Restaurateurs in Palma are considering closing some premises for a few days and holding a referendum to overturn the ban on terrace enclosures in the city.
The President of Restauración Mallorca, Alfonso Robledo, said meetings will be arranged with the commercial sector to discuss what action to take and that a referendum will be held before the summer to ask residents whether they agree with Cort's terrace policy or not.
On Thursday, the Councillor for Citizen Participation and Interior Government, Alberto Jarabo, and the President of the Federation of Neighbourhood Associations, Joan Forteza, expressed their satisfaction over the moratorium and claim to have the support of at least seven Neighbourhood Associations.
“The enclosures can be replaced with umbrellas and screens up to 1.70 meters high, but everything must be removed at the end of the day, including furniture,” said the Director General of Interior Government, Marcos Cañabate.
"There has been good collaboration from the restaurateurs and from today we have a different way of enjoying the city and the terraces, in a wider and more open way, because we appreciate them and want them to be preserved, but they must respect the accessibility and the visibility,” said Councillor Jarabo.
“A new door is opened for the coexistence between restaurateurs and neighbours in Palma, which offers a new image,” said Joan Forteza. “We can see the facades of our buildings and we can look at the sky, which is what our city needed.”
He also said again that local businesses who do not remove their terrace enclosures will be reported.
More than a thousand bars and restaurants in Palma have terraces and at least 80% of them have already removed their enclosures and awnings. Over the next few days a team of informers will tour the city to make sure the rest are complying with the new law.
Establishments that don’t obey the law could be fined up to 3,000 euros, but Councillor Jarabo has acknowledged that there will be some leeway "if there is a justified cause.”
He also claims that the new law will have zero effect on customers or profits.
But Bar and restaurant owners are fighting back. They insist that banning the enclosures will destroy the ambiance of the city, make it uncomfortable for customers to sit outside without protection from the wind and rain in winter and searing temperatures of summer and obliterate their bottom line.