Barcelonians are reportedly at their wit’s end with the wild antics of rowdy tourists, who are said to be urinating in public, littering playgrounds with drug paraphernalia and passing out drunk in the streets of the Catalonian capital.
The Sun reported that residents are officially demanding answers from the city’s “left wing” mayor, Ada Colau, whose policies some feel have allowed “over-tourism” to root and ravage the historic city.
“People cannot rest. Many residents are leaving the barrio –people who were born here – because they cannot go on living like this,” Manel Martinez, vice president of the Barceloneta Neighbors’ Association, told The Telegraph in a recent interview
“Do you do this in your own country? We don’t understand how people end up in this state,” he added.
As The Independent reported last year, Barcelona “has been stretched to a breaking point” through “massive overcrowding,” with a record number of tourists pouring into the city each year. The increasing popularity of home-sharing networks like Airbnb have increased foot traffic in the metropolis, in turn inspiring landlords to drive up rent in a move that threatens to push locals out.
Home to a population of around 1.6 million, over 15 million people have visited Barcelona in the last year, according to The Sun.
City councilman Alfred Bosch has said that things have gotten so bad, Barcelona will soon become “the drug capital of Europe” if policies do not change.
Just days ago, “sick” anti-tourism posters began popping up in the Spanish city, urging tourists to leap off balconies to their death, The Sun reports. The campaign is thought to be linked to the city’s mounting “extreme anti-tourism movement,” the outlet states.