Prohibition in Finland

Finns are very sincere people. They say what they think.

The casually thrown phrase "let's have a beer sometime" means that you will really meet again soon

from Finland travel portal

On December 4, 1917, the Finnish Senate signs the Declaration of Independence of Finland. On December 6, the document receives support from the Parliament of the country. This is how the Republic of Finland came into being. On December 18, she was recognized by her eastern neighbor, Soviet Russia.

Just a year and a half later, on the first day of the summer of 1919, an event took place in Finland that was quite comparable in importance to the acquisition of state sovereignty. Prohibition comes into effect. He introduces a complete ban on the production and sale of alcoholic beverages with a strength of over 2%. Alcohol can only be used for scientific, technical and medical purposes. The inhabitants of a small northern country wanted to gain "independence from the bottle."

The Finns were far from the first in the ranks of fighters for a sober lifestyle. They stood in one line with both the Americans and the Russians. And the result of the experiment was the same.

The topic of the material is Finnish pictures of the story of countering the green snake.

Finnish savvy

Since the Finns did not want to give up the "fire water" (as well as representatives of other nationalities in whose countries anti-alcohol restrictions were introduced, they did not want to), the issue of smuggling, means and methods of transportation became acute. In this situation, the inhabitants of Suomi have shown remarkable ingenuity. The coveted alcohol was delivered by sea from the closest neighbors - Germans, Poles, Estonians. The delivery vehicle is "alcohol torpedoes".

A clever device with a militaristic name was tin cans linked into a long "torpedo", towed by a "friendly" ship. When an "unfriendly" ship appeared on the horizon, the gallant smugglers unhooked the connecting cable and the structure with the precious cargo went under the water. The main weight pulling the "torpedo" to the bottom was a half-open container with salt, which was on the bow of the craft. The sailors clearly measured the latitude and longitude of the sunken canisters and calmly followed on.

After a certain time, the salt dissolved in sea water, Archimedes' law inevitably worked and the canisters floated up. In calm weather, finding them for the "tug" did not present the slightest problem. "Torpedo" again hitched to the ship and continued its journey to the Finnish coast.

On the spot, alcohol was poured into twelve-liter tanks or 0.25 liter bottles. At the sight of such checkers, the gaze of the harsh northerners warmed up and they affectionately called them "sparrows".

Finnish numbers

Every year, 6 million tons of alcohol were “transshipped” to Finland (hereinafter the source of information.

The volume of alcohol seized by the local police grew steadily from year to year and in 1930 exceeded 1 million liters.

80% of the crimes recorded in Suomi after 1922 were attributed to the violation of Prohibition.

"Miracles" were shown not only by illegal carriers and moonshiners, but also by Finnish medicine. There is information that doctors prescribed prescriptions to patients for the issuance of 1.3 million liters of pure alcohol per year. The nation was “saved” as best they could.

Finnish folklore

Little Finns played in the courtyards not only in hide and seek, war games, etc. One of the kids' favorite pastimes was playing police and (!) Smugglers. You yourself understand on whose side were the children's sympathies.

And adult Finns studied the "Aesopian" language for restaurants, cafes and eateries. Using a set of defined terms, it was possible to place a successful order for a "very, very" strong tea or coffee.

According to psychologists, thirteen years of alcohol abstinence have led to irreversible changes in the national character and even the gene pool of the Finns. Sometimes it seems that the craving for strong alcoholic beverages is inherent in them almost from birth. It is possible that this is an overly strong and controversial conclusion, but when you see "cheerful", unsteadily on their feet, groups of tourists from Finland somewhere in St. Petersburg or Vyborg, you begin to understand that there is still some truth in such statements ...

Finnish referendum

By the end of 1931, the Finnish government decided to retreat. With a craving to drink and forget, it was necessary to conclude at least a worthy truce. But first, he will ask the opinion of the people. Democracy is democracy.

On the eve of the new year, December 29-30, 31st, a referendum on the fate of Prohibition is being held in the country. The citizens said clearly: "It's time to finish." For the abolition of restrictions came 546 thousand people, against 217 thousand. The overweight is more than 71 percent. The poll was attended by 44% of Finns who had the right to vote. Parliament with 120 mandates versus 45 promptly approved the results of the will of citizens.

Finnish riddle

Tuesday morning April 5, 1932. On the streets of cities in the Finnish Republic Festive mood. At 10.00, 48 state-owned wine and vodka shops of Oy Alkoholiliike Ab or, simply, Alko are to open their doors. The police are happy (the police are also Finns and people too) to regulate the queues that have arisen right on the sidewalks long before the cherished hour. The sufferers line up in columns of two people in a row, it is necessary to give passage to the pavements and other citizens. Nobody canceled the street order. Even on such a bright day.

… 9.58, 9.59, 10.00! Doors open, retail outlets accept the first buyers. At 10.05 am, the first owner of two bottles of alcohol "falls out" from the store on Kaisaniemenkatu Street in the center of Helsinki. He will raise them high above his head - the street crowd rejoices and shouts: "Hurray!"

The assortment is still small, but the Finns are happy. The greatest demand is for cheap Estonian vodka. Someone opts for more expensive cognac and whiskey. Some are even interested in Madeira! Forgotten, dear to heart and ear names.

And here is the promised riddle. What does the digital dialing 5-4-3-2-1-0 mean? Can you figure it out? That's right, the exact date and time of the actual repeal of Prohibition of 1919.

Finnish results

What has Finland achieved in the fight for a sober lifestyle? Are Finns drinking less? Maybe. In the list of "most drinking nations", according to the results of 2013, they almost close the second world ten - 19th place, with an indicator of 9, 1 liter of pure ethanol per capita. Data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In twentieth place, by the way, the States. The leaders are Lithuanians, the "honorable" second step is for the Russians. The Finns are one line behind the other Scandinavians Danes (9.5 liters), but are ahead of the Norwegians and Swedes. Iceland is far behind.

The lifting of restrictions did not instantly destroy alcohol-based contraband. The difference between the price of a bottle of vodka in a Finnish and, for example, a Russian store, was (and remains) too great. A new type of cross-border travel has emerged - "alcohol tourism", which peaked in the 1970s and the first half of the 80s.

Finnish monopoly

The undoubted achievement of the profile Finnish state regulation was the state monopoly on the production and trade of alcoholic beverages. Until now, they are carried out by the same Alko.

At the beginning of 2014, the Alko chain in Finland consisted of 353 stores and an official online store.

In November 2015, the European Court of Justice upheld Alko's right to monopoly trade in alcohol in the country and rejected claims by several European exporters for duty-free supply of alcohol to Finland.

The Finns carefully preserve the parity achieved back in 1932.