Sweden: Caught in a Drought

When 40 years of liquor rationing* ended in 1955, most Swedes laid in ample reserve stocks, vowing never to be caught short again. But there they were, with cupboards bare last week, amidst the direst shortage since the height of government controls.

Trouble for the hard-drinking Swedes began when foremen of the State Wine and Liquor Monopoly distilleries went out on strike four weeks ago. The government declined their demands for longer vacations. As a result, the distilleries closed up tight, and the country began to dry up fast. Last week wines, whiskies and liqueurs were all but gone,...

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