by Staff Reporter
LOCAL traders are up in arms because more than half the shops in the Festival Park leisure complex opened on Sunday.
Yesterday, Afedeco (the Balearic Business Federation) filed a complaint against the centre with the Balearic government, alleging that it had infringed the law on commerce.

Festival Park plans to continue Sunday opening, from 12 noon to 10pm, until the end of October.
A spokesman for Afedeco said that the leisure centre is not in a tourist area, and therefore cannot take advantage of the opening hours tolerated in resorts.

He called for the ministry of commerce to fine Festival Park, and take steps to ensure that the centre respects Sunday closing.
When Festival Park first opened, the Marratxi town council asked the government to have the municipality declared a “tourist resort area” so that the shops could open on Sundays and holidays, but so far, the ministry of commerce has not replied.

Without this declaration, the shops in Marratxi, in theory, cannot open on Sundays.
Some of the shops at the leisure complex also opened on the first Sunday of the month.
However, the general consensus was that there were few shoppers, particularly in the early hours of the afternoon.
The small shopkeepers are fiercely opposed to Sunday opening, which is only allowed on five Sundays or public holidays a year in the Islands under Balearic law.

However, some of the hypermarkets and department stores are defying the restriction and plan to open on the 12 days allowed under the Spanish law on commerce.

The small traders claim that the traditional framework of local commerce is in danger of being destroyed.
They also say that they cannot afford to pay staff to remain open for longer hours.


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