Much to the fury and frustration to hundreds of bar and restaurant owners, not to mention scores of residents and visitors to Palma, the city council went ahead with its crackdown on terraces with a large number of establishments removing their terraces on the eve of the lockdown.
Now, the council has performed a major U-turn.
Yesterday it announced another financial aid package to help small businesses in the capital and one of them is exempting bars and restaurants from payment to “occupy the public way” (i.e. the terrace tax) until the end of the year.
Whether this is a total U-turn and suggests that the council is rethinking its ban on terraces in certain areas remains to be seen, but at least those establishments which have been allowed to maintain their terraces will not have to pay for the privilege until next year.
This means that, once bars and restaurants are allowed to open again, jobs, to a certain extent will be guaranteed while those who have lost their terraces will have to crunch the numbers to work out how to emerge from hibernation and try and maintain their workforce despite a drop in business due to lockdown and the reduction in outside tables to be waited on.
At the same time, city hall will have to start handling piles of lawsuits lodged against them by angry bars and restaurants who have lost their terraces. Just back down all together.