Palma.—The article prompted a swift rebuke from the President of the Majorcan Hotel Federation, Aurelio Vazquez yesterday, but some serious damage to Majorca's reputation in Germany has been done.

The Germans tend to take media reports seriously, for example they reacted to now defunct tourist tax by staying away.
Bild am Sonntag, the Sunday edition of the world's best-selling newspaper, described Majorca as a destination in decline, dominated by “swindlers, pickpockets and prostitutes”.

The paper also claimed that Majorca is so well-known it is said to be the best-known Spanish word in Germany.
But Sunday's report could also affect the public image of the island, sometimes affectionately known as “state number 17” in reference to the 16 federal states that comprise the German Republic.

The Bild am Sonntag article, titled Majorca's Darkest Summer, concludes that the economic crisis is ruining the island.
It states: “Swindlers, pickpockets and cheap prostitutes over run thePlaya de Palma after sunset,” before going on to claim that Majorca's crisis-related 30 percent unemployment level has left it in the hands of criminal gangs.

A total of 74'573 crimes were reported last year on the island and the feature's authors say they were advised by doormen at a club in the Ballermann area of the Playa de Palma to “hold on tight to your mobile phone”.

The article also highlights the efforts of Aurelio Vázquez, president of Majorca's Hotel Business Federation, to have more police watching the beach at night.

But the journalist who wrote the article claimed that gangs seem unconcerned by law enforcement efforts: “I am not afraid of the police,” one Senegalese man told the reporter. “Majorcan justice is overwhelmed,” businessman Utz Claasen, co-owner of Real Mallorca football club said.
As we all know, Majorca relies heavily on the four million Germans who come here every year.
The report in the newspaper which calls itself the “most influential 200g of paper in the world” could have devastating consequences for Majorca's tourist industry and the Balearic tourist industry knows it.

Vazquez categorically denied all of the accusations made in the article.
He insisted that Majorca is a “family destination” claiming that the newspaper has focused on a “marginal” problem on the island. “Majorca has an impeccable international reputation,” he added.

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