Police at a club in Barcelona, where Catalonian government measures were adopted in July. | Efe (Quique García)


On Wednesday, nightlife business owners and workers will be staging a lock-in protest at clubs and bars across Spain. The España de Noche national federation of nightlife establishments says that the protest is to denounce the Spanish government's "terrible political management" of the extension to ERTE and its resistance to guaranteeing the survival of businesses and workers from a sector which has been "harshly and unjustly punished by the closure of its activity".

The federation believes that there is the threat of bankruptcy for some 17,000 businesses and the loss of 90,000 jobs. A quarter of establishments, it says, have already shut down. By the end of the year, it estimates that 17,322 of the 25,000 or so establishments which existed when the pandemic started will have gone out of business.

The president, Ramón Mas, points to "entrenched negotiating positions", which are preventing companies from making decisions and are unnecessarily aggravating the situation. With current ERTE terms due to expire at the end of this month, the sector still has no clear idea as to the conditions of the extension to the furlough scheme or the type of companies which will benefit or be left unprotected. España de Noche is wanting clarity and is demanding 100% bonuses for social security contributions.

Under the slogan, 'Insomnia, you have made us lose sleep', the protest will start at 19.00. DJs, waiters and waitresses, entertainers, directors and others will lock themselves in under the strictest of health and safety conditions. There will be an intense social media campaign for a protest designed to denounce an "unsustainable" situation.

Mas concludes: "Business organisations for entertainment, hospitality and culture must stand up to the government's different manoeuvres, which are intended to get a last-minute agreement regardless of any sensible and rigorous negotiating position."