No more 'happy hours' for Spain's Catalonia region

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The Independent Online

"Happy hours" and special promotions of alcoholic drinks have been banned in northeastern Spain by local authorities in a crackdown on late-night drinking.

"This law adapts to the new social reality" in bars and nightclubs, which encourage irresponsible drinking through promotions, said a spokesman for the regional parliament of Catalonia, which approved the measure on Wednesday.

These promotions include "happy hours", in which two drinks are sold the price of one, or "open bars", in which customers can drink as much as they like for the price of entry.

The promotions are especially attractive to the millions of foreign tourists who come to Spain's Mediterranean coast every year.

The minister of health in the Catalan government, Marina Geli, described the law as "the most important" in the region since 1990.