Smoking ban protest in Palma

A HUNDRED members of the hotel, catering and gaming industry gathered in Palma to protest against the smoking laws passed on January 2. They demand the government amend the new regulations which ban smoking inside public buildings. The hospitality industry calls for the Government to change the smoking ban, to allow smoking areas in establishments.

President of the CAEB Catering Association Pilar Carbonell said despite only 100 people turned up to the protest, the associations who took part represent 8,000 establishments.

They claim many bars and restaurants have been forced to close due to the new laws.

In many cases workers have been laid off either as a result of these closures, or because the decline in sales, which are said to be between 15 and 40 per cent.

Carbonell, headed the march under a banner that read “For a just law; for the right to choose,” together with PIMEM Catering Industry President Juan Cabrera.

The president of the Palma Hoteliers Association Marilen Pol headed various banners including “If restaurants close, so do the Balearics” and “The hypocritical law of Pajin and ZP” and “A total ban ruins the sector.”

“The business associations are united,” said Carbonell, “the total ban has made us less competitive those other destinations that do not have this law.”

This protest is similar to many others that have taken place in other Spanish cities.

By Nicole Hallett

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Euro Weekly News Media

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