By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
ANGRY residents, business people and hoteliers joined the first of a weekly protest against the street parties held along the Paseo Maritimo every weekend.

Last week, the city council outlined a series of measures it will debate in a bid to stop the street parties but local residents, hoteliers and business people in the area were not impressed with Palma council's watered down measures and, as they have been threatening for the past few months, marched on city hall yesterday evening demanding stiff and immediate action.

This weekend, the street parties continued, an estimated 15'000 young people gathered along the Paseo Maritimo on Saturday, according to some reports and many of the luxury hotels along Palma's sea front have even turned business conventions down amidst fears of guests complaining about the street parties.

Demonstrators have had enough of the noise and the mess left in the wake of the street parties which go on into the early hours of the morning.
Palma's municipal refuse company EMAYA apparently brought forward their cleaning operation along the Paseo Maritimo to 3am on Sunday morning but it failed to deter the street party goers. The President of the Paseo Maritimo Business Association, Manuel Jimenez, said yesterday that every body in the area has run out of patience with Palma City Council and its apparent unwillingness to confront the problem. “We want clear and immediate action,” he said, and the protest march is going to be held every Monday until the council and the Balearic Port Authority, under whose jurisdiction the sea front falls, respond.

Jimenez said that Palma City Council pledged to take action against the street parties during the tourist season back in April but nothing has happened. “The street parties are costing local businesses money at a critical economic time and making life hell for local residents,” he stressed.
A survey carried out by the Institute for Balearic Family Policy has discovered that 82 percent of the Balearic population favour a complete ban on street parties and they also took part in last night's protest march.

The council is considering bringing in new laws to ban under-age drinking in the streets and large gatherings which may lead to public disorder but opponents to the street parties claim any such measures will not go far enough to stop the street parties altogether.

In some parts of the mainland, where street parties were also becoming a problem, local councils quite simply banned drinking in public places and that was end of the matter.

Many of Jimenez's supporters wonder why Palma City Council does not follow suit.
Needless to say, parts of the left-wing coalition council do not agree with banning the street parties.
The Balearic Youth Council, said yesterday that it believes that education and greater social awareness among young people will be a better way of addressing the problem.

However, the Mayor of Palma, Aina Calvo, learnt last night that such a theory has few supporters.

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