The protest may be symbolic but businesses insist the threat of closure is real. / sur

Bars and restaurants across Spain to protest at high energy bills on Tuesday

Businesses in Malaga, on the Costa del Sol and elsewhere in the country will stop work and turn off their lights at 7pm in the symbolic action

JUAN SOTO MALAGA.

Bar and restaurant owners in Malaga province and other places in Spain are will be stopping work and turning their lights off for five minutes on Tuesday at 7pm, as a symbolic protest at the difficulties they face due to high energy prices and to demand solutions from the government. Some will also gather in the Plaza del Carbón in Malaga city to read a manifesto.

The Mahos association in Malaga and the Hospitality Business Confederation of Spain say energy costs are now a major problem and are on average between 3,000 and 6,000 euros a month for these businesses. Although bills are supposed to have gone up by 30% to 40% in general, some establishments say theirs have tripled.

The business owners are calling for financial assistance to enable them to turn to renewable energy systems and adapt their equipment and say many will have no option but to close down unless they get the help they need.