Coming home after a successful short trip to Sweden. I’d have brought you a bottle of Glögg, the local Yuletide mulled wine, which is served everywhere outside in December. But of course EU regulation thwarted me.
While the shop at Stockholm’s Arlanda airport has a very extensive selection of drinks of all kinds, including about a dozen different varieties of excellent-looking Glögg, I wasn’t allowed to buy it. A discreet sign points out that it’s only available to people flying outside the EU. Why?
Well, the EU wanted to show how integrated it is, so scrapped the duty-free alcohol and tobacco allowances for ‘internal’ travellers. So the duty-free shop can sell it to people going to Russia or America, but not to me.
I pointed out that I’d be perfectly happy to pay the tax on it – but no dice. There’s obviously some regulation stopping me from doing that, too.
And, of course, you can’t take liquids through airport security (because some nutcase once tried to mix explosives in an airplane lavatory and blow himself and all the hated westerners to smithereens) so I couldn’t even buy the Glögg outside the airport and bring it through.
So sorry, I can’t give you a glass of warming winter Glögg. And they tell us that we’re part of the free world.