Businesses on the calle Blanquerna in Palma are fed up with the presence of Romanian beggars. Each day they pester clients on bar and restaurant terraces. While beggars are not uncommon at supermarket entrances or traffic lights, in Blanquerna they are on terraces as well. "There are more of them than Emaya workers," says an owner who wants to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal.
In fact, there are two women and an older couple. The female owner explains that they come on the terraces with their cups and posters, creating an uncomfortable situation. "We know they are part of an organised group." All businesses along the street are said to be experiencing the problem. When the beggars are asked to go, they turn on owners, insult them and threaten them.
There used to be a neighbourhood police presence, the owner says. There hasn't been for some time. If the police are called, they respond by saying that a written complaint should be lodged with the town hall so that the quality department can see what it can do.
She doesn't know if the town hall is aware of there being a problem. Even if it is, experience with the current administration makes businesses believe that they are being abandoned and unattended to. "The town hall's stance is to be against restaurant owners."