Despite being aware of the tough times being experienced by the hospitality sector, the Balearic government doesn’t know when bars and restaurants will be able to reopen.
On Friday, the minister for the economic model, tourism and employment, Iago Negueruela, didn’t hide his and the government’s concern at the difficult situation being experienced because of the current incidence of coronavirus. He said that the government’s priority is the control of the pandemic, while at the same time working with business associations and unions on a safe reopening.
There was a meeting on Friday with union and CAEB and Pimem restaurants associations’ representatives. At this, there was an explanation of the Spanish government’s aid package announced last week, e.g. the extension to ERTE and the postponement of social security contribution payments.
The president of the Pimem restaurants association, Eugenia Cusí, said that ERTE needs to extended well beyond May 31, especially in light of the “unfortunate” statement by Pedro Sánchez – that tourism will not be reactivated until the end of the summer. She was also of the view that relief from municipal taxes should be for the whole year and not just the first quarter.
Negueruela regretted not having the economic resources of “the strongest industrial states” in the EU in order to be able to apply measures to better compensate for Covid restrictions. He stressed that the regional government will continue to demand that Madrid takes into account the special situation in the Balearics.
On the Friday protest in Palma, the minister said that he understood society’s “discontent and frustration”. But there is a global pandemic. “This is a situation that is unwished for and was totally unforeseen a year ago.”