Chinese shops - committing more to local products. | Pilar Pellicer


Balearic vice-president and minister for the productive sector, Juan Pedro Yllanes, stated in parliament on Tuesday that the situation with small retailers is "much better than a year ago".

Yllanes noted that retail sales in the Balearics increased by 7.3% in August, outstripping the other main tourist regions - Andalusia, the Canaries, Catalonia and Valencia. To add perspective, "in the whole of Spain sales fell by 0.1%".

He drew attention to the fact that the retail sector was included in the Spanish government's aid package of 855 million euros for business. This was to the tune of 110 million euros for 1,230 companies and was for a package for which "the PP did not vote in favour".

The minister was responding to José Javier Bonet of the Partido Popular opposition, who said that "the government takes advantage of each press conference to explain the amount of money they have invested in aid, but it doesn't say anything about those businesses that have to close".

"More than 4,000 companies have had to close. This has been because of the pandemic, that's true, but also because of the government's restrictions. It is easier to have people locked in their homes than manage their freedom well."

Yllanes also faced questions from Lina Pons of El Pi, who argued that insufficient efforts are being made to enhance local retailers' business. "Local shops are closing, while 'Made in China' and large retailers are full."

The minister insisted that Chinese shops are making a commitment to local products and to integrate more and more into Balearic society. The government, he continued, values this commitment "very positively". The Chinese shops are "helping the recovery of our productive sectors and becoming increasingly local and integrated".