San Antonio Town Hall have added a raft of further measures designed to help shift the image and reputation of the municipality away from the boozed up Brits, chips and tits that has been to some the ongoing blight and to others the lifeblood of Ibiza’s second city.
Speaking on local radio Aida Alcaraz, San An’s Minister of the Interior, said that the consumption of alcoholic drinks in public places had always been technically forbidden, but that the law had been ignored as it was impossible to implement at a practical level due to the difficulty in ascertaining whether the drinks were “alcoholic or simple refreshments”. Though technically an enforcement of existing regulations and not a new ban, Spanish press immediately reported the Minister’s words as a ban on public drinking.
Though it was not clear from the discussion held Monday what has or will change to make this difficulty easier in future, the Minister did talk of powers of enforcement that had been historically held only by the Balearic Government now being extended to local police, though this seemed more in relation to the policing of retail drink sales – which were also banned from midnight to 8am under a recent municipal ordinance. Read more on the retail drinks ban here booze ban
San Antonio Ajuntamento, lead by the tripartite coalition of the PSOE, Podemos and PI, have also announced plans to ban what it groups under the heading “dynamic advertising”. This includes the promotional parades held by many of the Island Nightclubs, and PRs touting for business on the streets and paseos.
Outside of business owners, particularly periphery businesses reliant on attracting customers via the touting PR, it is hard to see too may people loosing sleep over their disappearance. Their constant haranguing of visitors and residents is a regular complaint received at this newspaper. There has to be a question raised over the ban on PRs in relation to the policing of it. Anybody who knows San Antonio, Playa D’en Bossa or any other area targeting the young club going market will know that the majority of PRs are working illegally anyway. A ban on the legally issued PR licences will, unless it is followed through with enforcement action, simply drive all PR-ing underground again and be seen as a retrograde step in improving the quality of the town.
Though the PRs will not be missed by many, the club parades seem a less likely target. Adding a regular splash of colour, and occasionally even a touch of class, it is not so easy to see how they have the same molestation effect on tourists or residents.
So the San Bantonio list of vacation vetos grows ever longer, but the Government remains silent, perhaps surprisingly in the clean-up context, on one issue – that of street traders and associated crime. For every complaint and negative we receive about San Antonio from tourists and residents, that of the problem of illegal street traders and associated robberies outnumbers all others combined, and does so many times over.
It is illegal, it is hugely and obviously visible, it has a hugely negative impact on the town, and yet it is allowed to continue unaddressed and unchecked. We do not understand why. That statement is not some tin-foil hat wearing conspiracy theorist’s indication of secret agendas at play. It is a simple statement of fact. We do not understand why it is allowed to continue.
At the foot of the West End every night there are prostitutes openly touting trade who also have overwhelmingly strong connections to theft crime. Throughout the West End, San Antonio and much of Ibiza, there are Illegal Street Traders who also have overwhelmingly strong connections to drug crimes. We can all see them, day after day, night after night.
If asked to do one thing to improve the reputation and image of San Antonio, certainly based upon the level of complaints we receive, it would have to be that. In the pest control pecking order, PRs may come high on the list, but a long way behind the street criminals.
Perhaps San An is just flexing its muscles before taking on that particular problem. In doing so it will need to hold its nerve. The recreation of a Town’s image will be a tough journey and some local people and businesses will suffer during the transition as the Boozy Brits have to find their chips n tits elsewhere. But does the Town really know what it wants to become? Only time will tell.