THE traditional image of the promenade of Can Picafort, lined with bar tables, will soon be a thing of the past, as the central ministry of the environment has ordered them all to be withdrawn.
The order, issued for the second time in a month, backs up a report by the Balearic environment ministry claiming that the chairs and tables occupy an area of transit and public domain.
The town council had lodged an appeal and allowed the tables to remain on the promenade until it was settled, but the final order was delivered to Can Picafort's council representative Miquel Ordinas yesterday, two days after inspectors from the Coastal Authority visited the area.
Ordinas confirmed the inspection which took two days, and 36 bars were found to be obstructing the pavements. They face fines for occupying the promenade without permission.
The town council now has to decide whether or not it will continue to allow the bars to occupy the promenade despite the ban, as it did last season, or if it will order the bars to remove their tables from the promenade. Ordinas said that he would have talks with the council's legal advisers on Monday to decide what to do but, he added, the law is very clear and the council can do very little. Can Picafort comes under the jurisdiction of the Santa Margalida town council and Opposition spokesman Miquel Cifre was quick to criticise the council for leaving bar owners defenceless. He said he could not understand how the council should have allowed the bars to continue occupying the pavement until the appeal was heard without warning them that they faced fines.
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