Putin Calls for Vodka Monopoly
Central planning comes to the Russian alcohol industry:
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has called for a return to a state monopoly on vodka production, to cut the many thousands of alcohol-related deaths.
Since the Soviet Union’s collapse, hundreds of little-known brands of vodka – Russia’s favourite tipple – appeared to meet a $9bn a year market.
But analysts believe a quarter of that total is illegal low-quality vodka.
Mr Putin said poor quality alcohol was contributing to the deaths of some 40,000 Russians each year.
On the bright side, at least he didn’t advocate prohibition.