The past two weeks of fuel protests, blockades and demonstrations in the Balearic Islands have cost the region's businesses at least 1'000 million pesetas. According to the Chamber of Commerce, the PIMEM small business association and the Provincial Association of Maritime Companies (APEAM) the fuel protests have costs the region a fortune in losses. The President of APEAM, Antonio Gravalos, said yesterday that the strike was a “catastrophe” for the merchant shipping sector. Gravalos hopes that by Monday the situation will have fully returned to normal. The Chamber of Commerce and PIMEM said that the transport strike and even the 12-hour taxi strike had had a very negative effect on local business and industry and the eventual total in losses will pass the 1'000 million peseta mark. But the gloom of the winter of discontent in the Balearics is not lifting. Yesterday, with the two main unions backing the national shop strike next Tuesday, Balearic Port Authority staff mounted a protest outside the authority headquarters and threatened to block all of the island's port for two days next month unless the authority agrees to discuss wage and working condition improvements.