STAFF REPORTER
PALMA

PALMA City Council yesterday accepted a proposal put forward by the opposition Partido Popular (PP) party to bring a conclusive end to problems caused by street drinking parties, otherwise known as the botellon.

In a special meeting of the Council called by the PP to address kick-starting economic activity in the city, PP spokesman Julio Martinez said that getting rid of the botellón could only benefit the business community because the noise and mess left by the street drinking parties was marring Palma's tourist image.

Referring to legislation to crack down on mass drinking in the street approved last Wednesday by Palma City Council, Martinez said that although this was a step in the right direction, the move merely reinforced already-existing bylaws and will not put an end to the parties.

Martinez said that the PP wanted to see action and not words and pointed out that it was now two weeks ago that his party had asked the Socialist-ruled Council to take stronger measures over the botellón. He said that what was really needed was a ban on street drinking, not just a bylaw which technically worded, was designed to “reduce the effects of alcohol consumption in public places.” Martinez claimed that according to rumour, if a ban was not levied on the street drinking parties, there were businesses and hotels in certain parts of Palma which would have to close. He said that if this were the case, as indeed evidence suggested, then the City Council should not “give any leeway” over the matter. Martinez added that he therefore hoped that there would be all-party backing to the proposal to ban the botellón.

Majorcan Unionist (UM) spokesman on the City Council, Llorenç Palmer, gave his support to the PP proposal, saying that it was important that the street parties were brought to an end “in one way or another.” Social Welfare Councillor, Eberhard Grosske said that whatever legislation was finally passed, it should represent the interests of all citizens so that there was no social conflict.

The PP proposal will mean that no gatherings at all, whether they involve drinking or not, should be allowed to disturb people's right to live quietly and conduct business normally.

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