This Christmas shoppers across the Balearics will have the chance to win some of the 25 million pesetas worth of prizes on offer as part of this year's Christmas shopping campaign. For the first time ever, the Balearic government and Palma city council will be joining forces with the Christmas campaign kicking off next week and will continue until January 6, Three Kings. All of the region's commercial organisations and associations are taking part in the promotional drive, including Balearic bank Sa Nostra and the IBI Foundation. “Our shops are always close to you,” is the slogan for this festive season's promotion. Palma city council will be spending 20 million pesetas on the campaign and the Balearic government investing a further 30 million. President of the Balearic Institute for Commercial Investigation (IBI), Jaume Garcias, said that the fact that the council and government are co-operating is “very important.” The big novelty factor this year is the Christmas Game. A massive publicity campaign is to be launched with participating stores handing out cards to shoppers with which prizes of 1.000, 2.000 and 3.000 pesetas can be won instantly. Winners will also be put forward to a prize draw, to be held on December 18, with cash winnings of as much as one million pesetas up for grabs. Garcias said that holders of the “compra facil” cards will also be entitled to enter the Christmas game “this is to be the biggest festive publicity campaign the islands have ever experienced ,” he said. There are mixed expectations amongst the commercial sector this Christmas. Some are worried that many consumers will restrict their spending because of the global recession and a forecast economic down turn in the Balearics next year, while others are expecting a consumer “cash boom” ahead of the euro.

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