The town hall continues to insist on 11pm closing. | Pere Bota

The restaurants association within the CAEB Confederation of Balearic Business Associations is demanding that politicians from Palma town hall compensate bars and restaurants in La Lonja for losses as a consequence of having to close at 11pm.

The association says that courts have agreed on three occasions with restaurant owners' arguments that this earlier closing is illegal. The town hall approved the measure in April 2019. Previously, the hours were from 7am to midnight on Monday to Thursday and to 12.30am on Friday to Sunday. In March, a court annulled the town hall's measure.

The compensation being demanded is put at around two million euros. Despite the "forcefulness" of courts' conclusions and the willingness of owners to negotiate, the town hall has appeared to be "immovable and will not allow normal opening hours".

A lawyer advising the bars and restaurants, Miquel Planas of Monlex Abogados, argues that the town hall cannot maintain a decision that politicians "know is not in accordance with the law". The amount of compensation will rise and, "unfortunately", it will be the citizens of Palma who end up paying it.

The latest attempt to get the early closing measure is directed not at the town hall in general but at "the technicians and politicians responsible for the compensation". The association states: "Decisions are made by people who, shielded in the town hall, see how their whims are free. We have to stand up ... Perhaps this way their thinking will be more profound."