THE Business and Industry Association of the Paseo Maritimo in Palma (ACOIPAM)said yesterday that it was preparing for a full-scale demonstration against the practice of street drinking parties, known as the botellón and against the failure of Palma City Council to put a stop to it.

The demonstration, warned ACOIPAM, most likely to be held on 19th July, will simply be the first of many. Similar protests will be held every Monday at 7pm throughout the summer and for however long it takes to force the City Council to put a stop to the problems associated with street drinking parties in the area, particularly at weekends.

ACOIPAM, an amalgamation of bars, restaurants, hotels, shops and other tourist businesses along the Paseo Maritimo, has amassed huge support from influential Balearic business groups. Those who are just as keen to see the back of the botellon as ACOIPAM members are, include the Majorcan Chamber of Commerce, the Balearic business association (CAEB), the small to medium-sized Majorcan businesses association (Pimem) and the Majorcan Hoteliers' Association.

Many hotel owners on the Paseo Maritimo claim that the botellón is having a disastrous effect on their business. “Those who stay in our accommodation and witness the rowdiness of the parties and the rubbish strewn along the seafront and even in the sea after the event, certainly don't want to repeat the experience.” The hoteliers added that newcomers to Palma's seafront, when faced with the damaging image of the botellón post negative comments on the hotel websites. “The problem is an all-year-round one,” claimed ACOIPAM, “but it is particularly acute in summer.” Although the date has been set for the first demonstration, there are some issues the organisers are needing to finalise such as the slogans that marchers will have emblazened across their banners. It will also mean, said a spokesman, that businesses which are members of ACOIPAM will need to close between 7pm and 9pm to allow their employees to take part in the protest.

Palma City Council said meanwhile that it is “working on the matter.” The difficulty the Council faces is reportedly the fact that there is no current legislation to stop people gathering, albeit in large numbers, to enjoy themselves, but there are laws against unacceptable levels of noise and rubbish.