I’ve been reading for the last few weeks about the famous Salou Festival or SalouFest parties that have been going on down at Salou – a tourist destination for many foreigners including Brits because it’s pretty cheap. Salou is not the place to go if you are after a bit of culture – it’s usually full of rowdy youngsters out for a good time, families who need to be near Port Aventura Theme Park and lots of pensioners from around Europe sunning themselves to a crisp golden brown.
The local authorities first threw their arms in the air about the “incivismo” or anti-social behaviour of these University students from Britain out for a good time in Salou. Then it was the turn of the Spanish government to slap the wrists of the local authorities and encourage them to inculcate some civic mindedness into these hoodlums. Now the Salou local authorities have said that it can handle the situation thank you very much without any help from the government.
Salou and its SalouFest is just another one of Spain’s problems that is self inflicted as far as I am concerned. Farther down south Benidorm adventures are to be had by everyone and Spain forgets that it has created such monsters and only remembers when its residents kick up a fuss because of the annoying behaviour of all involved in such “fiestas”.
As Spain survives mostly from the revenue that tourists leave behind, there are many greedy restaurant owners, clubs, bars and discos that are all too ready to rip them off in the name of tourism. They allow the Euro yobs to come over and drink to their heart’s content in the name of having a good time, not thinking once about the neighbours and locals that actually live in these resorts 365 days a year. They basically put drunkenness and debauchery on a silver platter to anyone that wishes to partake and the infamous “SalouFest” is no exception to the rule.
I hate the behaviour of some of my countrymen and women but I hate even more the attitude of the Spanish tourist industry. On the one hand they advocate these cheap and shallow holidays, welcoming them with open arms and providing the partakers with a constant stream of booze and everything else you can think of and then expect them to behave like upright citizens. It doesn’t happen, believe me. I can remember when lads used to take crates of 24 cans of lager up to their hotel rooms in Magaluf – that was 25 years ago and nothing much has changed, why?
One reason: Money. On the whole, Spaniards are pretty greedy when it comes to making money and the tourist industry is no exception. They put making hordes full of cash – the blacker the better, before their own citizens’ welfare. They should also practice what they preach when it comes to chastising “the guiris” and calling them anti-social etc. I’ve lost count how many locals I’ve seen causing havoc in Barcelona and urinating between dustbin containers among other things. Spain must be the only country where a grace period (obviously not legal) has been granted regarding smoking. Greedy bar owners throw their arms in the air if their client’s are not allowed to smoke on the premises, some of which you can’t really enter because of the thick smoke which inhabits the 50 square metres they call a bar. In the tunnels in the Passeo de Grácia train station in Barcelona you’ll find people having a sneaky drag before boarding the trains – unbelievable.
So there you have it, it all comes down to money in the end and if Salou and other Spanish tourist resorts permit this kind of anti-social behaviour, one can only reason that it’s got to be worth it. They shouldn’t cry wolf either when it all gets out of hand – they should have thought about the consequences long ago. They should have thought about this instead of selling their citizens off cheaply in the name of tourism. What can you expect from a country whose fiscal system is custom-made for cheating the state? Spain has created so many monsters that it’s time to stand up and deal with them – the submerged economy where the “dinero negro” or black money is king and the self inflicted “incivismo” or anti-social behaviour of those who come over and take advantage of the low-life tourism it so wantonly cherishes and detests at the same time.