Pernod-Ricard mothballs Czech production as spirits ban continues20 September 2012
Pernod-Ricard has halted its operations in the Czech Republic as the government ban on spirits sales continues.
The source of the poisonings has been traced to counterfeit spirits sold under the label of Hruska - a legitimate Czech distiller.
Meanwhile, Knut Erik Hovda, a Norwegian toxicologist drafted in by Czech authorities to administer an antidote to methanol poisoning has warned that the ban could backfire by pushing those intent on drinking spirits back on to the black market.
"The tourism industry is dependent on alcohol sales. In this situation, people are obtaining alcohol by other means and problems are only escalating," he said.
On Wednesday, Czech president Vaclav Klaus branded the ban "an unreasonable and exaggerated solution", blaming "absurdly high taxes" and "a fundamental failure of the state" to ensure safe spirits production for the situation.
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