Joan Collins
SOME 80 percent of the bars, restaurants, cafes, function rooms and discos of more than 100 square metres on the islands have already been adapted for the national “antitobacco law”, which states that smoking and non smoking areas must be physically separated. The other 20 percent of these establishments will make the changes after the end of the Summer season. This was confirmed by Francisco Martinez, President of the Bars and Cafeterias section of the Restaurant Owners Association which belongs to the CAEB (the Confederation of Business Associations); Pedro Vidal from the Association of Balearic Function Rooms and Joan Miralles, President of the Catering section of PIMEM (Small and Medium Sized Businesses Association). At the beginning of August, the President of the National Committee for Prevention of Tobacco Addiction, Rodrigo Cordoba, criticised the “unwillingness on the part of the Spanish catering sector to comply with the law. What they are trying to do is to get the Government to give them a period of grace by saying that a great number of these establishments have not been able to get the work done”. Francisco Martinez answered Cordoba by saying that almost 100 percent of the Catering Associations in the CAEB had adapted their premises for both the national and regional law, and at the same time reproached him by saying “the problems which some establishments suffer in adapting to this law stem from the fact that it is a very difficult law to comply with”. The amount of time given by the Spanish Government for the adaptation to the law of premises of more than 100 square metres run out on September 1, although the Balearic Government, CAEB and PIMEM have all repeatedly asked for an extension of this deadline, reminding the Government that at this time the islands are at the height of their tourist season. To date, the Spanish Government has not replied to these pleas.
The Balearic Ministry of Health's inspection services, with the cooperation of the Ministries for Tourism and Public Works, have done 230 inspections on the islands to see if bars of less than 100 square metres are complying with both the national and regional laws. To date they have reported a total of 93 establishments and imposed eight penalties.
Bartomeu Jaume, regional coordinator for the Drug Dependency Department said that the fact that the islands are leading the adaptation to the national law is due to the regional law, “which came into force six months before the national one”. At the same time he highlighted the fact that the business sector “have demonstrated a great willingness, collaboration and compliance in the adaptation to this law”.


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