With the Christmas lights and the red carpets still on, like the corpses of a few days of feigned normality, the Plaza de Las Flores de Murcia woke up yesterday on the first day of a new hotel closure, the third already, decreed by the health authorities .
The morning begins with the covered terraces, the blinds almost entirely drawn and the usual traffic, with the exception of a few businesses that either provide the only service that is now allowed, the ‘take away’ (food to take away) , or they are, once again, open only to recount damage, collect products, clean the chambers and throw away the preparations that will not be served to anyone. His is a winter different from the climatic one, an economic frost to which the hoteliers see no end. Inside the restaurant The guest, Mercedes, a 31-year-old worker, cleans the premises and checks the surpluses. “We are angry because we do not understand the situation,” he says. «They have warned us from one day to the next. We are distributing between workers and neighbors the elaborations that we have so as not to throw them away.
According to the calculations of Francisco González, owner of the Jota Ele restaurant in Plaza Santa Isabel, the closure may mean discarding products worth at least 3,000 or 4,000 euros. «It is a trauma, especially when they tell you with so little time. We have the cameras full. The closing order was published at 00.15 hours yesterday. Which, according to the president of Hostemur, Jesús Jiménez, shows the “improvisation” of the regional Executive. The employers have requested an urgent rescue plan for the sector and exemptions from any payment while the restrictions last. In addition, it has called a rally in front of the regional government headquarters tomorrow at 11.30 am.
“The problem will come when all this happens and you have to face many of the loans that are now deferred”
“The problem will come when all this happens,” warns Francisco González, “because now many loans are deferred. When you have to pay for everything that has been requested there will be a large number of people who will not be able to face it. Jota Ele has been serving takeaway food since May. But Francisco warns that this only helps “to be busy and not think too much.” It is also concerned about the possible “change in habits” that teleworking and the pandemic can promote, weighing down the boxes even more for the future.
Wave of closings
The manager of La Tapa, Luis Espinosa, calls for help: “We are without resources.” “Financing with banks is already highly exploited. And we are all the same, “he says. According to Hostemur’s calculations, “before the summer 30% of the hotel businesses that existed before the pandemic will have closed.” In Plaza San Juan, the owner of La Pequena Taberna, Miguel López, puts everything in order before closing. “There are going to be quite a few occupational victims,” he says. “We are the scapegoat of this pandemic and they should support us much more because it is unsustainable.” “With what they charge from ERTE, families do not arrive,” he complains. This is the case of Flori Lautaro, 35, and Cristian Airoldi, 28, two waiters at ERTE. “We do whatever we can,” they say. We cannot say no.
Cs sees an “incongruity” that gambling halls are not closed
Citizens distanced themselves yesterday from their partner in the regional government, the Popular Party, considering an “incongruity” that allows the opening of gambling halls while the hotel industry closes. The autonomous coordinator of Citizens, Ana Martínez Vidal, denounced that “not all sectors are being treated equally by taking measures that discriminate between hospitality and gaming halls.”
Phase 2 allows 30% capacity inside bingo halls, casinos and gaming venues. “We do not understand that in some places the activity and interaction of people indoors is allowed, and in others not”, added the Secretary of Communication, Juan José Molina. For this reason, the liberal formation requested that the same restrictions apply to gambling halls as to the hotel industry.
This positioning provoked criticism from the Murcian Recreational Federation, which defended in a statement that its premises also suffer from restrictions by not being able to serve food or drinks, and have restricted capacity. “We do not understand that, knowing the economic and employment effects that this entails, public representatives can request the total stoppage of a business activity that, like others that continue to operate, complies with all health recommendations and requirements,” they assured.
Cs assured in a statement to have mobilized 5 million in aid to the self-employed in the Region, one of them in Murcia, thanks to the subsidy program of the Ministry of Employment that it holds in the Government.
Appearance of Miras
For her part, the spokeswoman for Podemos in the Regional Assembly, María Marín, requested the appearance of President Fernando López Miras in an extraordinary plenary session to “explain the measures taken in the face of the escalation of infections” and reiterated her demand that he request “a strict confinement for the Region ”.