Palma’s Christmas markets opened today, but stall holders were both “indignant” and “disappointed” at the delay to their stalls being ready. The town hall was the object of criticism for not having been able to get its act together and ensure that the markets’ opening coincided with the switching-on of the Christmas lights last Friday. In the Plaça Major, traders were particularly critical of the town hall’s “zero organisation” in getting the stalls ready. Here, one of the principal product ranges is the nativity scene, for which they have twenty days of selling, having lost six by comparison with last year.

Until this year, it had been usual for the market to be up and running in the last week of November, but the tender competition for putting the stalls in place had to be called off and a new one launched; hence the delay. In fact, some traders were attempting to put up stalls on Friday and so sell to anyone who passed by. Because this raised a potential conflict with other traders who were without stalls, the town hall sent out officials from its consumer department on Monday to tell traders that they weren’t allowed to sell anything until today. Nevertheless, there was some sales activity in the Plaça Major and along La Rambla.

The town hall said that there had to be an even playing field for all traders, and so it despatched its officials to stalls where it was aware that selling was going on prior to Tuesday’s start. The town hall accepts that there was a problem with the tender, something which traders consider a “disgrace” that showed “a lack of respect to the 200 families who live off (the Christmas market trade)”.