The duty-free perk began as a concession to long-distance seafarers. Its postwar rise owes more to loophole-spotting than economic sense. Among those who gain most are those same tobacco and alcohol industries that governments are usually keen to punish. The Commission's own studies suggest that the transport lobby has exaggerated likely losses. Officially, the duty-free lobby is only pushing for a reprieve of five years while the EU sorts out a replacement regime.
But the vote on abolition was taken eight years ago. The businesses have already had plenty of warning. Industry hopes of a last-minute stay of execution still seem overly optimistic. Under EU law, it would take a rare show of unanimity by member states to reverse the original resolution. Big decisions are looming on EU spending, and some politicians reckon it's no time to be seen yielding to public pressure.
In fact, savvy companies are already assuming defeat. Baltic ferries are planning to include more stopovers in non-EU Norway or Estonia, where duty free will survive. Eurotunnel is seeking more outside retailers to take over some floor space. Retail director Bruce McKendrick actually welcomes the change: "It will mean we see some economic sense return to the marketplace.
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Coffee drinks Energy drinks. Category Commons WikiProject Food and drink. Alcohol and health. Short-term effects of alcohol consumption Long-term effects of alcohol On memory Subjective response to alcohol. Romans - [It is] good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor [any thing] whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. Isaiah - Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Isaiah - Woe unto [them that are] mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: Luke - The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners! Isaiah - Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, [that] they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, [till] wine inflame them!
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