THE government is standing by its new anti-smoking law which is going to come into effect on January 2 and yesterday categorically ruled out any U-turn despite widespread opposition from the restaurant sector and even some parts of the medical world.

This week in the Senate, it was proposed by the opposition Partido Popular party that smoking cubicles be permitted in bars and restaurants as well as the new smoking ban in bars, restaurants and certain public places, be postponed until July next year.

But, the government made it clear yesterday that it will not be giving in to pressure over the ban which will prohibit smoking in children's playgrounds and outside hospitals as well.

The hostelry industry has been trying to fight the ban all year with regular protests in Madrid but there is going to be no back tracking by Madrid and the bar and restaurant sector fears that it is going to lose millions of euros in revenue as a result.

The hostelry sector even fears that the law may force some establishments to close as it is being introduced in the middle of the recession which is already pushing many businesses to the brink.


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