Palma.—Palma City Council told shops and businesses in the centre of the city yesterday that in April, the area from the Avenidas to Calle Jaume III will be declared a main tourist shopping area. From that month on, traders falling within this zone will be free to open on Sundays and public holidays.

Although the Corte Inglés department store will have the right to open these extra days, the same will not apply to the branch in the Avenidas because it just falls outside the perimeter of the main tourist shopping zone.

In fact retail shops and businesses of less than 300 square metres are already allowed to open on certain Sundays and public holidays during the year but they have chosen not to do so.

The small to medium-sized business association, Pimem, hopes that the opening of the large department stores at these times will galvanise the smaller traders into competitive action.

Palma City Council also said yesterday that a special commission is being set up to monitor what contribution the extra opening hours makes to the income of central city businesses. If results fail to prove positive, the City Council has promised to withdraw the scheme.