SPAIN: Government accused of confusion over wine
Wine producers in Spain are accusing the government of taking contradictory positions regarding wine consumption. In response to falling sales, the Agriculture Ministry has launched a campaign promoting wine as Spain's national drink of nutritional, historic and cultural value.
At the same time, the Interior Ministry has included wine on its blacklist in its crackdown on the botellon, the fashion for drinking alcohol in the street.
The wine industry has protested against the so-called "dry law," claiming it unfairly penalises the consumption of wine over other drinks. The industry believes the government should educate consumers about wine's traditional place in the Mediterranean diet.
The Agriculture Ministry has drafted a law in relation to the wine industry which could allow for public support for campaigns aimed at promoting and encouraging moderate consumption.
Agriculture Minister Miguel Arias Canete has pledged his support to wine producers in their bid to modify the drinking legislation. The government has been accused of having contradictory and confused views and policies regarding the problems of alcohol misuse and the role wine has to play in society and the economy.
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