Alicante restaurateurs threaten legal action over terrace restrictions

TERRACE THREAT: Restaurateurs in Alicante city say removing tables from the streets will lead to unemployment.

LEGAL action is being threatened against Alicante’s mayor by the Provincial Association of Restaurant and Bar Owners.

The group has said it will take action, through civil and criminal proceedings, as the conflict continues in the city’s entertainment and night life zones. Councillor for Public Roads, Miguel Angel Pavon, has called for the “reduction of tables and chairs” and their “relocation” from the city’s streets, in the areas of Gabriel Miró, Luceros, Castaños, La Viña, Explanada, Labradores and San Cristóbal, much to the anger of the entrepreneurs who say this is a threat to their livelihoods.

Pavon said the new ordinance was a decision made in a bid to find a “balance” between businesses and the considerations of residents, but restaurateurs have called it a “frontal attack” on the sector. The councillor has also tightened the system of penalties for breaches of the ordinance, with fines of up to €3,000 or even the suspension of activity for repeat offenders.

Spokesman for the Provincial Association of Restaurant and Bar Owners, Lalo Diez, said existing licences had not been taken into account and any ordinance change must be “justified by legal and technical reports” and if not, the association warned it would “take appropriate civil and criminal legal action.” Diez added: “If you remove tables and chairs it sends people into unemployment.”

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