In yesterday's Bulletin, it was reported that 369 terraces had been the target of fines issued by Palma police. The Majorca Restaurants Association gives a higher figure. Up to 18 September, there were fines for 416 terraces. In the whole of 2017 there were 287.
The association president, Alfonso Robledo, says that bar and restaurant owners feel as though they are being "persecuted" by the town hall and being fined "for minor matters". He stresses that he has no problem with sanctions being taken against business that contravene bylaws when there are clear issues of unfair competition. However, the likes of not exhibiting a licence are minor, yet the fines are steep - 750 euros. "We are small businesses and we cannot get burnt by silly little things that put jobs at risk." There was a time, Robledo explains, when some establishments operated without licences. This doesn't happen now. He implies, therefore, that the licences are in order, just that they are not on display.
Robledo is seeking a meeting with Mayor Noguera in order to request a modification to the new bylaw for the occupation of the public way, which has direct implications for terraces. Restaurant and bar businesses believe that terrace licences should be given on the basis of the number of tables and chairs and not on the number of square metres. He adds that many businesses are being fined because customers move their chairs so that they go outside the permitted limit. Under the new bylaw, which came into effect earlier this month, this problem will be aggravated because of a reduction in space.