Badly behaving tourists
Following on from the rumpus about German tourists in Cala Ratjada, which had featured heavily the previous week, last week it seemed impossible to avoid news of tourists behaving badly. On Wednesday we considered the charge list: eighteen streaking Brits in Palmanova; someone defecating in the street in Arenal; neo-Nazis in Arenal shouting "foreigners out", as if they themselves weren't in fact foreigners; English and Scottish so-called fans battling it out in Magalluf.
The conclusion drawn was that nothing much is changing, despite the efforts at "transformation" - in Magalluf anyway. Then we learned that two Brits (worse the wear for alcohol) had arrived at the airport and taken it upon themselves to get into a scrap with the National Police: something which is not a sensible to do. Another day, and so therefore another misbehaviour story.
Things might of course all settle down once the solid family tourist begins arriving, which in the case of some nationalities is now - certain German states, for instance, have started summer holidays. Meanwhile, though, we were wondering if Calvia town hall, blessed by brawling football types and naked runners, might look upon such incidents as useful diversion from other matters, ones of rather greater seriousness. There were plenty of people making much this point. But then the point - about mugging prostitutes - has been made until people are blue in the face. And it has been for years.
The mayor of Llucmajor was drawing on history in not understanding what all the fuss was about. This had been kicked up by residents in Arenal (the Llucmajor part). They had distributed a video on social networks which highlighted the noise at night caused by tourists. These are specifically young tourists on student spring breaks. It's been like this for years, the mayor more or less said. It's not worse than before. So, why were residents getting into a state? Well, perhaps after so many years they have had enough. The mayor's remarks weren't terribly helpful.
Just to round things off, the week also gave us two naked female tourists (British) in Magalluf, who were captured on video.
There was a troubling story about a British holidaymaker who almost had her two-year-old daughter snatched from her in a hotel in Calas de Mallorca. Her story, in miniature, had gone viral on Facebook, and she explained it in full to the Bulletin. It raised a number of issues. One was that it could have happened in full view of other tourists in the hotel's show area. Another was the response of the hotel, which seemingly wished to downplay the whole thing. The mother was otherwise full of praise for the police, who she was able to contact having found the emergency number.
The hotel, Eurocalas, has since issued a statement in which it says that it did not refuse to call the police and that it acted at all times in the "most diligent way possible". It also says that the hotel is unaware of a formal complaint of the facts having been made to police, while a review of security camera recordings has apparently been unable to verify the presence of a woman (who attempted to take the child) fitting the description given by the mother.
The case nevertheless raised an issue about hotel security in general, and on Tuesday we looked at this from the point of view of terrorism. Some hotels are apparently going to be having special audits of their protection. We noted, however, that there are many hotels which are vulnerable because of the sheer ease of access to buildings and to grounds.
Another drugs operation
The security forces, the Guardia Civil in this instance, were active once more in the battle against drugs. A major operation on Wednesday involved almost 200 officers who raided properties in Cala Ratjada, Capdepera, Inca, Manacor and Palma. The force's colonel in chief expressed his satisfaction at the outcome (some twenty arrests and sales points shut down). And he was clear in his message: the Guardia Civil intends to "destroy" all points of drug sale on the island.
Court, chiringuitos, claims
In other news, the Supreme Court struck a blow on behalf of governments such as the Balearic government by supporting a Catalonia High Court ruling that HomeAway must remove all holiday rentals that do not have registered licence numbers from its website. There was much concern at the possibility that other chiringuito bars might be demolished. The iconic S'Illeta in Camp de Mar is one of them. And two British women were detained by the Guardia Civil and accused of inciting British holidaymakers into making false sickness compensation claims.