BAR owners in Palma have asked the Balearic government to pay out a collective compensation of €2million for losses acquired from the current restrictions enforced on the sector.
Representing the business owners, the Confederation of Business Associations (CAEB) say it is ’illegal’ that bars have been ordered to close at 11pm each night in the capital.
The union explained that on three occasions, the Supreme Court of Justice deemed that this closing time was illegal as 12am had been previously approved in April 2019 by Palma City Council.
CAEB warned that this amount will ‘increase exponentially’ if not settled immediately, since the ‘summer season had now begun with more revenue expected to be earned from an influx of tourists’.
The multi-million euro compensation was calculated by totting up how much money each bar has lost by closing one hour earlier.
Lawyer Miquel Planas, an advisor on the case, said that ‘unfortunately the people who will end up paying this compensation will be the citizens of Palma despite the government being completely responsible for it’.
He continued: “We have to stand up for what is right and protect the future of our local businesses.”
Bars and restaurants across the Balearic Islands were the worst hit under the COVID-19 pandemic and particularly since the start of this year, first operating under limited hours and then being told to close indefinitely for almost two months.
Once being allowed to reopen their doors, they then faced capacity constraints and the prohibition of the use of their indoors.
For Mallorca this meant a closure of 80% of its restaurants and bars since this proportion did not have a terrace.
Such restrictions put the sector in crisis and according to the Association for Small and Medium Sized Businesses (PINEM), since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, these businesses lost an average of 80% of their turnover, 30% of the workforce have were left unemployed and 40% of businesses permanently closed.
In March, the Balearic Employers’ Association also reported that bars and restaurants were only able to cover 30% of their expenses due to the capacity limits.
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