New council threatens to remove bars' terraces from the Borne
Just a few years ago, the squares and plazas of central Palma were like a tumbleweed strewn ghost town on Saturday afternoons and Sundays. The shops were closed, there was nobody about and it was dull, drab and boring, and I should know, I spent a disappointing long weekend in Palma in 2002 and spent most of Sunday evening trying to find a decent bar or restaurant that was open.
Now, it's a completely different matter, the last council opened up the city by allowing shops to open longer hours, and with the new influx of both tourists and local people also allowed the city's bars and restaurants to put their chairs and tables out in public squares. The main Paseo del Borne (Passeig des Born in Catalan) is now known as the Golden Mile, and not without good reason; designer shops, a five star hotel, property prices rocketing through foreign investment and a thriving cafe culture.
Palma is alive all throughout the week and the terraces of the bars are full – let's face it, when you've just arrived from rainy Manchester what could be finer than sitting outside, winter, spring, summer or fall, having lunch on a stylish terrace? It's something we all dream of.
Well, most of us, but not it seems the new left wing council in Palma. They want to stop the bars having their terraces on the Borne from February next year as they consider that public spaces like these should be just that, places which the public can use and enjoy.
This announcement has caused outcry – mostly against the proposal, but with a minority in favour. Opponents state that it would destroy all the good work done to attract people into town and cause the loss of jobs and investment from the bars on the Borne. They also point out that if people fancy a stroll, they are not impeded at all by the current situation with terraces on the Borne and that there is an enormous seafront walk which stretches for kilometres where folk can go if they wish.
A straw poll in one of the island's newspapers reveals that 3 out 4 people are agaisnt the proposal and a petition against it has had over one thousand signatures as of today. What do you think, should we keep or remove the terraces like the one in our photo, the Born 8 Cafe?