GENERAL apathy in the high street.

THE summer sales finally got underway yesterday, three weeks later than in the past and shopkeepers were split over the pros and cons to the change in Balearic legislation. The summer sales this year did not get off with the frantic bang they have in the past, there were no massive queues outside Palma stores and the heart of the capital was relatively quiet early yesterday morning. Many shopkeepers were not surprised by the general apathy to the late summer sales. Not only is the summer well underway and many people away on holiday, as many shopkeepers pointed out, it is the end of the month and people have not got too much money left. The majority said that the sales should have started, as used to be the norm, during the first week of July, as they have done on the mainland - which is where hundreds of people have been going over the past three weeks for the sales instead of waiting in the Balearics. The general lack of interest was clearly evident on day one of the great summer sale yesterday, few shops were busy and many customers were just having a look around, after nothing in particular. No one was rushing for the bargain of the summer which they have been keeping their eye on since the end of the winter sales. There were no hoards of tourists either, which comes as no surprise to the commercial sector but will to the Balearic government who decided to delay the sales in order for shop keepers to cash in on the summer tourist industry.