A new group has just appeared here in Mojácar, it's against excess noise. Here's its pitch:
'The Platform MOJACAR WITHOUT NOISE is a nonprofit organization which has been created by a number of neighbours and residents who defend their right to be protected against acoustic aggressions of any type and anti-social behaviour in special during the holidays.
We don't belong to any political party and we believe in the democratic dialogue that generates the balance among the citizens from a responsible position. It has been created because of the continuous disturbances from bars, discos, etc and in residential areas that generated too much noise and anti-social behaviour.
This platform is open to the participation of any neighbour or resident in Mojacar who wants to share, report or look for support in the fighting against the damaging effects of noise or anti-social behaviour'.
Mojácar is bitterly divided between the mayoress' party and the opposition parties. The first is strongly in favour of noise control, with fines for excess noise, live music, 'high heels in apartments', 'playing dominoes noisily' and dogs barking loudly. All very commendable and no doubt a vote-catcher for residents sick of the young tourists who are up all night, boozing and shouting.
On the other hand, the slightly less tenable argument that noise is an inevitable by-product of tourism, which, we are told, is 'our only industry'. Mojácar, they say, lives from tourism, as if the tourists should have precedence over the residents' right to live here peacefully.
Years ago, things were truly awful in the short summer season which Mojácar seems to prefer for its tourist season (with many places closing for the winter once August is over). There were three bars on the side of the village nearest to me and they would play ear-splitting music until four or five in the morning. I once wrote a piece in Spanish for a local newspaper saying that I couldn't fall asleep each night until one or other of the bars played that particular summer hit that I so enjoyed. In reality, music over distance, mixed or otherwise, loses its shape and all you get is the bass line. Boom boom.
Yes, live music is fine, but let's limit it to midnight. Indeed, you could try starting the entertainment a bit earlier!
The arrival of the new anti-noise group may be a political manoeuvre from the Town Hall, cynically outed to gather votes for next May's local elections, or it could just be the cry from people fed up with the ghastly tourist season, now drawing to a close.
But unfortunately, the village fiesta has just started. Extended by an extra day this year to five, the fiesta started with a bang (to coin a phrase) and means to carry on with as much noise and loud music as possible. Last night's band in the main plaza of the village lasted in full boom boom mode until six this morning. The bangs from the 'firecrakers' (as the Town Hall calls them), but thunderflashes to you and me, are enough to scare the animals, make the dogs bark, frighten the horses, and irritate the neighbours. Is the Town Hall against noise? Really?
Above all (and now we shall see if it is really apolitical), will the new anti-noise association make a stand?
Contact the association at: email@example.com