Spain has always been associated with sun, sea and of course not forgetting the much-enjoyed sangria, amongst all sorts of other pleasant alcoholic beverages to pass the time with.
But Spain is no different to the rest of Europe and is quickly facing up to its responsibilities in battling irresponsible alcohol consumption and its consequences, especially within its young population.
Binge drinking, especially in teenagers, has been a significantly highlighted problem over the last few years in Europe.
A recent European survey of 35 countries studied the drinking, smoking and drug habits amongst teenagers, this being the biggest study to date.
The survey revealed ''chronic'' drinking problems in 15 and 16-year-olds, leading to an assortment of issues ranging from unwanted pregnancies to serious health problems.
In a statement after a similar survey took place in 2006, Alcohol Concern’s chief executive in the UK said, "Far too many lives are lost to alcohol misuse, and yet the evidence suggests that many of these deaths could be prevented if governments, including our own, took a few simple steps."
An announcement made by Trinidad Jiménez, the Spanish Minister for Health, stating she is preparing serious measures against under age drinking, should therefore be warmly welcomed.
In addition to this and following in the footsteps of Sevilla, Cádiz, Valencia, Bilbao and Madrid, Malaga City has now decided to ban the ‘botellon’ weekend drinking parties in line with the new law passed recently banning alcohol consumption in the streets.
The ‘botellon’ was initially given a specific area near the port in Malaga, three years ago, in an attempt to contain drinking in outdoor public places. However, the street drinking parties have become cause for concern, as plans are currently underway to create measures intended to reduce the consumption of alcohol in the city.