LOCAL business owners in Mallorca have demanded that the opening times in bars and restaurants are extended.
Faced with mounting debts acquired during the coronavirus pandemic, business unions have appealed to the Balearic government to ‘reconsider their current measures’.
At present, bars and restaurants on the island must close at 5pm with both their interior areas and terraces opening under a limited capacity – an order that will stay in place until at least April 12.
However, the Confederation of Business Associations (CAEB), a union that has heavily criticized the government in recent months, say these rules may signal the end for many in the sector.
“Many businesses have been lost or will likely head that way as a result of this health crisis, and that means many families are struggling to survive,” said CAEB in an open statement.
They went on to slam the government for the ‘lack of aid’ given to these businesses which ‘has not reached the pockets of those who are in need of it the most’.
The Balearic Employers’ Association also weighed in on the debate, reporting that many businesses at this moment cannot even cover 30% of their expenses due to the current capacity limits.
Meanwhile, the Balearic Islands’ gross domestic product (GDP) for 2020 has been revealed today, further highlighting the toll that the pandemic has had on the region.
The Balearics’ GDP plummeted by a historic 23.7%, a fall that is more than double than the Spanish average (11%) and almost quadruple of the EU (6.2%).
This represents a loss of € 7,821 million and has broken seven years of economic growth.
The Pitiusas, made up of Formentera and Ibiza, were impacted the most, seeing its GDP in 2020 fall by 29.9%, followed by Menorca with 23.3% and Mallorca with 22.6%.
This ‘unprecedented loss’ can largely be attributed to the region’s reliance on tourism which has been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
With the de-escalation phases not commencing until May of last year and the opening of borders not until the end of June, April and May were complete ‘write offs’ for international tourism.
This led to the Balearics recording its highest number of unemployed people since 2009 with the largest number of jobs lost in the hospitality sector.
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