Update 13 June: Arona mayor Francisco Niño has announced today that the council is continuing to work towards getting the market back into its original location, within current legislative norms, but that for the moment, after three weeks closed, the market will open in Avenida Londres this weekend. This is the dual carriageway from the El Mirador complex down to the sea past Victoria Court.
The permission signed by the mayor is at present only for this Sunday, but seemingly if all goes well, stallholders will be able to set up in the same area until the original plot is legally ready for their return. Some of them are withholding judgment on how this Sunday will turn out, and hope the policía local will not be “difficult”. There were angry protests outside Arona town hall yesterday, as the above video from eldigitalsur shows, and clearly the pressure has worked for the moment.
Original post 29 May: As almost everyone will know by now, there is a real question mark over the future of Los Cristianos market. Stall holders are furious, while the town’s shopkeepers are delighted, that the market has been closed “on a precautionary basis” while its “licence and security issues” are put in order by the council. Los Cristianos retailers say that they have been protesting about the “illegal market” for years and years, and they have been completely ignored until the mayor himself was personally threatened with being denounced to the fiscalía about the situation. Stallholders, however, say that they are in the middle of the row between the council in retreat on one side, and the exploitation company on the other, which has taken their fees to place their stalls on a market site which is now closed.
Arona Ayuntamiento for its part, is sheltering behind the claim that the Los Cristianos market is “not municipal” (that is how the council itself answered a question by Rosita Warich on its Facebook page), but with the technical report that damned the market to be closed claiming that the site occupies two plots “in the public domain”, one inevitably wonders by what right the exploitation has been undertaken if the plots are not privately owned and no municipal licence was granted, and on what grounds the council can say the market is not a council affair, particularly since the market is openly listed as a municipal attraction on the Ayuntamiento’s own website HERE.
Yet again, as with the lifeguards, something that walks, sounds and smells like a municipal service is claimed to be nothing to do with the council. One might respectfully suggest that the council clarifies, for the sake of its own reputation, quite what things it does have something to do with. It might also be reasonably good policy not to direct the public to a service that the council knows will not be available: the reply to Rosita Warich included information about the market’s opening times and was posted on the 26th May, three days ago, and three days after the mayor had signed the closure notice. Hopefully sorting out this licence won’t take as long as the sunbeds or the lifeguards: a great many people’s livelihoods are at stake here!