San Antonio Ibiza A Time for Change
As you know I love San Antonio and believe its reputation as just a rough old party town rife with drunks, drugs and crime to be unfair and outdated but.
With the upcoming municipal elections at the end of May across Ibiza, British ex pat Martin Makepeace has been asked to stand in San Antonio for the Partido Popular (Peoples Party).
This week he gave an interview with the Ibizan (local English newspaper in Ibiza) which I would urge everyone to read. http://theibizan.com/latest-issues/the-ibizan-779-eissue-16-april-15/
It’s a fantastic insight into Martin’s thoughts and having followed him on twitter for many years I know he is passionate about San Antonio and its future.
Also a very dear friend of mine Sofía Costa Blom, local business women, is standing for election with the Reiniciando Sant Antoni (Restart San Antonio) party with similar aims, namely wanting to see San Antonio thrive and improve for everyone whether it be the locals the workers or the tourists.
So what is actually wrong with San Antonio?
On the surface there is nothing wrong with San Antonio at all. It is a great base for a holiday whether you are a part of the party crowd, a couple on a short break, a two week family holiday or enjoying an extended stay on Ibiza.
It has great transport links to the rest of island. Ferries to the best beaches, it’s full of great bars and restaurants that cater to every taste. It has accommodation for every budget and has endless activities to keep everyone happy. Its even home to one of the most famous assets Ibiza has its sunset.
However, if you look a little deeper there are a few cracks stopping it from shedding it’s notorious past and becoming the all round all welcoming resort it could be.
Despite the shiny new promenade stretching round the bay, parts of San Antonio are a little tired, run down and even in some places remain unfinished which can make the place feel worn and unloved.
A little investment could go a long way to making the look and feel of town more what people would expect from a good well catered for resort.
Cleanliness in general is ok, but there are areas which I believe are only cleaned when it rains. This does let the town down, especially for those of us who tend to stay further inland, and can create a bad impression.
Something I had noticed but had never given much thought to is the cleanliness of the beaches.
You will find that those beaches with beach clubs tend to be much cleaner than those without and the main beach in San Antonio does let itself down.
It seems the prom is cleaned daily, but not the actual beach which is well used by all. Having this cleaned and maintained on a regular basis would be an instant improvement and create a great first impression to those visiting San Antonio.
Crime wise, yes it happens, and when you have thousands upon thousands of tourists pilling into a relatively small town crime will rise – its just human nature sadly.
However, the dealing of crime and a visible police presence seems to be at a premium and although we have seen the local police patrolling, you always feel there should be more of them around.
The idea of British police on the streets this year has met with a luke warm response from locals we have spoken to who believe it’s only a sticking plaster and doesn’t address the real issue; a lack of a robust and well sized policing presence in the summer months.
Regular visitors and especially the British see it as a good move but mainly from a language and culture point, not so much from an actual deterrent or prevention of crime bar maybe the odd drunken disagreement between friends.
Drugs crime is also brought up again and again, but this has to be put into perspective, a lot of the visitors are of a young age where drugs are rife, who are partying all day and night and in an environment which is known for drugs, it’s going to happen.
In the UK people go out and party hard maybe once or twice a month at best, but in Ibiza it’s day and night from the moment you land to the moment you leave, if that’s your thing.
Educating people about the huge risk drugs bring especially day after day in a foreign country where you will never really know what you’re getting, and clamping down on the suppliers may be a way forward but that will be a long term battle the same as it is in the UK.
These are my main concerns, and I am sure others will have theirs but as I said at the start of the article, there is nothing wrong with San Antonio, I love it and wouldn’t stay or base myself anywhere else on the island.
However, with a little thought, organisation and investment I believe it could be an amazing town and resort suitable for everyone not only in the summer but in the winter too.
And it seems with the forthcoming municipal elections that those with the knowledge, the willpower and the ability to achieve it are coming together to make it happen in San An.