THE Son Armadans Residents' Association has lodged an official complaint against Palma City Council for failing to halt street drinking parties (the botellón) in the area, said Association President Tomeu Berga yesterday. “We're hoping that a Court will force the City Council to meet its obligations,” Berga said. He added that he and his association members are not discounting seeking damages from the Council for the destruction, noise and filth to which residents are exposed as a result of the street drinking parties over the last ten years.

Berga said that the complaint made by the Residents' Association could bring results in a couple of months. “We at least have the assurance that the justice system will support us,” he claimed. “We are not the first to bring a case against a city council,” Berga said. It has already been done by other residents' associations in Seville and Caceres on the mainland.

But in Son Armadans, the residents are taking no chances. They have already collected over 1'000 signatures in an anti-botellón campaign, and signed up to a wider platform aimed at stamping out illegal street drinking parties. The latter has a policy of seeking the help of influential, well-known faces to back the struggle.

This coming week, the Son Armadans Residents' Association is also planning to use the strong arm of the law against the Balearic Ports Authority, which - say the residents - continues to tolerate the drinking parties along the Paseo Maritimo in Palma, tarnishing the image of the city for visitors.

The law has to support the right of local residents to sleep at night against the practice of noisy street drinking parties, said Berga, adding that he wasn't accepting the City Council's excuse that there “wasn't an appropriate law to stop the parties.” Just by enforcing the law of people's right to live peacefully, the botellón will be stopped, he alleged.