Meeting on Wednesday of government, business and union representatives. | Govern de les Illes Balears

Balearic minister for the economic model, tourism and employment, Iago Negueruela, has announced that almost all of the 7,497 bar and restaurant businesses in the Balearics will be eligible for direct state financial aid; 5,770 of these businesses are in Mallorca. The announcement was made at a Wednesday meeting with business and union representatives.

The president of the restaurants association within the CAEB Confederation of Balearic Business Associations, Alfonso Robledo, explained afterwards that businesses which have debts with social security and the Tax Agency will not be able to access this aid. He called for some mechanism to be created to allow them to, suggesting that this could be through the regional government's ISBA credit institution.

Robledo said that the aid will help many businesses but will not save them all. Many have already ceased trading, and the latest closure of interiors (from Friday) is another serious blow. Only some 15% have terraces. Without the aid, "many businesses will not make it to the summer".

The closure of interiors, he added, is "unacceptable". Many of the bars and restaurants in Mallorca's interior, he noted, "do not work during the season". "Not everything is on the coast. There are inland villages that earn more in the winter." A fourth wave of the virus, Robledo said, will cause "the total bankruptcy of the sector and of the Balearics". He called for another government campaign directed at the public, as "we need health so they don't close us down".

The aid is part of the overall 1,000 million euros package for the Balearics. There will be at least 26 million of this for the bar and restaurant sector.