Barcelona has long been a city well known for its bustling nightlife. Over the past 10 years students on the Erasmus program have flocked to Barcelona in huge numbers.

With the recent credit crunch and Spain falling into a recession the nightlife in Barcelona has become a very competitive business, with clubs and bars fighting for every client.

El Periodico reports that free alcohol events have become the most powerful magnet for bars and nightclubs in order to increase their business in Barcelona during the week in recent months.

Several well-known establishments in the local area are organizing (along with their promoters) one hour specials whereby, there is an open bar with free drinks and some at a discounted price.

The aim is to increase the business not only by pulling in a younger audience but primarily hundreds of American students.

This introduction, has unleashed a wave of criticism as you can imagine from employers who feel that it degrades the nightlife of the city and that it can takes months to make sure it operates properly.

It is also felt that this will (due to the current crisis) encourage a greater alcohol consumption for those suffering to take advantage of this and ultimately will increase alcohol related tradgedies and further crimes.

The general direction of Public Health of the Government admits that there is no legislation that does not allow a bar to offer free drinks or gifts.