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Local residents say “all the old problems” have already returned as the season swings into action despite efforts by the Balearic government to change the venue’s image. They say drug gangs are making deals in the middle of the streets in full view of holidaymakers and claim that during the weekend, they witnessed 500 sales. And they have reported numerous robberies with violence to the police following the massive arrival of tourists, particularly the Brits, French and Swiss.
The main problem area is once again the famous Punta Ballena strip in Magaluf which is lined with pubs and clubs.
The resort is one of the areas subject to tough new rules including a ban on pub crawls, two for one alcohol offers, drinking in the street and unruly behaviour. There has also been a clampdown on some of the all-inclusive hotels where free drinks are being limited. Party boats are also banned.
But Spanish newspaper Ultimahora.es says the old problems of yesteryear have started again, reporting: “A new season begins loaded with large doses of indifference, alcohol, drugs, prostitution, robbery and violence.
“The massive arrival of tourists to Punta Ballena has brought with it the appearance of traffickers and prostitutes, hunting drunk tourists. The controversial Magaluf street is already teeming with Nigerian and Romanian clans.”
Nearly 20 police officers were reported to have been on duty to control the crowds, together with bouncers and security guards from nightlife venues.
Ultimahora.es says they witnessed the scenes and saw how “the night began with a large influx of British, French and Poles”.
“Shortly before midnight, after passing through the Magaluf beach, the young people began to arrive at the venues at the nerve centre of the party,” it said.
Local residents say the Balearic government’s quest for sustainable tourism is “a joke”.
One tweeted: “Every year is the same in that area. I don’t know how they keep bringing that low cost tourism (drunkenness, drugs and balconing) to beautiful Mallorca is. Nor is it understandable how prostitutes roam freely throughout the area robbing and assaulting tourists.
“They are an organised gang created on purpose. Courage to the security forces and bodies because another eventful year awaits them. Public administrations should put limitations in the area and above all eradicate illegal prostitution (which masked robbers) and drug sales.”
Calvia council, which covers Magaluf, says it is determined to eradicate what it describes as “tourism of excesses” and pledges to be “inflexible in the application of the new laws”.
Extra police are usually brought in at the height of the summer, usually July, but hoteliers want more officers on the beat from June.
The call is being led by the Hotel Federation of Mallorca which predicts a busy summer for the islands, including Ibiza and Menorca.
“We all want uncivil tourism to disappear, we have to eradicate this type of tourism,” said its president, Maria Frontera.”Even in countries like Germany and England there is a feeling of shame towards this type of behaviour.”
The request has been put to Government delegate for the islands, Aina Calvo but the final decision lies with the Ministry of the Interior which organises security throughout the country.
Maria Frontera said bringing in extra police in June would make sure there were “exhaustive and rigorous control” of the decree law against excess tourism in the Balearic Islands, especially in areas such as Magaluf and Playa de Palma.
Tourism minister for the Balearics, Iago Negueruela has already stressed that the islands want to turn the tide away from mass tourism to provide “quality rather than quantity”.
In 2020, unruly behaviour became so bad in some of the tourist hotspots that the Balearic government took the unprecented step of closing down the Punta Ballena strip in Magaluf for three months.
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