Parliament yesterday ratified the decree issued by the Balearic cabinet (“urgent measures for large retail establishments”) in order to address objections raised by central government - on constitutional grounds - to the Balearic Trade Act. The regional government obtained the support of all political parties with the exception of abstentions from the Partido Popular.
One of the principal amendments to the law that the decree has incorporated is a suspension on the issuing of licences for large supermarkets and other outlets for a period of six months. The minister for trade, Iago Negueruela, said there was nothing “capricious” about the measure, but the PP’s José Vicente Marí, in arguing in favour of abstention, responded that, while the decree corrected technical sections of the law, it had been introduced with too much haste.
He added that the question of licence suspension would be more suitably addressed by the islands’ councils.
For Podemos, Laura Camargo said that although there were aspects of the law that she did not like, it does seek to protect the small retailer.
“Not a single more job in the Balearics can be destroyed,” she insisted.
“The Balearic Islands are not a shopping mall, so Podemos support the group that wants to protect Ses Fontanelles (the area in Palma where a major centre is planned), as it is the last wetland area in Palma.” This view was echoed by David Abril for Més who criticised the haste that the PP had shown in wanting to eliminate the wetland in order to protect the interests of large retailers.