Shops can open so long as they don't sell alcohol. | Michel's


On Tuesday, there is to be a protest against the closure of bars, restaurants, clubs and shops on Punta Ballena in Magalluf. The closure was ordered because these establishments sell alcohol. A combination of the Balearic government's tourism of excesses decree and Covid-19 health measures prompted the order, a not uncommon view being that the health measures provided the government with the pretext for enforcing the decree in this way.

Antonio Moreno has had a small supermarket for 45 years. "My sin is to have a business on Punta Ballena. They forced me to close and then they allowed me to stay open after I removed all the alcohol for sale." He questions the sense of the order. "There are other businesses which are similar to mine. They are just a few metres away and they sell alcohol at all hours, because their address is not Punta Ballena. Can anyone explain this to me?" He believes that the government has merely put a patch on the wound and that tourist bad behaviour won't just go away.

Youssef Almassati, who has owned a clothes shop on Punta Ballena for five years, is of a similar view. "The bars have closed, and so the tourists have gone elsewhere." For this summer, he had rented the premises next door in order to expand his business. "First the coronavirus and now the closure. And in October it'll all end. I don't know what will become of us this winter."

Vino, who has had a souvenir shop for five years, says that he has an employee on ERTE. His wife, who always did a few hours in the afternoon, stays at home. "There isn't a job for even one person. I spend the day sitting in front of the shop. They (tourists) used to buy t-shirts and souvenirs. Now it is a desert. Would it not have been better to have put more police on the streets at the required hours rather than close the bars?"

The president of the Palmanova-Magalluf Hoteliers Association, Mauricio Carballeda, insists that the "tourism of excesses had to be stopped". "Visitors looking for alcohol and debauchery are not welcome." But Pepe Tirado, president of the Acotur tourist businesses association, is critical of the government's "arbitrary" decision, one that was not discussed with businesses. Employers and workers are not giving up the fight, he stresses, and so on Tuesday there will be the demand for the "right to work".

The protest is scheduled for 18.00 on Tuesday. The closure order, it should be noted, applies to two other streets in Magalluf as well - General García Ruiz y Federico García Lorca.