Access denied at Cala Varques.

The owner of the finca through which there is access to Cala Varques (Manacor) has closed the gates. They will stay shut in order to put an end to the saturation in the area and threats by the operator of the illegal chiringuito bar on the beach.

Last Friday, the owner lodged a writ with a court against the chiringuito operator. This was for verbal and physical threats and aggressions. The writ also highlights the illegal occupation of property. There is camping, apparently promoted by the chiringuito, and there are great numbers of people who cross the owner's land and cause damage.

As far as the owner is concerned, the source of the tourist saturation of Cala Varques was a promotion by Manacor town hall at the ITB travel fair in Berlin several years ago. The consequence is an "unsustainable" situation, for which the public authorities have not offered any solution.

The town hall was presented with a proposal by the owner for there to be control of access and surveillance in order to stop people camping and being at the beach at night. According to the owner, the town hall did not look upon this favourably.

At the start of last month, the environment ministry imposed a fine of 100,000 euros on the chiringuito owner and prohibited the reopening of the makeshift bar. It has, nevertheless, reopened.

The town hall was not aware of the gates having been closed. The local police will be going and making a report. The matter will then be in the hands of the municipal legal services. The owner says that he consulted with his lawyer before closing the gates.

It would seem, and despite popular belief, that there is no public way across the finca in order to access Cala Varques. A fence has been broken in order to get access and there is now also a hole in a wall to one side of the gates.

The owner adds that there never used to be a problem and was happy for people to cross his property. The "saturation" in recent years has changed all this.