Nothing like a drink on holiday. | Archive

Rubbish tourists
There were echoes of the start of this century in the words of new Palma mayor Antoni Noguera. He referred to German tourists as "rubbish", an allusion to certain highly publicised incidents, such as the recent neo-Nazi racist chanting and a fight in broad daylight by Balneario 6 in Arenal which left one of the protagonists flat out and unconscious.

Certain politicians had questioned the "quality" of German tourists at the start of the century, something which contributed to a significant fall in tourist numbers in 2002. While this decline has, since then, been attributed solely to the ecotax, which was introduced in 2002, the fact that Germans were feeling as though they were not welcome was just as important. A PR charm offensive had to be undertaken to make them feel welcome once more.

Was Noguera wrong to have said what he did? Perhaps he was, as an impression could have been given (and parts of the German media allowed it to be) that all German tourists were been branded thus. Otherwise, Noguera was right. Why should Playa de Palma, anywhere in Majorca for that matter, have to endure such unacceptable behaviour? Meanwhile, tour operators were being asked not to bring this type of tourist to the island, and the tour operators responded by, in effect, saying that there was demand for this type of tourism. In other words, the tour operators are willing participants in drunken tourism. So much for their grand words about responsibility, therefore.

The leader of the Partido Popular in Palma, Marga Duran, attacked Noguera, saying that he was "irresponsible" and shouldn't refer to people "in that manner". She added that it was ironic that he should say this when the streets in the centre of Palma are as filthy as they are. Which had nothing to do with rubbish tourists, but was her way of doing some point-scoring.

All-inclusive drink restrictions
The regional government, following the lead of Calvia town hall, where there have been calls in the past couple of years for curbs on alcohol in all-inclusive hotels, announced that it will legislate in order to establish restrictions. Well, fine, but how much of the trouble that occurs in resorts is caused by all-inclusive holidaymakers? Some maybe, but not all. There was a sense that the government was playing a PR game of wanting to be seen to be getting tough and choosing the widely despised all-inclusive as its target.

All-inclusives have been the main target for the so-called claims farmers. Mac Hotels, which operates the Club Mac complex in Alcudia - a prime location for eliciting fraudulent sickness claims - said that it is taking legal action against British holidaymakers making these claims. Tui UK added to this ongoing saga by saying that 1,800 claims had been dropped by one firm. Threats of action against criminal activity are obviously having some impact. Tui had previously explained that letters sent to claimants made clear that legal proceedings would be opened if claims were false. Those letters had themselves had an effect.

Islamic extremism
The "hate preacher" Tarik Chadlioui, arrested the week before last in a Spanish-led pan-European operation against so-called Islamic State, faces extradition to Spain. He is understood to have links to those involved with the Paris Bataclan atrocity and London's Borough Market incident. Four arrests were made in Majorca - two in Inca, one in Ariany and the other in Binissalem.

Adding to any paranoia over Islamic extremism in Majorca, yet more illegal immigrants from north Africa were picked up. Eleven were detained, having arrived on Thursday night, and a further twelve were picked up in Cabrera.

Hot weather
And there was the weather. Oddly enough it was hot. This sort of thing happens in summer in Majorca, and reaching 40C is not uncommon. But when it does, there is - as always - a good deal of mileage given to such high temperatures. Still, there's some way to go to break the record that was set in Muro in July 1994, when the high topped 44C.