News in Brief

Written by on December 14, 2010 in Tenerife News - No comments

News in Brief New-car sales dipin Spanish sector

SPAIN experienced a drop in new car registrations to 64,515 units last month, against the 82,000 logged in November 2009.

These latest figures, released on Wednesday by Spain’s Automobile Producer Association, ANFAC, showed a year-on-year decline of 25.5%.

Yet, in the same 11 months in 2010, a total of 913,073 cars were registered, which was a 5.9% increase against the same period last year.

Anti-smoking amendments

The fight from the Spanish Government to introduce tougher anti-smoking legislation for the New Year continues, with the Partido Popular attempting to block parts of the legislation in the Senate, with the help of the Catalan party CiU abstaining.

The PP approved an amendment which would allow for the creation of smokers zones of up to 30% in bars, and want the requirements for the establishing of a smokers club to be weakened. An amendment to delay the whole package until July next year was also approved.

The PP has accepted the restriction that workers would not have to enter the smokers’ areas, meaning that customers would have to serve themselves and then enter the ‘rooms or cubicles’ to smoke.

The tougher legislation with a total ban of smoking in closed public spaces, including bars, has already been passed in Congress and will now return there given the amendments passed in the Senate.

It’s a blow to the Minister for Health, Leire Paj?n, who went to the Senate on Wednesday to argue the Government’s case, using a letter from the World Health Organisation which has already congratulated the Spanish Government for the proposed tougher law. The letter says the arguments of the services sector, hotels, restaurants and bars, about negative economic consequences are false. The hostelry workers in Spain have estimated a total ban on smoking will result in the loss of 150,000 jobs.

The Minister is insisting however that the Government will not accept the amendments from the Senate and that the legislation will proceed as is, to bring in the new rules from January 2. She has described the idea of smoking cubicles as ‘an excuse not to comply with the law’ and argues that they would keep the ‘omnipresence’ of smoke. She said that health organisations have calculated that 56,000 die in Spain each year, 3,000 of them from passive smoking.

Meanwhile a private club has opened in Paracuellas del Jarama in Madrid which allows the smoking of marihuana. Among its 80 members are the chronically ill, some with cancer, who can smoke to reduce their pain. The club is legal because it is a private association. Membership costs 130 €.