This content is not available in your region

Barcelona residents protest against anti-social behaviour

Access to the comments Comments
By Everton Gayle
Barcelona residents protest against anti-social behaviour

<p>Barcelona residents took to the streets this week in an impromptu protest against drunken and rowdy tourists who cause a disturbance at all hours of the day. </p> <p>Rude, crude and lewd alcoholic-fuelled behaviour have pushed locals to the limit, with the final straw being the decision of three Italians to wander around the town naked.</p> <p>Vincenç Forner, who photographed the trio in nearby La Barceloneta, told Spanish national daily El País: “It wasn’t a one-off. Tourists do whatever they want here.”</p> <p>Oriol Casabella, who leads the La Barceloneta neighbourhood association, said: “It’s killing our neighbourhood and dissuading other types of tourists. It’s Magaluf all over again.”</p> <p>And Magaluf may well be the Catalans’ worst nightmare, after a video was posted recently of a drunken girl giving oral sex to 23 men in the street at the Majorcan party resort in return for a cocktail drink.</p> <p>Residents lay the blame squarely on unregistered accommodation that is being let out in residential areas. They marched on privately-let apartments and sought out owners, urging them to close their businesses to tourists. </p> <p>Resident Andrés Antebi said: “Imagine that you’re in a tiny house, with three children, unemployed with no money for vacations and you have to put up with the screams and fiesta of tourists next door. It’s unbearable.”</p> <p>Mercè Homs, the city councillor for La Barceloneta, sought to calm the situation by promising a policy of “zero tolerance” on antisocial behaviour and said residents would have support from city officials to deal with the situation. </p> <p>“We’re working to ensure that tourist rentals don’t generate noise problems or bother neighbours,” she said.</p> <p>Travel writer Peter Ridding, who lives in Barcelona, told euronews: “For years weekenders arriving in Barcelona have had it in spades: a plethora of shops, bars, clubs, musical venues, film and art events. </p> <p>“However, for those living there it’s a different story. They only see (and hear) what accompanies this idyll: 24-hour noise, petty crime on the metro, crowds invading their living space, and the mounting in-your-face prostitution. </p> <p>“Naturally the town hall would prefer high-spending, responsible tourists, but it’s has to find better ways to control the offending downmarket majority – those who vomit and urinate where and <br /> when they feel like it. </p> <p>“This month demonstrations on the Ramblas have registered large protests from long-term residents who’ve had enough of successive governments’ empty promises. Many people – especially young professionals – are moving out from the area between Placa Catalunya and Barceloneta , the weekend ‘rape-and pillage’epi-centre. </p> <p>“To date there seems no way either to stop the tidal wave or to ride it.”</p>