Germany’s health ministers will discuss a possible smoking ban in public places this week after chancellor, Angela Merkel, suggested the measure. The Business says Germany is one of the last bastions in Europe for smokers, and restaurant patrons will always find an ashtray on their table. One small restaurant and bar manager, who is not named, says a ban could break the back of German gastronomy. Giovanni Ponzi, proprietor of Da Claudio, Italian restaurant, in Bad Homburg, a Frankfurt suburb, sees little danger to his own business but says he hopes the Government will allow restaurants to offer smoking areas or rooms. A fifth of the adult population smokes. The Business 25/06/06 page 8