By Humphrey Carter PALMA

PALMA City Council is expected to approve tough new rules and regulations controlling drinking in public places this month.
The primary aim is to bring about an end to the hugely controversial “botellon” street parties which last year provoked massive protests from residents and business people along the Paseo Maritimo where thousands of youngsters gather every weekend to party into the early hours.

Residents have had enough of the noise and the litter left behind while businesses, including the local bar and disco owners, claim it is harming their trade and takings.

From a tourism point of view, the weekly street parties and mess left in their wakes, do little for the city's image with the binge drinkers over looked by the five star hotels along the sea front.

The opposition Partido Popular, while having pledged to back any crack down on street drinking, has also warned the coalition council that it has to have a road map planned for after the new regulations come in ahead of the summer season.

PP WORRIED

What the PP is worried about is that the parties will simply move location and continue, perhaps in another residential area of the capital.
Some cities on the mainland, such as Santander in the north, have banned drinking in public places to combat the street parties and the move has worked, the PP would like Palma to take similar drastic action.

For the time being, it appears that from March, it will be illegal to drink in a public place if aged under 18.

There is talk of introducing restrictions regarding the number of people who can gather in a public place but the Local Police will then be faced with the head ache of enforcing such a law.