Italy and Bulgaria first to complain against alcohol minimum pricing
Several countries have now have lodged its objections to the minimum pricing of alcohol proposed by the UK earlier this year.
These objections will delay the consultation process till 27th December.
Plans for a minimum price per unit of alcohol in the UK are strongly opposed by the drinks industry and it is feeling more confident about crushing the measure: "It's 50/50 now whereas before the odds were stacked against us" (quote from senior insider of just-drinks.com)
Throughout the summer letters have been sent by alcohol producers to governments across Europe trying to influence them to oppose the minimum pricing, hoping especially for the wine producing countries to attack the minimum pricing plans.
Paul Skehan Director General of European Spirits Organisation was reported saying: "If you think of the counties where the effects of this will be most keenly felt then it tend to be producers of wine, which tends to have a lower cost vase than anything you're going to find in Scotland (...) So it's not terribly surprising that the Italian and the Bulgarians have come in. Others, like Spain, could come in, but we're not confident as were about Italy" (quote given to just-drinks.com)
With minimum pricing of alcohol proving to be an extremely contentious issue the case is likely to reach the European Court of Justice.
To find out more read:
Taxation and Pricing section