Spanish students in Arenal last summer.


In Arenal, where Llucmajor Police and the Guardia Civil have established a special round-the-clock operation because of tension between residents and Algerians who have been committing violent crimes, a separate operation has started.

Unlike the one brought about by threats to "lynch" Algerians, the operation for dealing with thousands of Spanish students has been planned for some weeks and will adopt measures introduced last summer. From today, when the first of the students on end-of-course holidays arrive, the beach will be closed off from 9pm apart from one entrance and exit point. This will be controlled. Checks will be made for alcohol and the carrying of glass or knives. The beach closure is specifically designed to prevent the 'botellón' - mass drinking party - and to keep noise to the minimum.

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The operation will last around four weeks. While the beach may be controlled, there are the streets, for which there is Llucmajor ordinance against street drinking. There is also the tourism of excesses decree, under which the consumption of alcohol on the streets is supposedly banned.

Extra police are being drafted into Arenal, Llucmajor town hall hopeful that the operation "will significantly reduce the number of incidents" caused in the past. But it is an operation required at a time when the security forces are being stretched because of recent events in Arenal.

In the meantime, it is an operation that is necessary to combat what is the total antithesis of so-called responsible tourism and which, moreover, is organised on a grand scale.