Mayor José Hila received an early Christmas gift today. Members of the Pimeco small to medium-sized traders' association, supported by representatives of retailers in different parts of Palma, delivered two candles and a letter of protest regarding the Christmas lights. In addition to being unhappy at the delay in switching the lights on in the centre until 3 December, the retailers are upset by there not being any lights in some areas of the city.
The Pimeco president, Bernat Coll, said that these "restrictive measures" are "flatly rejected" by retail business organisations. He added that justifications for the delay until 3 December given by Eva Frade, the councillor for citizen participation, "suffer from a lack of rationale and credibility".
The retailers noted that the main cities in Spain are switching on their lights today in order to coincide with Black Friday. As for the suggestion that there is a safety issue (because of the number of people) by combining the switch-on and Black Friday, they claimed that this lacks validity. Separating the two occasions, they observed, demonstrates a "total ignorance" of consumer habits.
Hila has sought to downplay the controversy over the Christmas lights. He says that the results of separating the switch-on and Black Friday this year will be compared with those of last year, when they coincided. A solution for future years will then be taken, though he adds that in 2017 there is to be a "pact" with interested parties so as to avoid the conflict that has arisen.
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