RIGHT-WING red-top The Sun has annoyed Spain once again – this time by claiming police and bouncers in Magaluf are being unfairly harsh on uncivilised British tourists who drink too much, get into fights, strip off, vomit, urinate and have sex in the streets.
“Magaluf used to be known just as a casual sex hotspot, but now it has become a war zone as boozy Brits battle with cops and bouncers,” claims the sub-heading.
Its description of revellers being punched by police and nightclub doormen has incensed the local council in Calvià – the inland town of which Magaluf is a satellite beach hub – to the extent that it may sue the tabloid for defamation.
“Tensions have been running high as authorities crack down harder than ever on boozed-up tourists,” writes reporter Georgette Culley.
She describes a 'constant wail of sirens drowning out the thumping dance music' on the Punta Ballena strip, and a 'young lad' lying unconscious outside the 'notorious' Boomerang nightclub 'with blood seeping from his temple'.
According to her article, he was knocked out by a doorman 'built like a UFC fighter' and who punches him again when he is already out cold.
Ms Culley says 'eight armed police officers chase a terrified reveller along the beach before rugby-tackling him to the ground' and adds that 'their batons rain down on him' as he 'puts his hands up to surrender'.
His girlfriend is apparently nearby, 'hysterical' and 'screaming for help'.
As if to show the other side of the coin to the foolhardy stunt of 'balconing', the report claims a man aged 18 jumped off a second-floor terrace to get away from 'three gung-ho bouncers' at 05.00, ending up in hospital.
Ms Culley says the Punta Ballena strip stinks of 'vomit, sweat and blood', for which she not only blames 'cheap drink' but also 'pugnacious bouncers and over-fired-up police'.
Mayor of Calvià, Alfonso Rodríguez Badal, is quoted – although the reporter erroneously calls him the mayor of Magaluf, which does not have a town council of its own – as saying 'drunken Brits are not wanted'.
She says he has requested bars on the Punta Ballena to stop selling cut-price alcohol and that if British tourists are seeking 'debauchery', they 'would be best off not coming' to Magaluf.
Bye-laws introduced in Magaluf, such as no spitting, urinating or going naked, and bars not being allowed to sell drinks to those already inebriated, have been mentioned, along with fines slapped on offender ranging from €100 to €3,000.
The report quotes 'Magaluf veterans' as saying they have 'never seen such a fierce crackdown' and that the presence of so many police officers 'exacerbates the behaviour of some bouncers', as if giving them licence to go too far.
A Spanish waitress is allegedly quoted as calling Magaluf a 'war zone' and criticising the 'dodgy Albanian bouncers' who are 'not good people', and Ms Culley claims holiday reps are seeking transfers to Kavos, Greece, because their experiences in the Calvià beach resort have 'traumatised' them.
The reporter says an anonymous rep referred to 'police hunting Brits in packs', despite these tourists being 'mostly under 20 and no more threatening' than contestants on a TV reality show.
The article shows pictures of young men aged around 18 with blood pouring from their hands from broken glass, insinuating that these wounds were inflicted by authorities, and quotes several youths commenting with apparent horror on 'attacks on defenceless Brits' outside clubs.
Reps are said to have described an injured teen, beaten up by bouncers, waiting between 20 and 45 minutes for an ambulance as police on site 'did not even check his pulse' or 'show any compassion'.
The rep even claimed police 'deliberately' park in such a way as to obstruct incoming ambulances.
A tourist claimed a British man of around 19 was chased, walloped, his 'shorts pulled down to humiliate him' and one officer said he 'was going to kill him', because he refused to pay a €100 fine for unseemly behaviour.
Several youngsters say they have been 'picked on' when they were 'not causing any trouble' and not even drunk, or have been beaten up by police officers for no apparent reason, with one even describing Magaluf as 'like the Wild West'.
Some even go as far as to claim the police and bouncers set upon them 'just because they are British'.
Calvià council slammed the article for tarnishing the reputation of the police, whom they say act with 'professionalism and honesty' and, in the case of the critically-injured 18-year-old man outside Boomerang, arrived within three minutes to attend to him.
They are considering suing The Sun for its claims.
Only a few months ago, The Sun upset Spaniards with an article effectively advocating a declaration of war by the UK against Spain over Gibraltar, comparing the enclave to the Falkland Islands and the armed conflict of the early 1980s, titling the piece 'Spain is off its Rioja over Gibraltar'.