BENIDORM’S municipal open-air market was one of the last to reopen following lockdown.
Even then, stalls at the Foietes market site were – and are – limited to fruit, vegetables and foodstuffs.
There is still no sign of the shoes and clothes that used to make Benidorm’s Wednesday mercadillo so popular.
A delegation of 10 traders, representing the barred 180 stallholders, staged a peaceful protest at the market entrance this week.
“We can’t understand what the problem is, especially as every market in the province sells shoes and clothes,” said Brian Lidon and Pedro Luis Valero.
Talking to the Spanish media, they explained that for some stallholders, the Benidorm mercadillo was their sole source of income. Others, like Pedro, attended other markets although he said Benidorm was the most profitable.
“Most of us are having a very hard time, We are all self-employed and barely earning,” Pedro declared.
“To top it all, nobody can give us an explanation and we don’t know why we can’t sell our goods.”
During the stallholders’ time at the market entrance, they collected dozens of signatures from other traders as well as the public.
Many wanted to know when they could buy clothes and shoes at the market once more. “It’s not the same without you,” they said.
Benidorm’s Commerce councillor Lorenzo Martinez explained that he was aware of the stallholders’ problems and understood their difficult situation.
The town hall was seeking a formula that would enable them to trade without infringing its Covid-19 health and safety plan, he insisted.
This envisages 80 stalls compared with the former 240 but Martinez revealed that the traders would shortly be invited to a meeting to explain the situation.
“We shall look for a mutually beneficial solution,” the councillor pledged.