Germany and the Czech Republic say they will join forces to block the European Commission’s plans to raise minimum duties on beer. The rise would add one euro cent to the price of a half litre of beer. But this needs the unanimous approval of the EU’s 25 member states. The Commission argues that the move is necessary to combat alcoholism across the EU.
Prague rejected this, saying in that case, why isn’t wine covered? The rate for wine remains at zero under the new proposal. Yet for other categories, it would increase to 2.45 euros per hectolitre for beer, and 720 euros per hectolitre for spirits. This reflects a some 30% increase from levels set 14 years ago.