Concerns over youth binge drinking. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


A quick cheap caña and a tapa could be coming to an end in Majorca and across the rest of Spain if the European Commission has its way.
The European Union is looking to increase taxes on beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages as the minimum rates to be applied by all member states have not been revised since 1992.
Earlier this month, the Commission launched a call for feedback on the EU framework governing excise duty rates for alcohol.

Current rules in this area, agreed by all Member States, set out minimum rates for alcohol products. These EU rules support the functioning of the Single Market by helping to avoid distortions of competition. They also provide added value in support of other EU priorities such as the fight against tax fraud and public health.

However, the rules around minimum excise duty rates for alcohol products have not been updated since 1992 and have not kept pace with inflation, the evolution of the market, consumption patterns or growing public health concerns. The rules require the Commission to regularly evaluate and report to the Council on the implementation.
And it appears that the regional governments, such as the Balearics, are backing a move to increase the price of alcohol and the age of purchase.

Spanish doctors and health professionals are calling on the Spanish Health Ministry to increase the price of alcoholic beverages, including wine and beer, and the drinking age, as well as strict control of points of sale in order to combat binge drinking, in its draft bill on the prevention of underage drinking.

The Ministry of Health and the Government Delegation for the National Plan on Drugs opened for public consultation the draft bill to protect minors from the negative effects of alcohol and “prevent activities and conduct aimed at promoting, favouring or facilitating its consumption”.

The Health Department intends to fight against binge drinking and thus seeks to promote “healthy lifestyle habits among minors and their education regarding the consumption of alcoholic beverages”, as detailed in the objectives of the law, which it intends to develop during this legislature and which does not distinguish wine or beer from other high-proof beverages.