Since Ferraz became the starting point for protests against the amnesty, Nabila Baraka has fired a cook – and a waiter will not be able to renew his contract anytime soon – and lost between 12,000 and 17,000 euros in turnover . This 42-year-old hotelier opened her bar barely five months ago, just opposite the PSOE headquarters, rue Ferraz. “One Tuesday evening, I won 2,500 euros; yesterday (Monday) it closed at 117 euros, it doesn’t even cover electricity”, he laments on the phone. Baraka is the president of the new Association of Hoteliers and SMEs on Calle Ferraz y Argüelles, which collected the signatures of its first 13 members on Tuesday and which will be officially constituted in the coming days. The association has only one objective: to obtain compensation for the twenty companies which, for a month, have been trying to survive.

Those affected met in the morning with the PSOE and Más Madrid, and also contacted Madrid City Hall, the Community, the Government Delegation… “We need immediate help to alleviate the month of November, which “We can stay open for the moment,” summarizes its president, who has already canceled 14 Christmas dinners at 40 euros per guest. The association plans to receive part of the regional emergency fund, intended for disasters like that of Filomena, and to distribute it accordingly between the partners. “Even if it is minor collateral damage, there are at least 20 SMEs in difficulty. This is not fair,” says Baraka. His income is about 20% of usual and he doubts he will make it to the end of the year.

Baraka’s restaurant adapted to the demonstrators’ schedules. Before it opened at noon, the main course was dinner and drinks. Now its owner, a former director of reception in establishments in the Salamanca district, raises the blinds at eight in the morning and leaves before ten in the evening. The blocking of its customers, like that of rue Ferraz, has been constant since November 3. “Who wants to go for a beer in a war zone?” asks Baraka, barely serving the neighbors, family and friends who pass by. “Up in November and December”, the time of Christmas gatherings. “And it seems to reach the 31st (December), because the chant of the protesters is: ‘The grapes to Ferraz.'”

An unpredictable blockade

Quintana 22 is not in front of the socialist headquarters, but the street at its gates is sporadically closed. “So far there have been no problems, but as the system has been increased, there are physical checks and they identify people, by car some days you can arrive and others not , if that day is closed, they cancel (a reservation) the same day…”, lists David Quintana, 53, owner of one of the largest restaurants in the region, who has welcomed certain journalists in recent weeks to send them their chronicles on Ferraz.

The police change and, for hoteliers and merchants around Ferraz, it is unpredictable. Quintana buys a piece of monkfish for a meal, warns the waiters, organizes the preparations… and, as a result, the initial perimeter of 200 meters extends to 400 meters and the event is canceled. Since the beginning of November, its customers have canceled 396 confirmed reservations and the hotelier has reduced its workforce from fourteen to eight employees. “Compared to October, I stopped charging 17,000 euros,” he concludes. Quintana especially regrets that neither the Government Delegation nor the National Police report on their operations.

At least twenty residents suffer the consequences of a mobilization which invades their streets every evening. On one occasion, as Baraka admits, the protesters themselves took pity and bought him twenty sandwiches. They also sell them “at cost” to police officers and journalists. “It costs me dearly. “It’s criminal,” he said. “I’m an entrepreneur, I have no credit and I’ve already put money out of my own pocket to stay open,” she says. Quintana agrees that the blow to the box “is brutal.” “As justice is very slow, until the responsibilities are settled, they are providing us with direct assistance, not ICO loans,” claims the businessman. For now, the first 13 have joined forces within Ferraz’s first hotel association.