Here EWN’S Jennifer Leighfield speaks to Mojacar Mayor, Rosa Maria Cano, regarding growing concerns of groups of youths drinking in public in the town.
EWN: Why do you think Mojacar has become so popular with youths?
RMC: It started with word of mouth. Now, with social networks, the message is passed on to thousands in no time at all. Plus, companies in the entertainment and stag/hen party sector advertise Mojacar to attract large groups of youths.
EWN: This is not something recent, why hasn’t more been done to prevent it?
RMC: Since the problem began we have been taking measures against it because we have seen what has happened in other towns. The problem is that the youths can only be fined, and although they know they are breaking the law, they also know the fines are only small. Last summer, Mojacar Local Police issued almost 900 fines, and this year between June and July there have been more than 370 reports filed for street drinking.
The Local Police can be stretched any further, and we haven’t found support from other administrations. This is a problem which is also under the jurisdiction of the Environmental Ministry and the Junta de Andalucia.
EWN: What measures are going to be taken?
RMC: Unless local businesses and other sectors of society collaborate, it is going to take more time, money and effort to do away with the problems caused by youths ‘brought’ to Mojacar. I say ‘brought’ because there are companies which do this.
The Local Police already control noise levels and closing times, attempt to prevent large gatherings of people and confiscate alcoholic beverages. Despite this we need collaboration from local residents and the administrations.
EWN: What alternatives would you suggest for youths?
RMC: As well as a rational use our excellent beaches, Mojacar has excellent sports facilities, private diving and sailing schools, an Art Centre with exhibitions throughout the year, guided tours, 4×4 adventures, camel rides, golf courses…
I think Mojacar has a varied and interesting leisure offer, but if you’re looking to get drunk, then everything else is surplus.
EWN: What type of visitors does Mojacar want to attract?
RMC: We don’t intend to ask people to get a visa to come here. Whoever comes, youths, families, couples, everyone is welcome. All we are asking is for good manners when dealing with other people and urban furnishings.
We also ask respect for coexistence rules like any other town. I think youths can have fun while other people get their rest and tranquility. It is a question of manners and respect, which if they haven’t learned at home, they’re not going to learn here in a few days.