THE owners of bars and restaurants in Magalluf are alarmed at the escalation of the fines which Calvia council has started to strictly apply.
Around 25 owners in the locality have received restraint notices from the council, headed by Carlos Delgado.
All the fines are for infractions of the Publicity bylaws in the municipality, which limit the public relations of the sites (known as tiqueteros) with very large fines.
Two years ago, in 2005, the council renegociated the bylaw with the owners of the bars and restaurants. Since then the number of fines has risen.
The then councillor for Taxation, Isidre Cañellas, recalled that at that moment, the council made the promise to maintain a certain amount of tolerance and to not take the fines to their conclusion.
During the last few months, Carlos Delgado has changed the criteria and has started legal proceedings to recover the payments.
As these are fines which have accumulated over two years, there are business people who owe a great deal of money, up to half a million euros in some cases.
Now the council is in the process of freezing bank accounts, a situation in which around 25 business people have already found themselves.
The alarm has spread among the bar and restaurant owners in the area, some of whom have started to change the titles on their bank accounts to avoid the council freezing them, as the amount of the fine could mean the end of their business.
The conflict is especially applicable to the Magalluf nightspot which has the most activity, Punta Ballena.
The owners think that the council is trying to get money by using a bylaw which imposes disproportionate fines.