“Long Live Spain and Tobacco!”
Spain with Less Smoke: “Long Live Spain and Tobacco!”
Fernando J. Pérez, reporting from Marbella, January 4, 2011
The smell of Pacharán and cigars prevailed at dining hours yesterday at El Asador Guadalmina [The Guadalmina Steakhouse] in Marbella (Málaga), the first restaurant to declare non-compliance with the anti-tobacco law. Its proprietor, businessman José Eugenio Arias-Camisón from San Sebastián, posted two signs last Sunday announcing that the rule forbidding smoking in all closed public arenas “will not apply” to his “private business.”
Arias-Camisón took advantage of the posters to accuse the government of using the law “to cover up for seven years of massive destruction in Spain.”
In the steakhouse, between the alcohol, tobacco, and T-bones, one can breathe in the [stuffy] ambience of a clandestine assembly. The rebels were groups of men – although some fathers came with their sons – who displayed thick cigars in a gesture of the fight for liberty. “Long live Spain and tobacco!” shouted a young man upon leaving.
“Some clients have complained, but 90% of the people who come here are smokers, and the law damages us,” says Javier, the manager.
“It’s incredible that a leftist party would restrict liberty like this. We agree with the owner,” says Miguel, a local policeman and a non-smoker.
Not all the clients think the same: Bianca, three months pregnant and mother of two, was invited to eat here by her friends. “I didn’t come here to make them cut it out, but I’ve sent a denunciation with a photograph to Facua [Consumers in Action],” she affirmed.
El Asador Guadalmina [The Guadalmina Steakhouse] declares: With regard to the vigorous new ANTI-TOBACCO law (a “smokescreen” created by our government to cover up seven years of massive destruction in Spain), we would like to inform you that we are making use of what we understand to be our rights as a private business: said law will not apply in our establishment. We beg the pardon of anyone who feels harmed. (Photo by EFE)