I was a staunch supporter of the bars and restaurants during their war with Palma City Council over city hall’s crusade to reduce the number and size of street terraces. On the eve of the State of Alarm being enforced, the council was out removing terraces and fining establishments who ignored the new rules.
Now, however, in a bid to get some much needed cash moving on the streets and inject some finance into the local economy and save jobs, the council has unloosed its belt and allowed terraces to expand and suspend all fiscal payments for bars and restaurants with terraces until the end of this year. The move was the biggest U-turn since the coalition came to power in Palma and it looks like terraces will be allowed to expand even further.
But, there’s a flip side to this. I know bars and restaurants have suffered during the lockdown, some of my friends who own bars have come extremely close to going under, in fact for many, the verdict is still out. But, some have become a bit greedy. Even my local has put his prices up, so I’ve told him I’m staging a boycott. I have no objection to helping the local economy, especially small businesses but I don’t expect to get ripped off. We’re all a bit strapped for cash. But more importantly, I don’t agree with the idea of being able to book terrace tables and then sit on them until closing time - there’s no room for casual passers by and that’s not fair.