AROUND 400 hospitality business owners and workers protested outside Torrevieja’s Town Hall this morning(January 22) over the enforced closure of their sector.
The crowd expressed their anger to the city’s mayor, Eduardo Dolon, who said that he could not do a lot about the situation.
The Valencian Government ordered yesterday’s hospitality shutdown for at least a fortnight due to record-high COVID-19 infections in the region.
Today’s non-sanctioned demonstration was organised via social media and lasted for around an hour in the Plaza de la Constitucion.
Torrevieja’s Policia Local and the Guardia Civil, along with plain-clothed officers, were brought in to ensure there was no trouble.
Bar and restaurant owners were joined by workers who carried banners proclaiming that the industry is ‘Not to blame for infections’ and ‘Don’t demonise hospitality’.
Chants echoed around the square of “We want to work’.
The city’s Partido Popular mayor, Eduardo Dolon, came out of the Town Hall to speak to the protestors for around 30 minutes.
He appealed to the crowd to socially-distance and said that most of the financial aid for hospitality is the responsibility of the Valencian Government, and not Torrevieja council.
Dolon added that the planned 2021 municipal budget has got a €500,000 allocation to help local bars and restaurants.
Some of the protestors remonstrated with the mayor that he was on a €70,000 salary while at best they were on the ERTE furlough scheme or on unemployment benefit, or even without any kind of income.