The daytime fair in the city centre is enormously popular. / sur

'Unfair': Malaga traders angered as council considers banning alcohol sales in shops after its daytime feria ends

“We are looking at ways to stop people holding impromptu parties in the city centre after the official celebrations have ended,” explained councillor for Commerce, Elisa Pérez de Siles

PILAR QUIRÓS Malaga

Malaga council is considering a ban on the sale of alcohol by shops in the city centre once the daytime fair has finished, which is usually around 6pm. The idea is to reduce the crowds who are expected to attend the event as this is the first time the August Fair has been able to take place since 2019, and it will be discussed at a planning meeting on Friday.

“We are looking at ways to stop people holding impromptu parties in the city centre after the official celebrations have ended,” explained the Councillor for Commerce, Elisa Pérez de Siles, but she also insisted it is still only an idea.

Only shops would be prohibited from selling alcohol; the measure would not affect bars, as they would be able to continue serving drinks after the daytime fair as normal. However, the Confederation of Food and Perfume Retailers (CAEA) is against the idea, saying that it would contravene its members’ right to trade freely.

Totally unfair

A similar system was used at the Seville Fair in April, but the Junta de Andalucía was against it on those same grounds, with the Ministry for Economic Transformation’s Competition Agency saying it was unnecessary, disproportionate and not in the general interest.

The president of the CAEA, Sergio Cuberos, who is also the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, said that in Seville there was no time to take legal action against the measure, but on this occasion lawyers are studying the situation in case Malaga council tries to put it into effect.

“This measure, instead of focusing on the people holding drinking parties in the street and how the Local Police can control them, will penalise supermarkets which have a legal licence to open and sell. It is totally unfair,” he insisted.