Palma city council confirmed yesterday that it is moving towards prohibiting the consumption of alcohol in the streets in a final attempt to outlaw the popular “botellóns.” Over the past few years the outdoor gatherings of large numbers of young people in parts of the city, such as down by the commercial docks, to party and drink out of mini-bars set up in the boots of their vehicles have increased in popularity and have caused increasing problems for the council, police, residents, restaurant and bar owners. The Mayor of Palma, Joan Fageda, said yesterday that final touches are being given to new council legislation which, it is hoped, will ban the “botellón” by next summer. The city's security council, including the Balearic President Francesc Antich, met yesterday to discuss a wide range of topics, but the capital's alcohol problem dominated the agenda. In general, Fageda wants to stamp out petty crime in Palma but the outdoor drinking binges “are upsetting the normal cycle of life in the capital.” Fageda said that apart from the new municipal legislation, the Local Police will also be invested with new powers to bring an end to the gatherings. For the moment, all the council is able to do is erect more alcohol tests for drivers in and around the areas used to host the “botellóns.”

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