STAFF REPORTER
THE opposition Partido Popular (PP) on Palma City Council has proposed that street drinking parties, known as the botellon, be banned entirely across the municipality as current legislation does not go far enough in curtailing the practice.

PP spokesman, Julio Martinez, said yesterday that measures put forward by the Socialist-led City Council almost a fortnight ago only make reference to dealing with “large gatherings where special intervention is necessary” and are not clear enough to stop the custom of mass parties, especially on the Paseo Maritimo in Palma, where under-age drinking is common.

The PP proposal follows Monday's protest “street drinking party” held outside Palma City Hall in which members of the Paseo Maritimo tourist businesses and hoteliers' association revelled in a rowdy manner, strewing litter across the flagstones.

Although the demonstrators cleared up after themselves, the protest was meant to show the Council just what businesses on the Paseo Maritimo suffer when crowds of youngsters get down to serious business of street drinking and disturbing the peace in the height of the tourist season.

Martinez said that what the Council had proposed so far to crack down on the botellon is insufficient because there is no specific reference to consuming alcohol out on the street. He said that the PP's amendment to the draft law would include words which specifically banned under-age drinking in public but was otherwise almost identical to the text which the ruling Socialists want debated at regional government level this coming Friday.

Martinez said that he recognised that all political parties were “heading in the same direction” on the debate and that he was confident that a combination of both texts would satisfy all groups on the Council.

A Citizen Services Committee has meanwhile asked for more time to consider reaching a consensus on banning street drinking altogether.

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