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New public behaviour laws in Palma

Palma council approves the new law governing behaviour in public.

The last few weeks have seen some rather exaggerated headlines in the world's press about the (then) proposed new laws governing behaviour in the city. “Mallorca to ban bikinis in public” was one
such headline which, as you can imagine, must have done wonders for holiday bookings to the island!

Yesterday, the council actually approved the new laws in a stormy meeting, and as we shall see, they're nothing like as draconian as some sections of the press would have you believe.

Here's the first sentence of the draft, “The main purpose of this Ordinance is to preserve public space as a place of coexistence and civility, in which all can live in freedom, but with full
respect for the dignity and rights of others.”

It comes as a response to around 15,000 complaints Palma citizens make to the police and council each year about these matters and is pretty much an item by item copy of the "http://The%20last%20few%20weeks%20have%20seen%20some%20rather%20exaggerated%20headlines%20in%20the%20world's%20press%20about%20the%20(then)%20proposed%20new%20laws%20governing%20behaviour%20in%20the%20city.%20%E2%80%9CMallorca%20to%20ban%20bikinis%20in%20public%E2%80%9D%20was%20one%20such%20headline%20which,%20as%20you%20can%20imagine,%20must%20have%20done%20wonders%20for%20holiday%20bookings%20to%20the%20island!%20Yesterday,%20the%20council%20actually%20approved%20the%20new%20laws%20in%20a%20stormy%20meeting,%20and%20as%20we%20shall%20see,%20they're%20nothing%20like%20as%20draconian%20as%20some%20sections%20of%20the%20press%20would%20have%20you%20believe.%20Here's%20the%20first%20sentence%20of%20the%20draft,%20%E2%80%9CThe%20main%20purpose%20of%20this%20Ordinance%20is%20to%20preserve%20public%20space%20as%20a%20place%20of%20coexistence%20and%20civility,%20in%20which%20all%20can%20live%20in%20freedom,%20but%20with%20full%20respect%20for%20the%20dignity%20and%20rights%20of%20others.%E2%80%9D%20It%20comes%20as%20a%20response%20to%20around%2015,000%20complaints%20Palma%20citizens%20make%20to%20the%20police%20and%20council%20each%20year%20about%20these%20matters%20and%20is%20pretty%20much%20an%20item%20by%20item%20copy%20of%20the%20rules%20of%20citizenship%20which%20already%20exist%20in%20Barcelona.%20So%20what%20does%20it%20cover?%20Basically%20it's%20a%20'common%20sense'%20document%20that%2090%%20of%20us%20will%20never%20need,%20as%20it%20sets%20out%20behaviour%20which%20adversely%20affects%20the%20population%20of%20the%20city.%20So,%20please%20don't%20urinate%20in%20public,%20play%20loud%20music,%20walk%20about%20semi-naked,%20spray%20graffiti%20over%20buildings,%20drink%20alcohol/take%20drugs,%20leave%20your%20litter%20or%20dog%20muck%20on%20the%20ground,%20open%20a%20gambling%20den%20or%20sell%20your%20body%20for%20money.%20Easy%20isn't%20it?%20The%20biggest%20misinterpretation%20of%20the%20new%20rules%20is%20the%20'bikini%20ban'%20rumour.%20It%20isn't%20a%20ban,%20swimwear%20is%20perfectly%20acceptable%20at%20the%20beach,%20the%20promenades%20and%20the%20tourist%20streets%20just%20off%20it.%20The%20ordinance%20covers%20the%20areas%20in%20the%20city%20where%20swimwear%20is%20as%20acceptable%20in%20daily%20life%20as%20it%20is%20in%20London,%20Paris,%20Berlin%20and%20Barcelona,%20to%20name%20just%20a%20few.%20Fines%20for%20infractions%20will%20be%20levied%20on%20the%20spot%20and%20will%20depend%20on%20the%20gravity%20of%20the%20offence%20%E2%80%93%20from%20%E2%82%AC100%20to%20%E2%82%AC600%20%E2%80%93%20and%20if%20paid%20promptly%20have%20a%20discount,%20however,%20the%20vast%20majority%20of%20us%20will%20never%20have%20to%20worry%20about%20this,%20will%20we?%20Have%20a%20great%20holiday%20in%20our%20noise%20free,%20litter%20free,%20clean%20city."
target="_blank">rules of citizenship which already exist in Barcelona.

So what does it cover? Basically it's a 'common sense' document that 90% of us will never need, as it sets out behaviour which adversely affects the population of the city. So, please don't urinate
in public, play loud music, walk about semi-naked, spray graffiti over buildings, drink alcohol/take drugs, leave your litter or dog muck on the ground, open a gambling den or sell your body for
money.

It's OK ladies, you can put your bikinis back on!

Easy isn't it? The biggest misinterpretation of the new rules is the 'bikini ban' rumour. It isn't a ban, swimwear is perfectly acceptable at the beach, the promenades and the tourist streets just
off it. The ordinance covers the areas in the city where swimwear is as acceptable in daily life as it is in London, Paris, Berlin and Barcelona, to name just a few.

Fines for infractions will be levied on the spot and will depend on the gravity of the offence – from €100 to €600 – and if paid promptly have a discount, however, the vast majority of us will
never have to worry about this, will we?

Have a great holiday in our noise free, litter free, clean city.