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Some days ago, there was a report which indicated that businesses in Magalluf were demanding reform of the tourism of excesses law. “A bit late” was one comment, which failed to appreciate what reform was being demanded. It’s as if there are those who feel that new administrations - be these the government, the Council of Mallorca, Palma town hall, Calvia town hall (or any other institution) - are about to automatically put policies of the previous administrations into reverse. All of them. This most certainly isn’t how it will be.

There are some specifics of tourism regulation that will be subject to amendment and reform. The moratorium on new tourist accommodation places will be scrapped; Marga Prohens made clear ahead of the election that it would be. Prohens has also said that she (or rather the new tourism minister, as and when one is appointed) will be revisiting the PP’s 2012 tourism law in encouraging hotel investment.

Here are two examples where the new government and the new administration at the Council of Mallorca will be working on what are essentially business issues as they affect the tourism industry. For the most part, one needs to distinguish between these issues and those to do with individuals - tourists themselves. The tourism of excesses law, as I’ve noted previously, is targeted more at businesses than at tourists per se. But it was introduced in order to address behaviour - individuals’ behaviour. Where businesses facilitate antisocial behaviour, they will be penalised.

The reform being demanded in Magalluf has to do with the objectification of women and with a loosely drafted text that has failed to define this adequately, plus discrimination based on the zoning of the resort for tourism of excesses purposes. It is a very specific reform and also an isolated demand, as businesses have come to realise that requirements of the law, e.g. bans on happy hours and other alcohol promotions, are intended for a general betterment of the resort, of its image and indeed the image of Mallorca as a whole.

While there may be some refinement of the law, it is most unlikely that it or municipal ordinance which complements the law will undergo change. Except where it could feasibly get tougher.
It is important to bear in mind that the Partido Popular ran on a firm law-and-order ticket. So did Vox, whose direct institutional involvement looks as if it will not go any higher up the political food chain than Calvia town hall (Mallorca’s second largest municipality). And it is Calvia, Magalluf and all, where evidence is already strongest of a continuation of policies.

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The new mayor of Calvia, Juan Antonio Amengual, was quick off the blocks in getting together with the British Consul, Lloyd Milen, after his investiture was ensured. Their meeting took place last week. The first deputy mayor, Esperanza Català of Vox, was in attendance. Her remit includes the Calvia police force. They agreed to create a forum for all those involved in the “proper functioning of coexistence with tourism” and in making Calvia “free of excesses”.

For headline purposes there was something about cooperation to guarantee “zero balconing”, when balconing has become far less of a problem than it used to be. Be that as it may, as the clear message emanating from Calvia is that excesses are going to be pursued every bit as vigorously as they have been, if not more - be this bad behaviour or lawlessness. For administrations making law and order a top priority, such as in Palma under Jaime Martínez, a distinction is immaterial.

One has to remember that Martínez was tourism minister when Magalluf appeared as if it could stoop no lower - the infamous ‘mamading video’. That shouldn’t have been the wake-up call that was required (as it was hardly that out of the ordinary), but it was because of the massive negative publicity. Another memory is the death of Javier Pierotti, whose campaigning against excesses included Magalluf ‘chaos’ videos during the period of the last PP mayor, Manuel Onieva.

Nine years on, there cannot be a return, and Amengual seems intent to ensure that there isn’t. In Arenal (the Palma part at any rate), we wait to see what Martínez does, the hoteliers having once again admonished the town hall for its neglect and the Palma Beach association of businesses having declared that excesses are worse than ever.

And meanwhile, let’s not forget that there are other resorts where excess may not be on a similar scale but where it exists nevertheless. In Cala Ratjada the hoteliers association is demanding action on security and behaviour from a new PP administration. Alcudia has a Vox councillor in charge of the police. The PP have secured another majority in Santanyi, where there has been talk of a migration of excesses to Cala d’Or.