CONCERNS over the prospect of thousands of youngsters heading for Palma on April 8 to take part in a “record breaking” nation wide binge drinking session on the Paseo Maritimo are starting to rise. In fact, not only are the authorities in Palma studying a wide range of contingency plans, so too are the authorities in Minorca and Ibiza where the e-mails have also gone out to thousands of people calling on them to join the party. Yesterday, Palma's Green-United left group suggested that road blocks and traffic restrictions should be put in place on April 8 to reduce incidents to a minimum. Palma council is also being urged to install extra waste-bins along the sea front, ensure that medical teams are on hand, extra drink driving controls are in place and that police patrols along the Paseo Maritimo are stepped up. Next week, the Spanish Minister for Health, Elena Salgado, is hosting a meeting for members of the Federation of Councils and Provinces to discuss new ways of combating public binge drinking sessions (botellon). The Minister admitted yesterday that the phenomenon, which is becoming increasingly popular across the country, is becoming “ a public order problem while we are also concerned about alcohol abuse by young people. The situation is very serious when young people are being taken to hospital because of alcohol abuse at these weekend events.”
The spotlight is also set to fall on alcohol retailers.