Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Spanish island protests turn nasty as angry locals vow to ‘fight Brits on the beach’

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun14,2024

Anti-tourist protests in Spain are threatening to turn nasty as activists look to up the stakes in their fight to “reclaim their beaches” from “guiri” Brits.

Spain has been gripped by a wave of anger towards holidaymakers, who have been accused of everything from destroying the environment to pricing locals out of the property market.

Thousands of furious protesters have taken to the streets in some of Spain’s most popular resorts to demand an end to the scourge of mass tourism.

And Brits wanting to enjoy a bit of relaxation and innocent fun are very much in the crosshairs of the baying anti-tourist mobs.

Some 750,000 British holidaymakers head to Majorca each year to soak up the sun and leave the stresses of their working lives behind them for a few weeks.

But soon they could find their path to the beaches barred by militant anti-tourist activists, who want to send visitors packing.

Activists from a protest group calling itself Majorca Platja Tour are calling on locals to “occupy” popular beaches with a mass demonstration on June 16.

“We are calling on all residents who live near a beach to come and swim, to recover them and use them like we used to,” they said in a statement on the social media site X.

The call to arms has been positively received by many locals, judging by the responses to the Twitter post.

One wrote: “Great idea. Please, come to Arenal and don’t leave a centimetre for the guiris.”

The term “guiri” is Spanish slang for uncouth foreign tourist and normally refers to people from the UK.

Last Saturday an estimated 15,000 locals took part in a demonstration against mass tourism with the message “Majorca is not for sale!”

Jennifer Nicholson, an artist living in Palma, called tourism a “double-edged sword” but believes a compromise can be struck that pleases all sides.

She told EuroWeekly News: “The mass influx of tourists is affecting all of us from late spring to early autumn with traffic congestion and higher prices being the most common complaints.

“Tourism is really a double-edged sword. There are so many small businesses which rely on tourism to survive.

“I personally feel like a balance can be struck between tourism and environment although, Spain has been marketed as a cheap holiday/party destination.”

Javier Barbero, one of the organisers of the demonstration, insisted the islanders are not against tourism, but want authorities to clamp down on the proliferation of holiday rental apartments that is pricing locals out of the property market.

“We wanted to denounce the housing situation, but we also believe that we have to rethink the tourism model with respect,” he told the Majorca Daily Bulletin. “We are not saying ‘no’ to tourism.”

Tourism is a key driver of economic growth, accounting for 45 percent of the islands’ gross domestic product.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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