The underground shopping area of Plaça Major. | ARCHIVO

Palma town hall's spokesperson, Alberto Jarabo, says that two options for the future of the shopping area beneath the Plaça Major are under consideration. One is for the central part to be converted into car parking spaces for residents. This is the preferred option of PSOE at the town hall, but it would mean preserving units on the sides. A museum for "interpretation" of the city could be one use, while maintaining the units as shops is another.

The other option is to use the whole area as shops and units for organisations such as the Fundación Vicente Ferrer and Metges del Món (Doctors of the World), which have requested spaces for workshops. Jarabo adds that retailer associations have called for the units to be used to accommodate "very emblematic" shops. In addition, the Council of Majorca is seeking three spaces in the city to promote local products, and one of these could be a unit beneath the Plaça Major.

The final decision is due to be taken before the end of next month. Viability and cost will be taken into account. Jarabo stresses that whichever project is selected, it will not be costly and will be designed to attract residents. "It will not be solely an area for tourists."

A further issue to be decided will be the management, which could be wholly public or a public-private sector collaboration.