Shop keepers in the Balearics are hoping that the summer sales which start later this month will help to lift the gloom on the high street. However, the fact that the summer sales here start two weeks later than the rest of the country has done little to boost traders' spirits and despite rising heavy fines from the Balearic government, many have started their summer sales. Yesterday in Palma a number of shops were advertising special summer discounts and offers - despite being prohibited by the local government. But traders feel that unless they start the sales now, they will lose out. Delaying the start of the sales was a controversial decision adopted by the Balearics government two years ago. But last summer, hundreds of eager bargain hunters, not prepared to wait, flew to the mainland, where prices are lower to start with, and spent their sales budgets elsewhere. The local government hoped that delaying the sales would enable shop keepers to cash in on the tourists. That did not happen last year and certainly is not going to happen this year - considering that there are thousands less holidaymakers.

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