By Humphrey Carter
FOR the third consecutive year, Palma City Council yesterday launched its free-parking for shoppers campaign.
As part of City Hall's continual drive to revive shopping in the city centre, a total of 120'000 free parking vouchers are going to be available with a total of 16 underground car parks with a maximum capacity of 7'000 parking spaces, participating in the campaign this summer. The initiative has proved increasingly popular over the past two years and has the full backing and co-operation of the municipal car parks body and the Afedeco, Pimeco and Ibi retail and consumer associations which together, cover the costs of the parking.
COMPLAINTS
The city council is taking care of publicising the campaign with over 600'00 euros being spent on posters, stickers and leaflets for the 400 participating stores.
Unveiling this year's campaign yesterday, the Palma Councillor for Commerce, Employment and Finance, Sebastián Sansó, said that the campaign's primary aim is to revive trade in the centre of Palma and help keep small shopkeepers alive in the face of growing competition from out-of-town shopping centres and hyper-markets.
One of the biggest complaints from both consumers and retailers about the centre of Palma is the parking problem, while continuing road works in and around the Plaza de España and the Borne have only added to the traffic problems.
The summer is considered a key sales period. Over recent years the summer sales schedule has been altered in order to try and cash in on the tourist. However this year, the sales will only be starting a week later than the rest of Spain.
Participating car parks
Via Roma, Comte de Sallent, Santa Pagesa, Parc de la Mar, Manacor, Comte d´Empúries, plaza del Olivar, avenida Joan Miró, S´Escorxador, paseo Mallorca, plaza Bisbe Berenguer de Palou, plaza de España, plaza Comtat del Roselló, plaza Mayor, Sa Gerreria and Avenidas.

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