Thousands of German tourists clashed with police early yesterday after the city council ordered the closure of four bars in the so-called Beer Street in Arenal. A police spokesman said that the protest, which involved up to 3'000 people was clearly orchestrated by the owners of the four bars and their staff who offered free beer and food to all those taking part. The local authorities had not been informed of the demonstration. Tension mounted when a police patrol, sent to the area to check that the four bars were abiding by the closure order, were confronted by the angry crowd. The demonstrators started banging on the roof of the vehicle meanwhile officers were insulted and missiles hurled. Rubbish containers were set alight and police called for re-inforcements. While police tried to talk with the owners of the bars the demonstrators continued to hurl insults. Police informed the crowd that their protest was illegal and that they were breaking the law. Finally police sealed the street to traffic and waited until the protesters dispersed. A police spokesman said yesterday this incident was clearly orchestrated by the business-people in the area. We will be taking action. This latest protest is just another incident in the long running battle between the council and the bar owners in the Playa de Palma. The Palma council, under heavy pressure from the tour firms, want bars to abide by music regulations and other council laws. Earlier this year, it was reported but later denied, that Germany's two biggest tour operators were planning to take legal action against the council for allowing bars to open until 3a.m. and playing music far above the permitted levels. The tour firms claimed that many tourists had complained that they couldn't sleep at night and had demanded that they be moved to other quieter resorts.
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