MAJORCA-SPAIN: Now a days holidaymaker in Majorca are being swept up in angry anti-tourism demonstrations. Radicals carrying flare guns and yelling “go home” targeted diners at a Marina restaurant in Palma.Video emerged of the incident in which masked activists set off flares outside the restaurant full of tourists on the island of Palma de Majorca.
They also set off smoke flares over luxury yachts before running through the restaurant throwing confetti over diners. The Spanish prime minister condemned the attack.
Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy intervened this week after the anti-tourist anger turned physical. Mr. Rajoy described the activists as “extremists going against common sense”.
The campaign group behind the attack, Arran Països Catalans, has carried out similar protests throughout Spain, in Barcelona, Valencia, and the Balearic Islands over the past two weeks.
Activists targeted tourists on a bus in Barcelona Arran, the youth wing of the CUP – an anti-Capitalist party – is the junior coalition partner in the Catalan government.
They first descended on frightened tourists in Barcelona and now the protests are spreading to Majorca.
However, the Spanish authorities are worried that the protests are increasingly targeting hotspots popular with British tourists.
Spain has had more than 36 million international visitors so far this year and tourism represents 11 percent of GDP for the Spanish economy. Visitors to Spain jumped 12 percent in the first half of 2017 to 36.4 million. Barcelona is planning a new tax that will hit cruise ships: 65 euro cents for each visitor staying less than 12 hours. About 750 cruise ships docked at Barcelona last year.
Britain is the biggest source of overseas tourists in Spain. The most visited region is Catalonia.
Eyewitnesses to the violence in Barcelona said that five star hotels in the city had their windows broken and rental bikes had their tyres slashed.
One incident left tourists on a bus in Barcelona, particularly scared after they surrounded them carrying flares and daubed grafitti on the bus. A spokesperson for Arran defended its actions.
She told the media: “Our action was not against the people who were in the bus, nor the driver, not at all.
“This was an act of visualisation, it was a way of putting the debate on the table.”
However, some residents in Barcelona resent the fact that oversees buyers have snatched up so many apartments that the price of rentals has gone up in the city.
Chronic overcrowding in some of Europe’s beloved tourism hotspots has fueled an angry backlash, from polite protest to “Go Home” graffiti and even physical intimidation.
Across southern Europe, residents are complaining that a sharp rise in tourism is making life intolerable. The backlash has sparked concerns for one of the region’s biggest economic drivers and prompted authorities to act.
In Barcelona, where anger has been brewing for some time, some graffiti has turned menacing. One slogan, featuring a black silhouette with a red target on its head, reads: “Why call it tourist season if we can’t shoot them?”Arran has vowed to carry out more attacks.