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  Av 18, 5777 , 10/08/17

Wave of anti-tourist protests rocks Europe

 A wave of anti-tourism protests have broken out in some of Europe’s most popular destinations. 

The focal point for much of this has been Spain, which had a record 75.6 million tourists last year, including 17.8 million from the UK. In Barcelona, where tensions have been rising for years over the unchecked surge in visitors and impact of sites such as Airbnb on the local housing market, Arran, the youth wing of the radical CUP (Popular Unity Candidacy), have been filmed slashing the tyres of rental bicycles and a tour bus. An Arran spokesperson told the BBC: “Today’s model of tourism expels people from their neighbourhoods and harms the environment.” Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy criticized the group, describing them as “extremists”.

There have also been protests in Mallorca and San Sebastián, where an anti-tourism march is planned for 17 August, to coincide with Semana Grande – a major festival of Basque culture.

Other demonstrations have taken place across southern Europe. Last month in Venice – which sees more than 20 million visitors a year and has just 55,000 residents – 2,000 locals marched through the city, voicing anger at rising rents and the impact of huge cruise ships and the pollution they cause to the city’s delicate environment.

Italy has also been cracking down on anti-social behaviour in other tourist hotspots. In Rome, this means a ban on people eating or paddling in the city’s fountains and drinking on the street at night. Similar measures have been put into place in Milan – which introduced a summer ban on everything from food trucks to selfie sticks in the Darsena neighbourhood.

Other cities monitored the number of tourists entering and in other towns in Europe, tourists found signs spraypainted saying "tourist go home"

Other archived news briefs:Aug 10, 05:03 PM, 8/10/2017