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TOURISM

Majorca ‘sex contests’ not police matter: Spain

The Spanish secretary of state for tourism has weighed into the controversy over an alleged fellatio contest in a nightclub in the Majorca resort of Magaluf, saying that such activities should not be "criminalized".

Majorca 'sex contests' not police matter: Spain
File photo: Pascal/Flickr

Speaking in Palma de Majorca on Tuesday, Isabel Borrego said that while Spain wishes to offer "quality tourism", the response to such lewd behaviour must be to boost awareness of what is and is not acceptable.

"Above all, it is a question of making the business community and the tourists who come to this area conscious; we have to do this together, the online news site Público quoted Borrego as saying.

"Sometimes, imposing a ban does not resolve problems," she added.  

Borrego said that on Tuesday afternoon she would be meeting in Madrid with the Balearic Islands tourism chief, Jaime Martínez, representatives of the British Embassy and UK tour operators to drive forward a joint institutional campaign to prevent such unsavoury incidents in Spain’s reports.  

The secretary of state said that members of the Balearic government and Spain’s tourism office in London were already working on a publicity campaign that would be finalized in the coming days.

The idea is that internet sites and the UK media outlets which have reported on an incident in which a young British woman was filmed performing oral sex on a number of men before being rewarded with free alcohol will be chosen to run the resulting campaign.

The story was met with widespread indignation in Majorca, with the Balearic government appealing to Spain’s national administration and the local authorities in Magaluf to form a common front against what is being described in the media as ‘mamading’, coining from the Spanish word 'mamada', which means fellatio.

The regional government decried what it saw as a “degrading image of women and the Balearics.”

The Balearic branch of the Women’s Institute announced that it would be informing public prosecutors of bars where such “contests” took place. No legal action against any venue has yet come to light, however.

In Palma, the secretary of state for tourism stressed that the Spanish and Balearic governments wish to offer an image of “responsible” tourism, while claiming that the problem was limited to “a few streets” in Magaluf.   

British tourists made up just under a third of the Balearic Islands record international tourism figure for 2013, when 11.1 million non-Spaniards travelled to the archipelago, leaving a combined €10.6 billion ($14.4 billion) behind them.

"For British tourism aimed at young people, sadly this is the best advert you could come up with," one Majorcan resident said to Atlas news agency when asked about the oral sex controversy.

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FOOD & DRINK

Did Spain make Coca-Cola before the US?

Could Kola-Coca, the drink produced in a small Valencian village, have been the inspiration for the world-famous soft drink, Coca-Cola?

Did Spain make Coca-Cola before the US?

Coca-Cola, or coke as it is often referred to, has become one of the most popular drinks around the world since it was invented in 1886 in the United States. It has also become the drink most synonymous with American culture and the secret formula has been patented there too. 

Despite this, in the small town of Aielo de Malferit almost 140 years ago, three partners, Enrique Ortiz, Ricardo Sanz and Bautista Aparici, set up a distillery, which later went on to supply drinks to Queen María Cristina, who was married to King Alfonso XII, and the rest of the royal household. 

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Among the drinks that they created, the most popular by far was the ‘Jarabe Superior de Kola-Coca‘. It was made from kola nuts and coca leaves from Peru, and was dubbed by locals as ‘Heavenly Anise’.

The drink became so successful and popular that in 1885, one of the three founders, Bautista Aparici, travelled to the US to promote it and present the product to consumers in Philadelphia. 

He then returned to Spain, but a year later in 1886 in Atlanta, the pharmacist John Stith Pemberton invented the famous Coca-Cola. Sound familiar?

Whether this was a coincidence or not is open to interpretation, but what is even more interesting, other than the similar name, is that the drink contained basically the same ingredients as the Spanish Kola-Coca too. 

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When it was first created, the basic ingredients of Coca-Cola were just coca leaves, cola nuts and soda water, the same recipe that was made in Aielo in Valencia, except, they used cold water from the region, instead of soda water.

While Coca-Cola went from strength to strength and finally achieved world domination, the distillery in Valencia went on to produce other drinks. 

Then in the mid-1950s, Kola-Coca disappeared from sale when it is said, that representatives from the Coca-Cola company visited the Aielo factory to buy the patent for the ‘heavenly anise’ drink. 

Although there is no material evidence of this patent ever exchanging hands, it’s interesting to think the inspiration for this most American of drinks could have originated in a small village in Spain.

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