Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Everything Is Upside Down

"Todo patas arriba". Everything's upside down. Or everything's in a mess. It is a legend that is splattered across the front cover of a magazine and over two photos of building work which is taking place on the streets of a resort in summer. This is a very interesting magazine. So interesting is it, that I am devoting much of this article to translating parts of articles from it. Let's start with the editorial leader.

"Never again. The situation, which is unfortunately shown on our cover, should not be repeated: the main streets, the most touristic, with work being done in July and August! Unbelievable. Unheard of. Our visitors cannot hide their amazement. How can this type of work be done during these months? Ah, Spain is different, my friends; you know that. We don't believe that this would happen in any other tourist country, least of all in Europe.

"We know the town hall's explanation. In winter, building companies are too busy to deal with our needs. You have to catch them when you can... But that's not our problem. It is one for the representatives we elected for four years, to make our lives better and to not mess up and cause significant damage to businesses."

On another page, there is an article with a headline which says that 1,300 million (pesetas) are to be spent on changing an image.

"(The deputy mayor) has explained to us that the town hall wishes to beautify the resort. 'We are aware of the need for an urgent change of image. We want to literally upholster the resort in green. Pavements with trees, benches, new lighting in an area where the "hooligan" currently sits. (One avenue) will be transformed into a true boulevard with fountains, benches, trees and plants.' "

The article's author is sceptical. All this is to be done within three years. "We'll see," he concludes questioningly. There will be municipal elections well before the three years are up.

There is also an interview with the local police officer who is responsible for the organisation of police resources. It is under the headline "Restructuring of the municipal police". The restructuring has come about, says the officer, in order to take account of specific needs in the municipality. There are four main priorities. These are the "venta ambulante" (looky-lookies), "tiqueteros" (PRs), night-time noise and public order at night as well as security on the beaches. The police on the beaches will be plainclothes cops. They will mingle with the holidaymakers and their mission will be to prevent the venta ambulante and any type of (unlicensed) service on the beach. The police hope that their presence will act in deterring these illegal activities. "Rather than a repressive action, it will be a preventative action."

Elsewhere, there is a short letter to the magazine which reads: "Friends and neighbours, as the new spokesperson for the neighbourhood association, I hope for the collaboration of all residents, working together as an association of friends in this time of crisis in order to cure all the ills in the area, to beautify and enrich it and enhance our local heritage".

Moving on from the contents of this magazine, it might be noted that on 8 May this year there was an item from a website in which the PSOE opposition criticised the start of building works in resorts during the tourist season. The opposition said that there was indignation among businesses and neighbours and concluded that the lack of planning by the Partido Popular was inconceivable when such work should be done in winter.

It might also be noted that a plan for resort beautification has now been drawn up and will include a true boulevard as part of a change of image. It might further be noted that beach security is such that there now has to be illumination of the beach, while it might also be noted that a newspaper recently ran a report into a territorial battle between tiqueteros. Total war, said the report.

By way of explanation of these notes, the PSOE opposition was criticising building work that had started in Magalluf, the true boulevard (finally) is included in the Meliá plan to make Magalluf up-market, the illuminated beach is that of Magalluf, the PRs' battle is around BCM Square.

Nothing really changes, does it. Nothing has really changed, has it. Even the odd name is the same. The name of the letter-writer from the neighbourhood association is José Tirado. I am guessing he is the same Pepe Tirado of the Acotur tourist businesses association. It is a guess as I can't be one hundred per cent certain. There again, it was all a very long time ago. The magazine I have quoted from was "Entre Tots". Its date? July-August 1989.

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