November 29, 2020

A Catalan hotelier refuses to close his bar despite receiving a fine of 60,000 euros


The owner says he cannot bear another confinement.

The owner says he cannot bear another confinement.

He owner of a restaurant in the coastal town of Malgrat de Mar (Barcelona) has refused to close the business, as ordered by the Generalitat to stop the contagion of coronavirus, and keeps it open since Friday even though it has already been fined 60,000 euros.

As explained in an interview with Efe Manuel Fernández, owner of the restaurant Brasería Los Olivos, has decided stay in his thirteen because he considers the restrictions unfair imposed by the Government and because he needs to work, he stressed, to “be able to eat.”

According to the businessman, your place is not “ready” to offer food at homeTherefore, to continue with the regulations of the Catalan executive, it should close, an extreme that says it cannot “hold out.”

“After the last lockdown I have spent the little money that I have been able to get privately to pay all the debts. A second confinement I can’t take it“, he said in reference to the closure of restaurants and other businesses decreed by the Catalan executive for 15 days.

For this reason, for Fernández, the only alternative is to keep his restaurant in operation and, with the income he achieves, to divide the fines: “The only thing I can do is open and continue with the safety distance of five feet“.

In addition to enabling a table yes and another no, he ensures that the place is “well ventilated”, with the windows and the door open, so that “the air changes” and reduces the risk of contagion, something that, he has reproached, does not occur public transport.

“Here I have all the security measures and more than in the subway, bus or train, which do not force them to close and yet people are crowded”, he said to add: “A point has come that I do not have to eat, I’ll have to do something (…). I’m not robbing anyone, I’m working. ”

As a result of his decision, last Saturday the police went to his restaurant to close it, but Faced with his refusal, he ended up fining him 30,000 euros, which was doubled the next day, when the agents returned, but he – he has admitted – did not “desist” from his attitude.

“When Mr. Illa, Fernando Simón or Pere Aragonès explain to me why on the train, bus or metro they go ‘petados’ and are not contaminated (…) I will be convinced,” he asserted in reference to the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, the director of the Center for Coordination of Health Alerts and Emergencies and the vice president of the Government acting as president, respectively.

For now, it remains open but for the moment this Tuesday they have not fined him although, he has asserted, he intends to face all sanctions: “With what I work, I will draw to pay that fine. If I close, I won’t be able to pay. ”

And it is that, as he himself has emphasized, has a “legal strategy” to “be able to split payments“:” Whether they are 60,000, 80,000 or 120,000, the fines they give me, I will pay them, “he insisted.

Fernández has also explained that this weekend he has had a lot of customers who come to eat and leave without lengthening the time they spend inside and to whom he warns that although the police may ask for their documentation if they see them consuming, ” legally “they cannot be fined.

“I warn all of them that it is possible that the police will come, ask them for documentation, that they invite them to leave and that they can do whatever they want,” he summarized.

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