Hungary has the lowest price level for alcoholic drinks in the European Union, according to a new Eurostat comparison using last year’s data.
In the EU’s statistical office’s analysis, price levels were compared with the EU average price-level index of 100. Hungarian prices are on average only 73% of the EU average, followed by Romania (74), and Bulgaria (81).
In contrast, Finland (with a price level index of 193), Ireland (181), and Sweden (166) scored the highest price levels. This means that the average price of alcoholic drinks in Finland is more than two and a half times higher than in Hungary.
Meanwhile, another figure very high in Hungary is alcoholism. While according to the Statistical Office some 475,000 people undergo alcoholism-related treatments, other relevant experts put the number of alcoholics to around 800,000-1,000,000 (some 8-10% of the population). According to well-known toxicologist Gábor Zacher, some 30,000 (roughly 22-23% of the total number of yearly deaths) die annually due to alcohol-related illnesses. However, the Fidesz government liberalized homemade pálinka production, while PM Orbán called the famed spirit a ‘basic foodstuff.’
featured image illustration via Tibor Rosta/MTI