Regardless of what government ministers and others say about the ban on the street drinking "botellón", there is constant flouting of the prohibition.
Since the curfew and the limitation on numbers of people who can gather socially were annulled by the Supreme Court, the largest of these street parties have been in the Palma part of Arenal (Playa de Palma). But the Llucmajor part is also affected, and that is largely because of Spanish students.
The complaints from residents about noise, especially at night, and rubbish aren't confined to Arenal, as the problem extends to Badia Blava. Nevertheless, Arenal is where there are gatherings every night, a preferred location being next to the secondary school. Residents say that there are now even yellow arrows painted on street furniture to guide the students to the main locations. Llucmajor town hall has meanwhile put out additional rubbish containers.
The chief of police, Sergi Torrandell, and the mayor, Éric Jareño, insist that security has been reinforced. Torrandell says that "we have doubled the number of officers in order to guarantee maximum security". He gives the example of June 16 to indicate action taken - more than forty young people reported as well as a hotel and four bars that were open past midnight.
Jareño explains that in addition to a reinforcement of security, rubbish cleaning services have been stepped up in order to deal "with the increase in waste caused by the arrival of this type of tourism". He adds that there is "zero tolerance for anything that disturbs residents' peace or breaches municipal ordinance".
The fact that bars have had to close by midnight partially explains why there have been, as one resident puts it, nightly "processions of students on the streets making a lot of noise". Even so, the street gatherings have occurred in previous years, and there have been plenty of complaints in the past as well.
Town hall statements about reinforcements are of little use to residents who are suffering night after night of noise. A protest against the botellón was staged in Arenal's Plaza Major on Saturday morning.