The Almuñécar Policía Local handed out 42 fines between the 4th and 16th of this month, or better said they sent in 42 fining-reports to the Junta to approve.
Of the number 21 were for individuals failing to wear a mask and 19 were businesses that hadn’t obeyed the closing hours or – and this is the important part – were trading at the door instead of using a home-delivery service.
This morning I had a chance to talk to one cafeteria owner that had been informed that they were being fined for letting people come and pick up a coffee to consume elsewhere.
I also had the opportunity to speak with the Councillor for Citizen Safety, Francisco Robles, under whom the Policía Local operate, to ask him about this and other things.
There is no doubt that the constant chopping and changing coming out of the Junta has left a lot of businesses in doubt about what they can and cannot do. Top that with the observation that some of the limitations imposed are illogical.
Take the case of Cafetería, El Café de Inés in the Plaza de los Magnolios. The proprietor, Inés, had been visited by the Policía Local and told that a report was going to be sent to the Junta, which would set Ines back 600 euros.
Why? Because people would turn up to ask for a take-way coffee. The cafetería is closed to the public so the coffee was passed out through a half opened door. Instead of taking the coffee in its polystyrene cup back home, however, some of them stuck around outside to drink it.
As Inés pointed out, the tobacconist across the square has a constant queue formed outside because only one person can enter at a time… and that is permitted, but if somebody stands outside her premises drinking their coffee, she gets fined. Where is the logic, she asked – many will ask the same question.
The fact is that the modified regulations – they were corrected on the 9th – say that restaurants and bars can sell their food, etc until 22.30h by using home deliveries. What such establishments cannot do is sell take-ways at the door.
How many coffees do you have to sell to pay for somebody to take them across town and deliver them, before they get cold. It is completely and utterly impractical. It might work where food is concerned but for cafeterías selling coffee it is unviable.
Cafeteria owners are struggling to pay the rent, their social security, their suppliers, the electricity… and local taxes – and in the case of Café de Inés, they will also have to find 600 euros.
Councillor Robles agreed that the situation was chaotic, thanks to both the Central and Regional Governments inconsistencies and contradictions, but he pointed out that they can only make the reports and the Junta will decide who they are going to fine.
Finally, this morning on the P-4 junction on N-340, the Policía Local were stopping traffic and asking for papers. They even had a police dog with them.
(News: Almuñécar. Costa Tropical, Granada Andalucia)