The real truth about Magaluf
Magaluf film The truth about magaluf
Majorca is suffering from a colossal hangover following the sensationalistic documentary, The Truth about Magaluf shown on BBC television earlier this week. Exposing the tawdry underbelly of the island’s most notorious ‘bad boy’ resort has seemingly upset the sensibilities of local officials and sent shivers down the spine of the British expat community living in Majorca. Manu Onieva, the local mayor, has already registered his displeasure with the makers of the documentary at what he and Calvia council described as a ‘stitch up’.
The island’s local British newspaper, the Majorca Daily Bulletin, has been inundated with letters from outraged readers dismayed by the content of the documentary presented by Stacey Dooley which lifts the lid on the excessive drinking, drug-taking and sexual antics of the resort. Sorry to be a party pooper, but what did they honestly expect?
There’s a very good reason why Magaluf has been awarded the sobriquet ‘Shagaluf’ over the years. It’s a wild party resort just like infamous Salou on the Spanish mainland, targeting the British ‘yoof’ market and offering ludicrously cheap booze and practically 24/7 entertainment of the most dubious kind. It’s a Jekyll and Hyde resort, benign and harmless enough by day and by all accounts a seething den of iniquity by night with few boundaries or concerns for common decency and where, according to one cynical police officer interviewed on the TV programme, ‘every day is the weekend.’
THIS VIDEO IS QUITE SHOCKING we think only suitable for people above 65
Aside from holidaymakers’ uncontrolled imbibing, drug taking, sexual antics and frequent drunken brawls, Magaluf appears to have far more serious problems on its plate. According to a local ambulance team interviewed, last summer there were 40 cases of ‘balconing’, the term used to describe drunken youths who attempt to climb from one hotel balcony to another. It was claimed that twelve youths had died as a consequence. Rape in the resort has also apparently escalated with 15 to 20 girls apparently making distressed calls to the ambulance service last summer alone. Just this week a young British woman testified against a man who allegedly raped and stabbed her in the resort in 2008. And if that’s not bad enough, there’s been a rise in the number of prostitute gangs and those masquerading as prostitutes who rob inebriated men returning to their hotels late at night.
In the BBC documentary we accompany young presenter Stacey Dooley, Bambi-like in her wide-eyed innocence, on a trip with a local harassed ambulance crew, patrolling police officers, and to a bar where she serves up noxious, alcoholic beverages to intoxicated youths. Squirming with embarrassment she watches an explicit sexual game being played out in the bar and later attempts to take the Spanish owner and promoters to task. They remain unrepentant, placing the blame squarely on the shoulders of British holidaymakers unable to hold their drink. Tellingly – although not investigated by the programme – one Spanish bar owner accused the all-inclusive hotels of putting local businesses under pressure to compete.
It’s easy to blame British youths for lacking any sense of personal responsibility or propriety but fingers must surely also be pointed at the resort itself and its many operatives who seemingly manipulate and exploit the weak-minded and easily misled? Starved of sun and cheap booze back in the UK, for many teenage first time holidaymakers, Magaluf is a disaster waiting to happen.
There are though attractions that keep a responsible eye on their ‘wards’. Mallorca Rocks, arguably the hippest music venue now in Europe, maintains tight security and yet manages to create a relaxed and fun atmosphere. I have ventured from the hills to accompany groups of teenagers to the venue and have never witnessed anything but young people dancing and having a good time. Staff members are courteous, drinks must be purchased-no all inclusive deals here- and everyone must leave on the dot of midnight.
While the storm rages about the BBC documentary, ITV is also homing in on the resort with the launch of a new six-part documentary series. Still, mayor Manu Onieva should cheer up because as far as the modern day Sodom and Gomorrah resorts go, all publicity is good publicity. No doubt thousands more young Britons will flock to Magaluf –as opposed to say Malia in Crete or Salou in Catalonia-thanks to these seemingly perennial, titillating TV extravaganzas and the money will keep rolling in.
In times of economic gloom, the likes of Magaluf, warts and all, are a welcome cash cow for a debt-ridden nation.