Staff Reporter THE restaurant owners association, part of the Small and Medium-sized Business Federation of Majorca (PYMEM), claimed yesterday that government criticism of the industry's pricing structure was unjustified. The association demanded that instead of criticising the rise in prices in bars, cafés and restaurants, which act as a complementary service to the tourist industry, the government should reduce the taxes that association members have to pay to keep their businesses going. It is this, the association claims, that will enable small business owners to stop their prices from rising too high, too quickly. Its president, Antoni Más, condemned the words of economy ministry director general, María Marqués, who had urged the sector of bars, cafés and restaurants to contain their prices so as not to “destabilise the market”. Más believes that the government is not acknowledging reality by confining its criticism to the complementary offer sector, when hoteliers are simultaneously lowering their prices in order to maintain their profit margins. Más admitted that some businessmen in the bar/café/restaurant industry had taken advantage of the freedom that the market allowed for individual pricing. In order to deal with this abuse, he asked the Balearic government to create an island-wide quality structure which could be administered and managed by the ministry of tourism. A specially recognised symbol, he suggested, could be awarded to those establishments which offer an outstandingly favourable quality/price ratio for their services and products. “It is only in this way that control can be effectively maintained over prices and to avoid outright abuse such as customers being charged 3 euros for a coffee in some of Majorca's coastal resorts”, explained Mas, who claimed profits this year were down by 30 percent.