Bar and cafeteria owners affected by greatly increased bills. | Teresa Ayuga

A group of bar owners in Palma's Coll d'en Rebassa area suggest it's a sign of the new administration at the town hall. "We're off to a good start," says one ironically, they all having been hit by greatly increased water bills and charges for waste.

Jesús Torres of El Pícaro says his July water bill was 157.26 euros. In August it shot up to 306.71. "I immediately called Emaya (the Palma municipal services agency) and they told me that it would be like this every month from now on." When an Emaya inspector turned up at the bar, Torres admits that he got very angry with him.

There was an even larger increase for the waste bill - from 55.79 euros in July to 306.71 in August. Emaya's explanation was that he had previously been paying the rate for a bar but that he would now be paying the charge for a restaurant. "But we have a bar registration plate." It serves simple dishes and sandwiches.

At another bar, El Triunfo, the water bill's gone from 197 to 380 euros. Its owner, Manolo, says: "We were drowned by the pandemic, then by the prices of raw materials and now by water." Other establishments have similar stories. They are all bars or cafeterias, but Emaya is treating them as though they were restaurants.

Torres adds that while costs have shot up, revenue has dropped by 25 per cent. He and the other proprietors are considering holding a demonstration outside the Emaya offices.