The Plaza de las Columnas, the epicentre of Palma's clean-up plan. | P. BOTA


The tourist season is around the corner. Palma may well have enjoyed an encouraging winter with many of the boutique and city hotels having enjoyed brisk business, but now the serious stuff begins and Palma could do with a bit of a clean-up ahead of the forecast surge in visitors.

The mayor, Jaime Martínez, when it came to cleaning up the city centre, got off to a flying start when to he took office nearly a year ago now, but lately it appears that the brush-up Palma campaign has run out of steam.

Yes, the cleaning machinery is constantly on the go in the city centre but wander just a little off course and the streets are still stained. You still have to watch out for little packages left behind by disrespectful dog owners and, to be quite honest, some of the streets simply smell, some of them of alcohol and tobacco.

And the latter is something the mayor is going to have to confront sooner or later. Pockets such as Santa Catalina and the Paseo Mallorca are becoming overwhelmed with revellers, especially on Friday and Saturday nights to the point it is getting out of control.

On a Friday evening, as early as 6pm, I have to cross the street to walk down parts of the Paseo Mallorca due to the thousands of people gathering in large numbers outside the bars. Just lately some have been forced to drink on the other side of the road due to the lack of space. Lovely for residents and hotel guests.