The lawless West End area of San Antonio has a new Sheriff in town, he shoots like Billy The Kid and moves like Fred Astaire. Marcos Serra Colomar, is the fresh new face of the PP party in Ibiza, a Catalan administered island, but politically influenced by the Madrid loyalists, the Partito Popular, who are rebuilding after a disastrous Mariano Rajoy led assault on the Catalan voters of Barcelona, which led to the party loosing over 50% of its seats in the last elections. Many of the younger generation in the party, publicly denounced Rajoy’s actions, the powerful Able Matutes Jnr being one of them. Serra is a poster boy for the new PP image on the island, he is active on social media and displayed considerable negotiating skills to cobble together a coalition of left, center and right Councillors, to govern San Antonio (pictured above). He has also managed to forge an alliance with the sizable British ex Pat community, thanks to the loyal support of Martin Makepeace, a Guy Ritchie styled, MI6 operative, who has provided an effective voice for the British community in Ibiza. Makepeace ran as a PP candidate in 2015, polling quiet well for a person the Ibicencos would consider an extranjero. With a high media profile, the ex 18-30 rep now owner of Real Estate company, Ibiza Property Shop, has forged strong links with local Government and is HM’s “man in San An”, an unofficial role last occupied to good effect by Andy McKay of Ibiza Rocks fame.
Both men will be well aware that the West End has a lot more underground problems than just music licences, many have tried to fix them in the past and failed. A strong display of combined political force is required to eradicate these embedded problems and last weeks Spanish Army Exercises in San Antonio, felt like they were a warning shot across the bow of the Pirates ships operating there. Many would agree that a strong show of force is needed to unseat them, as they exploit archaic laws currently in place. Serra has started well, taking out two notorious abusers of local law, who set the bad example for others to follow. The PP are know as the party of business in Ibiza, they get things done, and they would support the agenda to clean up The West End, especially if it favored local businessmen with modern concepts in hospitality. Like Boris Johnson’s mantra, I get the feeling that they want to take back control of The West End from the organised gangs that operate there.
Its a tough task, but one gets the impression that Ibiza has some powerful friends in Madrid looking after it these days and after being softened up the socialists, I believe Seros will complete the job during his term in office. If successful, it would provide a perfect platform for his political ambitions and those of his party, cleaning up the resort for the arrival of a more upmarket product. Already the Matutes family, who own large parcels of undeveloped land and hotels in San Antonio, have been given the green light to build a 5 star resort on the site of the old Cala Gracio and Tanit Hotel which will cease trading as a family hotel in 2020. Right now San Antonio has more trendy refurbished hotel projects than any other resort on the island. My future vision for the West End is for a vibrant, cosmopolitan mix of bars and restaurants in the Barcelona or Madrid style, catering to the four star market. Its what the charming sunset resort deserves after decades of a cheap business model catering to the most basic of tourist markets. We wish the new Council the very best for the next 4 years and hope they can deliver on a new dawn for San Antonio.