SHOPS on the mainland have already started their Winter sales giving consumers a lift ahead of the busy and expensive Three Kings holiday, when the majority of Spaniards give their gifts. But not in the Balearics. The shop sales will take place after the Three Kings meaning that there isn´t much chance of finding a bargain in Majorca before next week. This is a rather scandalous state of affairs and the fault can be placed firmly with the local government who continue to “manage” shop sales and opening times. Surely, shop owners should be able to decided when they open and what items they can discount. Why does some civil servants have to get involved? I am glad to see that some shops have already decided to bypass government legislation  and are discounting items but it is only a few.  Spanish television news yesterday was full of reports of shoppers snapping up bargains on the mainland but not in the Balearics. All shops are feeling the pinch at the moment and consumer confidence is still poor. The local government should be working with the retailers rather than introducing silly legislation. At the moment a large number of small shops in the city are closing their doors for business. In fact I have never seen so many empty shop fronts. The government needs to liberalise the high street and scrap ancient opening laws and by-laws. If you want to open all hours at least you should be able to do so. But not in the Balearics, I am afraid to say.