How To Guides
- Childbirth & Education
- Legal Formalities
- Pensions & Benefits
- Property & Accommodation
Did you know...?
...you can learn Spanish at a variety of locations across Spain, online or residential and day courses in Spain?
Regardless of your standard, and whatever level you wish to reach Don Quijote has a program to suit your needs!
- Airports and Airlines Spain
- Paramount Theme Park Murcia Spain
- Corvera International Airport Murcia Spain
- USD weekly currency update- 21 October 2016
- When Expat Eyes Are Smiling
- Meet Wincham at The Homes, Gardens & Lifestyle Show, Calpe
- QROPS 2014
- Spain Increases IHT in Valencia & Murcia
- Removals to Spain v Exports from Spain
- The Charm of Seville
- Gibraltar Relations
- Retiro Park : Madrid
- Wincham announce opening of Marbella office
- Community Insurance in Spain
- Calendar Girls
- Considerations when Insuring your Boat in Spain
- QROPS – HMRC Introduces changes that create havoc in the market place
- QROPS – All Change From April 2012
Spanish bar owners fume over ban on smoking
Bar and restaurant owners in Spain, until now one of Europe's most smoker-friendly countries, fear that a ban on smoking in public places that takes effect this weekend will hit them hard and worsen the economic crisis.
"This will affect our business because people who come here like to have a coffee and a cigarette," said Fidel, a waiter in his 50s in a smoke-filled cafe in Madrid. "It's not the right time to change the law. We can change it when (the economy) improves, not now."
The ban, which took effect at midnight on January 2, is one of Europe's toughest, stopping smoking in all closed public spaces and in open spaces such as children's play areas and outside hospitals. Fines for breaking the ban range from a modest 30 euros to 600,000 euros.
"We should remember that more than 70 percent of Spain's population are non-smokers. So it is logical to think they will be more comfortable in bars when there is no tobacco smoke in them," Health Minister Leire Pajin told parliament when the law was approved earlier this month.
The Spanish Federation of Hostelry estimates the new law could lead to the loss of up to 350,000 jobs - unemployment is already 20 percent - as many Spaniards will stay at home rather than go without a cigarette with their coffee or beer in a bar.
At the same time the government, struggling to pay off a huge deficit during an economic slowdown, seems to be hoping the ban will not stop too many Spaniards from smoking.
Last month, among a battery of austerity measures, it announced a rise in tobacco tax which it hopes will bring in an extra 780 million euros a year.
Spain's Institute of Economic Research estimates bar turnover could fall by 10 % as a result of the ban.
The hostelry sector accounts for 7 % of gross domestic product and the government, trailing the main opposition party by about 15 points in opinion polls, can ill afford such losses as it struggles to create jobs and revive the economy.
Until now, bar owners could decide whether to allow smoking, depending on the size of their premises, while larger bars and restaurants had to have a designated smoking area.
Similar legislation in Ireland has had a limited economic effect.
Many Spaniards may well be inspired to try to give up smoking, but some, such as 50-year-old barman Julian Escudero, believe any effects will be short-lived or negligible.
"Maybe at the beginning there will be a downturn (in business) but later things will stabilise," he said.
Latest News & Stories
- Thousands of Dogs and Owners March Against Animal Cruelty
- Margallo Sparks Tensions, Rajoy Gives Assurances
- Poll Reveals PP Coalition Victory in THIRD election
- Smoking in Spain and the Law
- How to Apply for Free State Healthcare in Spain
- The 'EHIC' Card Explained