Barcelona cracks down on out of doors consuming events with €600 fines


Barcelona is clamping down on out of doors consuming events generally known as botellones by imposing fines of as much as €600 (£506).

Till now, fines have ranged from €60-€100, which, if paid inside 30 days, are lowered by 75%.

In keeping with Pedro Velázquez, the chief of town’s Guàrdia Urbana police drive, between 2-8 August 747 individuals had been fined as much as €100 for consuming on the street.

The upper fines will likely be imposed for inflicting a disturbance or delinquent behaviour, the definition of which will likely be as much as particular person officers.

The fines have been launched below the controversial “gag legislation” introduced in by Spain’s earlier rightwing administration, which critics say severely curtails free speech and freedom of meeting.

Beneath the brand new guidelines, immediate cost of fines reduces them by solely 50%.

“The €600 fines are for inflicting severe disturbance to residents’ day by day lives,” Albert Batlle, town councillor accountable for legislation and order, advised a press convention. “What we’re speaking about is public order.”

The botellón, the place dozens, tons of and infrequently 1000’s of younger individuals collect in squares, parks or on seashores to drink the evening away will not be a brand new phenomenon.

Nevertheless, they turned a major nuisance in Barcelona final summer time when curfews and strict Covid restrictions meant bars had been solely allowed to open for restricted hours or in no way.

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The numbers participating had been swollen by 1000’s of younger individuals fleeing even stricter restrictions and curfews at residence, particularly France, in addition to individuals from northern Europe determined for some sunshine.

A whole lot would collect from Thursday to Sunday to drink all evening on the seaside at Barceloneta or within the streets of the previous metropolis. Residents of an space of Poblenou infamous for botellones have labelled it the Bermuda Triangle.

Police efforts to disperse crowds are hampered by drunkenness plus the truth that fining international vacationers has no influence as they know they won’t be round to pay.

Bar and restaurant homeowners complain {that a} new ruling forcing out of doors terraces in essentially the most touristed components of town to shut at 11pm will solely encourage extra botellones.

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