Κυριακή, 16 Αυγούστου 2009

Malia Mayhem: Cheap dodgy booze,1,000s of wild teens



It's 5am and the music is pumping hard from a row of bars on the strip.

A teenage girl vomits by the road and a bored policeman ignores her.

Welcome to Malia, the notorious resort which seems to care little for its visitors – and where a British teenager died after a binge this week.

The body of Andre Young, 17, the younger brother of England and Aston villa fullback Luke Young , was found on a building site outside of town on Wednesday morning.

Drunk, he had tried to get back to his hotel only to fall, hit his head and die a lonely death.

An excited Andre had flown out a week earlier for his first-ever lads' holiday with his best mates.

He will come home in a coffin, accompanied by grieving parents Peter and Beverley. Thousands of British teenagers

flock to this resort for a week of partying, attracted by the cheap booze.

Drinks here cost as little as five euros, £4.30, for a fishbowl – a huge vat of alcohol. Shots of Headf***er or Sex on the

Beach flow freely. And behind the party atmosphere lies a potentially ugly backlash against British youths.

The fishing village is growing tired of youths running wild. A week before Andre disappeared, Swindon plumber Stuart Feltham, 20, suffered burns in Malia’s Electra bar.

He claims a girl threw alcohol or a flammable liquid at him and set it alight. Accounts vary but 26-year-old local girl Marina Fanouraki has appeared in court accused of assault.

She says she threw a drink because he drunkenly exposed himself to her and plans to sue for sexual harassment. Locals see her as a hero, a modern day version of those who fought for Greek independence.

A few days after Feltham was burnt, a 20-year-old British man died in the early hours when the quad bike he was riding smashed into an oncoming truck.

Like the hundreds of kids who rent the nippy machines around the resort, he wasn’t wearing a helmet required by law here.

A demonstration was held recently calling for something to be done to curb the excesses, while Greek men have been heard muttering about forming vigilante groups to “sort out” troublesome holidaymakers.

Even the drinks that the tourists are served are barely legal.

The booze is bought cheaply and in bulk, with a litre bottle of vodka costing as little as £1.50.

Where it comes from, few can say. But the poor-quality booze can be pumped down teenagers’ throats quickly with shot after shot. Many of the responsible bar owners also say the cocktails are laced with industrial alcohol, often used as a cleaner.

But with loads of orange juice and fizzy drinks, it makes for a profitable cocktail for the bar and club owners.

Last year 19-year-old Corinne Coyle spent three days in hospital after drinking from a fishbowl cocktail.

She temporarily lost the sight in her right eye as her face swelled up.

Blindness is a common after-effect of drinking ethanol.

Mayor Costas Lagoudakis said: “It is very, very poor quality alcohol, yes, but it is legal. It is of the fourth or fifth quality.

And yes, it has a terrible effect on these young children. It is not good for them. Or for anyone else.”

Dr Emmanuel Katsulis, who runs a medical centre on Malia’s main strip has the air of a battle veteran medic. He has seen girls staggering in for a morning-after pill. Some have had drunken sex with three men in one night.

There have been too many stomachs that needed pumping and injuries from fights. “They have no respect for themselves or other people,” he says.

“They drink heavily and this alcohol is not good quality. It is very poor and makes them uncontrollable. Very aggressive. People are fed up.”

Beach-front bar owner Emmanuel Pagomenos said: “We used to have 25 to 30 year olds who had a bit of money.

“Now they are 17 to 21. The big bars serve very poor quality alcohol and the reps don’t seem to care. We used to do a barbecue and gave them good alcohol and a lot of food to soak it up.

“But then they went to another bar because they were cheaper. They gave them hardly any food and very bad vodka. There are too few people here looking out for these young people.”

Local gardener Dimitrious Platakis said: “We are sick of it. Marina is very popular for what she did. But we all have to take responsibility.

“Locals who sell bad alcohol at low prices are to blame. And tour operators do nothing to look after their people. Nothing.”

Tempers flared a few weeks ago when 19-year-old Brits Jeoffrey Locton, of Aberdeen, and Daniel Awonusy, of London, crashed a scooter into a shop.

The manager and two employees beat them up and demanded compensation.

Lou Duro, editor of Crete newspaper Ko-Go Khronicles, said: “I have heard men in bars in Malia talking about forming vigilante groups to sort out tourists.”

Meanwhile the neon lights keep burning as the never-ending binge continues.

Craig Watson, 18, was enjoying a night out with his mates from Wolverhampton.

He said: “It’s absolutely mad here. I love it. We have been drinking all night and sleep by the pool all day.

“As soon as we got off the coach we got into a little ruck with some of the local lads.

“They seemed to have it in for us and were looking for trouble. But we all know now to stay clear.”

His friend Trey, aged 18, added: “The drinks are so cheap here. It’s great.”

By Alun Palmer 15/08/2009

http://www.mirror.co.uk/2009/08/15/malia-mayhem-cheap-dodgy-booze-1-000s-of-wild-teens-115875-21597643/

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