Balearics Must Tackle Other Issues as well as Anti-Social Drinking

The Balearic Government’s new laws designed to crack down on alcohol excess have made front page news around the globe and started off many debates. 

Balearic politicians have decided to target bar crawls, happy hours, ‘balconing’ and party boats in 3 specific geographical areas, namely Magaluf and Arenal in Mallorca and the West End of San Antonio in Ibiza.

It’s no secret that these areas have a reputation for cheap alcohol coupled with a clientele of mainly young British tourists on a limited holiday budget. 

While some will see this as negative press others will see it as an overdue crackdown and many resorts around the world will be watching closely to see whether these new laws could be useful in their own tourist hot spots. 

The frustrating thing from a local perspective is that while the selling of cheap alcohol is undoubtedly an issue there are other problems in these areas such as pickpockets, prostitutes and illegal street selling that seem to be continually overlooked.

Ironically when questioned local politicians say that they are inhibited by existing laws. Double standards? When you live and work in these areas and your teenage kids roam the same summer streets as tourists then you want zero tolerance on the most important issues and excessive alcohol sales isn’t top of the list.

Here in San Antonio bar crawls haven’t been around for years but unscrupulous bar owners offer ridiculously cheap drinks deals to passing youngsters that can only result in one outcome so any new laws against this are welcome in my opinion.

Party boats aren’t a massive issue as most are well controlled after previous unsavoury incidents required them to get their house in order whilst anything that deters youngsters from jumping from one balcony to another can only be a good thing. 

But what will it really mean after the furore has died down? The reality is that laws are only effective if they are implemented with vigour, fairness and stealth and this is where we have previously come unstuck in the Balearics and it’s worth noting that San Antonio already has a shortage of local police officers. 

Ultimately it is local business owners who need to self police to ensure that not only do they protect the reputation of the resort but also the welfare of youngsters, many who are on their first ever holiday abroad.

Getting the balance right is the biggest challenge and anything that focuses on protecting young tourists whilst also trying to change the perception of much maligned resorts should be applauded however the jury is still out as to whether this is a serious initiative or just political rhetoric that will soon be forgotten about.

Written exclusively for the TTG – Read article here

Author: Martin Makepeace

Englishman living and working in Ibiza since 1991. Entrepreneur with a passion for villas, boats, sunsets and San Antonio. Owner of Ibiza Property Shop and Ibiza Speedboats.

One thought on “Balearics Must Tackle Other Issues as well as Anti-Social Drinking”

  1. As you point out, there are plenty of more pressing issues to deal with than more empty laws about things that don’t happen right now anyway. Where’s the new initiative to crack down on street crime, for example?

    Priorities should be made and these set of new laws are not at the top of the list of what we need. All this does is give fuel to tabloid papers to put people off from coming. The amount of people I’ve had message me already asking “is it true that drinking is now banned?” Is scary.

    It’s always this kind of news at the time of year when people are planning their holidays too. It’s as if they specifically want to harm businesses and deter bookings…

    How much more positive would the headlines be if it was announced “Spanish government vows to crack down on pickpockets in Magaluf, Playa Arenal & San Antonio, with zero tolerance policing to make them Europe’s safest resorts”… this is the kind of news we need right now. Not more unenforceable laws that fuel the tabloids to encourage business to go elsewhere.

    Like

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