Spending on alcohol in 2021 reached €12 billion in Poland, according to Eurostat data just published. That's roughly 2 percent of Poland's GDP. Spending on vodka, wine, or beer is also a pretty noticeable part of household budgets. So noticeable that it puts us in third place in the EU.
Is this 2 percent of GDP a little or a lot? By comparison, in 2021 Polish defense spending reached 2.2 percent of GDP. In short, we burned through as much money as we were spending on the army before the outbreak of war in Ukraine.
The Eurostat data is another warning signal. Alcohol prices in Poland are among the lowest in the EU, so consumption is rising. This has disastrous consequences for public health. And for the economy in general, although not quite everyone realizes it yet.