alcohol and sometimes grams of sugar per liter. There you can see how much value for your money you get.

Alko was founded exactly like Vinmonopoliet of Norway: when the prohibition ended, a monopoly was set up instead. The company was split into retailer Alko and Altia Group when joining the EU, and as a result, Altia is no longer affiliated with Alko.

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