News that Ibiza Rocks Hotel has had its concert licence temporarily suspended* has once again highlighted the ongoing battle in San Antonio of residents versus tourists.
Residents are now no longer willing to accept the 4 month compromise that seasonal tourism brings to any resort but especially to San Antonio where residents and tourists are so closely intertwined. So far the new left wing local government has come down firmly on the side of residents (as they said they would in their election promises), after all it’s residents who vote not tourists.
What’s fueling this sea of change is social media or namely Facebook. It used to be the cafes and bars where people would get together and gripe however now anyone with a score to settle, an internet connection and an appetite for a fight can make waves that will reverberate all the way up to the Mayors office.
There’s several pages on Facebook where vocal San An residents can take their complaints, harness support from ‘friends’ and trolls alike and believe that this gives them a mandate to act.
San Antonio councillors have openly admitted that they keep an eye on Facebook to see what local people are talking about and many of them take their political and heartfelt messages to the masses via their social media homepage rather than in a press conference.
‘Reinicia’, San Antonio’s 3rd largest political party, who have 4 seats in the council chambers was almost entirely born out of a Facebook protest group that snowballed leading to Pablo Valdes becoming Deputy Mayor in June 2015.
On closer inspection though you see the same names over and over again on the Facebook pages and it becomes apparent that rather than a broad cross section the dialogue is only between a handful of self interested parties. You get the same people ‘debating’ so in a town of 16000 voters you have less than 1% of the voting population trying to steer the ship into areas that affect everyone.
These figures might be OK for an industrial city in the north of Spain but in an island town that relies 99.99% on tourism it’s a dangerous situation with so few people calling the shots and riding roughshod over the rest of the local population who are too mild or computer illiterate to get involved.
Rather than take a sensible approach it seems that ‘he who shouts loudest’ in San Antonio now gets the quickest response which is ironic really given that noise seems to be the main issue.
*Ibiza Rocks Hotel situation is only temporary until a few issues are resolved. An IRH Spokesperson said that it will be business as usual for next summer.