Joan Collins THE Government's delegate to the Balearics, Ramon Socias, will propose to the Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs and to the Parliamentary Socialist Party that a law be created “although it will be temporary” to resolve the problems caused by the ban on the sale of cigarettes in businesses and petrol stations. With this action Socias yesterday aligned himself with the aim of the protest outside the Offices of the Delegation by the Federation of Associations of Commerce, Leisure and Catering (Fecotur) and the Balearic Service Stations. According to the Federation, 400 protesters were present but the Delegation said there were no more than 150. efore starting the march from the Parc de la Mar, where they organised the itinerary, the President of Fecotur, Jose Tirado, accused Socias of “passivity” with Madrid, and of lacking “courage” for having “put off making a decision” during more than a month of repeated protests to him by the group. At the protest in front of the Delegation Offices, and in a more cordial tone, Tirado exchanged words with Socias, who came out to receive the group, and showed him news of other protests about the antitobacco law which were taking place in Madrid, Catalonia, and Andalucia. In fact, Tirado asked Socias, who he had met on three occasions in the last few months, to “be brave” and make “an effort” to explain to the national Minister for Health and Consumer Affairs, Elena Salgado, the “situation” of the sector. Socias promised to do this, but a few weeks before Fecotur had sent a letter to the Ministry and the reply to that had been that the Antitobacco law had been unanimously approved by Parliament. Socias assured them that he would also explain to the Parliamentary Socialist Party the situation caused by the law, which bans shops considered as the second line of distribution from selling cigarettes, although it makes an exception for the Canary Islands which Fecotur considers discriminatory. The law also makes an exception for “duty free” shops in Spanish airports, managed by the Aldeasa company. The protesters went on to demonstrate outside their shop in Palma airport. In Jose Tirado's opinion, the antitobacco law is “promoting tobacco smuggling”.