An illegal street seller in Palma. | P. PELLICER


The Palma city council is under growing pressure to allow shops to open on Sundays. At the moment only retailers in the Jaime III/ Borne areas can open their doors on Sundays but there are calls for change.

A series of meetings between shopkeepers and the council have already taken place but there has been no accord. It makes perfect sense to me to allow shops to open when they want rather than when the council dictates. The biggest shopping centres in the city (Fan and Porto Pi) are both closed on Sundays along with the big El Corte Ingles on the Avenidas. Valuable trade is being lost because of outdated laws which do not take into account the growing popularity of internet shopping and the fact that people have more leisure time at the weekend.

Then there are cruise ship passengers and tourists. It is rather outrageous, during the summer months, that three cruise ships will dock in Palma and only a handful of shops are open. Tourists are missing a golden opportunity to stock up on some souvenirs and retailers are losing vital revenue. The biggest stumbling block appears to be the need to protect the smaller shops which can’t afford to open at the weekends because of a lack of staff. This is a rather senseless defence because I am sure that it would be far more beneficial to open on a Sunday than on a Monday or Tuesday.

It should be a case of being able to shop when you want not when the council allows. The previous socialist-led coalition government were experts on regulations; everything was regulated even how many cruise ships could visit the port of Palma at any one time. Far too much red tape and businesses were paying the price. If the council wants to do something then they should crackdown on illegal street sellers. The area below the Cathedral has been transformed into a “fake goods” paradise.

Their customers are cruise ship passengers and they are open all hours. It is ridiculous that they are allowed to continue selling illegally but shops just a few hundred metres away can’t open on a Sunday because of council regulations. The city council needs to get its priorities right.