Louts without frontiers

It would be wrong to assume that the incident last Sunday in Marbella, when two maniacs in a 100,000-euro vehicle almost caused a major tragedy, is one of a kind, rather than an isolated occurrence. Something that happens every day is rarely news.

However, it would also be wrong to ignore the fact that Marbella, and more specifically certain areas of Marbella, act as a magnet for a certain type of individual whose profile is similar to that of the pair involved in last Sunday’s incident who were sent to prison on Wednesday. By no means do they represent all the tourists in Marbella, not even a significant part of them. However there is a type of visitor that is more and more common in the town. Young people with little education and lots of money - who knows where from - who go round in huge cars and assume that the rules don’t apply to them, believing that impunity can be bought just as they buy cars, champagne and company.

Recently the prison was fleetingly home to two others of similar characteristics - no identifiable job, regulars at trendy nightclubs, drivers of top-of-the-range vehicles - who had caused the death of a woman when they ran her over while on a night out. Both were also under investigation in connection with the disappearance of a young woman, again, when leaving a club.

Marbella’s main strength is that it attracts people from all over the world, but that’s also one of its weaknesses as it’s impossible to choose who comes and who doesn’t.

When people talk of quality tourism they often use price as the only measure, but that is a rudimentary mistake. There are expensive products that are incompatible with the image Marbella hopes to create. Price is not the only gauge of quality or of what is good for this town.

It’s not a question of going further than the law allows, or even telling business owners what type of establishment they should be running. But the authorities, all of them, have tools they could use so that characters of this type don’t feel comfortable in the town, even though the results might affect some bank accounts. General interest does not always coincide with that of some business owners.