Tuesday 9 June 2015

Britons Ignore Magaluf Drinking Crackdown

British holidaymakers have defied new rules aimed at cracking down on drunkeness and debauchery in Magaluf.
The Spanish party resort has been trying to improve its image after footage of a 21-year-old woman from Northern Ireland performing sex acts on 24 men in exchange for drink went viral last summer.

It has imposed a number of new rules, including a ban on drinking alcohol on the street between 10pm and 8am and restrictions on its notorious bar crawls.
The Majorcan town - visited by an estimated 1 million UK tourists every year, and dubbed "Shagaluf" for its antics - is also threatening fines of up to 3,000 euros for people found naked or urinating in the street.
Officials also want to stop "balconing" - where someone leaps from a hotel balcony into a swimming pool or from balcony to balcony.
Magaluf drinking ban
The daredevil craze has caused dozens of deaths and injuries over the past few years.
Some bars along the Punta Ballena strip - where most of the drink-fuelled action takes place - have put up signs with messages such as "no alcohol permitted in the street" and "drink with moderation".
But the measures, which came into effect on Tuesday, seem to have fallen on deaf ears, with plenty of holidaymakers spilling out of bars with drinks in their hands.
Scuffles broke out and police officers intervened to control youths singing football chants.
The attitude taken by many UK tourists was summed up by Hannah MacDonald, a mental health nurse from Perth.
The 19-year-old said: "We're here for a reason, we're here to get f****** mortal and just love life, we're not here to worry about drinking on the street, I do enough of that in Scotland.
"Fine me, do whatever you want, I'm going to get mortal on the street and I don't care."
Asked why she had decided to come to Magaluf, she said: "Jeremy Kyle came here last year so I'm following Jezza, ken what I mean?"
The new rules say bar crawls must be accompanied by a company rep and accredited security staff, and reps are also required to have first aid training.
All crawls now require at least seven days' notice to be authorised and the number of participants is limited to 20 per crawl, with companies only permitted to run one a night.
Juan Pedro Leon, 56, an owner of the Office bar on the strip, who has been working in Magaluf for more than 30 years, said the new rules "could spell the end" for its tourist industry.
Mr Leon said: "What is the harm in letting people on to the street with drinks if they take them out in plastic cups?
"It's still early in the season, but if the police do take a heavy-handed approach that is going to put people off coming here.
"That could lead to the loss of up to 1,000 jobs for the local economy."
Another bar owner, who asked not to be named, said he was in favour of the new rules but sceptical they would be enforced.
He said: "Nothing is going to change until we get rid of the 'all included' culture and bring in a different type of tourist.
"There are bars which are offering 'all you can drink' deals for 15 euros (£11) and the hotels do it, too.
"They're giving these kids rocket fuel at knocked down prices, so it's no surprise that there's trouble.
"Right now it's still quiet, but when you get 30,000 on the strip in the middle of the summer, how are they going to stop people bringing drinks out on to the street?
"Do you really think the police are going to go in and snatch drinks away from people?"

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