The newsstand in Plaça Mercat. | Javier Rodríguez

On August 17, the six newsstands in Palma are due to close. This is the date when the current concession for their operation expires.

José González of Nova Area, the company which has had the concession since 2010, says that it cannot continue under the current contractual conditions. The company pays 90,000 euros a year to the town hall, but sales have dropped by some 60%. "We have been asking to talk to the town hall since 2018 and we have carried out three different audits that highlight the problem. In March last year, we requested a reduction in the charge because of the fall in sales." He adds that eight people will be out of work after August 17.

At the town hall, the newsstands are now the responsibility of Claudia Costa, who was recently appointed as a councillor following the departures of Podemos colleagues Rodrigo Romero and Sonia Vivas and a rejigging of responsibilities for Alberto Jarabo, the Podemos leader at the town hall. She explains that consideration is being given to enabling the kiosks to expand their activities by selling food and drinks and installing cash machines.

Located in Plaça Progrès, Plaça Mercat, La Rambla, Plaça Joan Carles I, Plaça Espanya and Porta de Sant Antoni, the newsstands do seem destined to close on August 17 unless discussions between Costa and Nova Area this coming week can arrive at satisfactory new contractual specifications. The town hall has been preparing new specifications as a matter of urgency.