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Demand for spirits of dubious origin dropping

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Prague, Aug 1 (CTK) – Czechs’ demand for spirits of unknown or dubious origin has decreased and their offer has been considerably limited, too, the government says in its draft state final account.

The behaviour of some consumers has changed. More than in the past, they prefer buying alcohol from reliable sources, such as small or retail shops.

It has been a long-term trend since the methanol case of lethal bootleg spirits in the autumn of 2012.

The government cites figures to prove this trend.

The total income of excise tax on alcohol increased by 6 percent year-on-year in 2014. The state collected 6.8 million crowns in excise tax.

However, the excise tax collecting was affected by a decreasing liquor consumption, which was primarily caused by rising prices.

On the contrary, the law on compulsory stamping of alcohol, which also introduced an obligatory registration of its distributors, had a positive effect.

Yet spirits made of denatured alcohol still appear in the Czech Republic, though to a lower extent, mainly in the Moravia-Silesia region, north Moravia.

The methanol affair erupted in September 2012 after some people died of methanol poisoning in Moravia. Until February 2014, 48 people died after consuming bootleg alcohol and several dozen were intoxicated, some of whom with permanent health impairment, including blindness.

The authorities later temporarily banned the hard liquor sales in the Czech Republic to prevent farther fatalities.

($1=24.648 crowns)

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