Rising alcohol prices could hit UK revelers heading to Spain for a boozy break

The weather could be called binge drinking for British holidaymakers in Spain, with the country pushing to implement EU tax increases on alcohol. Health professionals are urging Spanish government officials to raise the price of alcoholic beverages and raise the legal drinking age, in a bill aimed at preventing underage drinking.

Included is a plan to raise the prices of alcoholic beverages, including wine and beer, in a bid to call last orders on beverage-fueled tourism. Minimum excise rates for alcoholic products have not been updated in the EU since 1992.

This means the current rules “have not kept pace with inflation, changing market conditions, consumer habits or growing public health concerns”, the European Commission said. She called for a response on current alcohol excise duty rates with many countries. encouraging an increase.

Current rules agree minimum rates for alcohol products across the EU to avoid distortions of competition. Currently, Spain levies one of the lowest tax rates in Europe, collecting around €2.69 per 700ml bottle of spirits. By way of comparison, Italy receives €2.90, Germany €3.65 and France €5.05.

For beer, Spain charges even less – taxing €0.03 per 330ml – well below the EU average of 14 cents. The country’s cheap drinks are one of the main attractions for British tourists who like to party with beach resorts like Benidorm and Magaluf favored by revelers.

The EU has asked members for their views on its current alcohol tax system, which closes on July 4. Authorities in Mallorca have already announced a crackdown on “excessive tourism” in Magaluf, including restrictions aimed at stamping out alcohol abuse and drunkenness by visitors. .

Balearic Tourism Minister Iago Negueruela said last year that the region was preparing for more quality rather than quantity of tourists following the Covid pandemic. He said: “We want to eradicate the excess tourism that has caused so much damage to our destination.

“The islands manage to attract a kind of visitor who spends more on their holidays and therefore supports the profitability of the sector without it being based on numbers alone.”

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