Punta Ballena strip in Magalluf closes its bars. | ATIENZA


Jason Moore and Frank Leavers argue the case for and against in what has been a rather controversial move by the local authorities.

“The Balearic government has just swept the problem under the carpet....”

By Jason Moore

It was the easy way out; rather than trying to put some order into the so-called “party streets” of Magalluf and the Playa de Palma, the local government just ordered the closure of the bars. End of story? Not really, because I suspect that all those people who were booked to come to Majorca for a party holiday in Magalluf and the Playa de Palma will just find a new venue somewhere else on the island. I know the government has said that they will fine and sanction any bar owner who flouts the health and safety laws but Majorca is a big place and it will be difficult to control. What the Balearic government has done is effectively swept the problem under the carpet. When will Calle Punta Ballena and the two streets in the Playa de Palma be brought under control?

The Spanish media like the phrase the “street without law” when they mention Calle Punta Ballena, so the time has come to put some law and order into the “party streets” so that they can be enjoyed by all and the fun not spoilt by a small minority. I only have praise for the police forces of Calvia and Palma. They have limited resources and it is the central administration in Madrid which should be providing the additional officers so that these streets can be properly controlled. And it is not just bad behaviour by tourists; there are the so-called muggers masquerading as prostitutes and petty criminals who prey on unsuspecting tourists. The Balearic government should have ensured that social distancing and the necessary guidelines were being enforced in the Playa de Palma and Calle Punta Ballena. This was a golden opportunity to say, enough is enough and we will take action if you break the law. But no, just close them down which will hit the Palma and Calvia economies hard. It must be remembered that Calle Punta Ballena and the two streets in the Playa de Palma are important “cash cows” for the local economy. All this has now been lost because the local authorities appear to be unwilling to tackle the problem head on and ensure that bad behaviour by a small minority was not tolerated. The question now has to asked, with a sizeable part of Magalluf, now closed what will be the economic repercussions of the move.

“For most of us, sick of the annual Majorcan humiliation by hoards of out-of-control idiots and worse - a ragged cheer would have gone up”

By Frank Leavers

The authorities have been threatening to do it for some time now - and let’s face it nobody really thought that they would actually do it, would they - indeed could they? Well, they have - and as many people would say - “About time too!” I am speaking of course of the Balearic Ministry of Tourism’s decision to close all the bars on Magalluf’s infamous, Calle Punta Ballena. It seems that that authorities patience has at last run-out and after the past weekends seemingly horrendous behaviour by some young British tourists - enough is enough.This would be bad enough at any time, but - during a pandemic when social responsibility is at a premium, it would have been neglectful of the authorities if the shutdown order wasn’t given. Nevertheless, almost immediately there was a well orchestrated call from certain quarters, that the move was uncalled for - and would leave bars owners in the area badly out-of-pocket. Oh dear how sad!

For most of us, sick of the annual Majorcan humiliation by hoards of out-of-control idiots and worse - a ragged cheer would have gone up from around the island, from people sick to death of this islands good name being besmirched by the behaviour of a few. I’m sure that there is a business lobby somewhere shaking their heads in regret at not being able to sell cheap and nasty booze to drunks anymore, but - hey, such is life. Things might have arrived at a different conclusion if bars and clubs on the island had to adhere to a protocol that is operational in certain Australian States. This being that it is a criminal act for premises to serve alcohol to those who are already inebriated. However, it’s too late now, as this failure to regulate their own behaviour has caused this ultimate censure of a closedown. Nevertheless, sadly what does this also say about British young people nowadays, who don’t seem to have any semblance of self control at all? However, already the apologists for those who’ve made loads of money out of this behaviour are calling all that has happened a long standing conspiracy to shut down parts of Magalluf. Well, now it has happened and who’s fault is that?