The vice-president of the Federation of Hoteliers and Restaurateurs (FEHV) and president of the Association of Valencia Restaurants, José Palacios, has warned today of the problems being faced by establishments in El Saler, El Perelló, Sueca and Cullera because of the "immense plague of mosquitos" that has invaded the area this year.
Speaking to Europa Press Televisión, he said that although mosquitos were "inevitable" in summer, "this year's plague is immense and is causing serious problems in restaurants"as well as for people at home, where windows are being kept permanently closed "because people cannot live with a room full of mosquitos".
"This year, as soon as dusk falls, mosquitos invade the whole of southern Valencia and restaurant owners are having a really tough time of it as a result", claimed Palacios, insisting that the situation this year is "not normal".
In his restaurant in Cullera, he sees "mosquitos descend in their masses" and says "it's impossible to sit outside". He claims that some customers have even asked to have their food taken outside into the street, where there is no electic lighting, "just so they can finish their meals".
In other establishments, the owners have taken the decision to "turn off the lights and put candles on the tables because if they don't, clients just get up and leave".
Palacios explained that both Valencia city council and Cullera town council "say they have done their duty with regard to controlling the plague", but emphasised that "they need to take extraordinary measures for extraordinary circumstances" adding that he felt that they "haven't done all they could do".
He said "in general, the mosquitos in this year's plague are not those tht sting or cause harm, but are simply unbearable because of the enormous quantity of them" making it "impossible to be anywhere with electric lights on".
"People have got their homes almost permanently closed up, and clients can't bear to sit in the restaurants and summer terraces, which are just at the beginning of their summer season", complained Palacios.