Wed. May 29th, 2024

Spain’s Gov’t Warns of Crackdown as Locals Fed Up with Tourists

Jamie Roberts By Jamie Roberts May18,2024

Spain’s government is threatening a crackdown on so-called tourist apartments, as it seeks to control growing anger over the lack of affordable public housing.

In an interview with Cadena Ser Radio on Thursday, Housing Minister Isabel Rodriguez said the government was prepared to directly intervene to limit the number of holiday apartments in Spain.

She claimed there were 300,000 tourist flats in Spain, which was much more than the government could build.

And while regions such as Andalucia, Catalunya and the Canary Islands were already taking their own steps to resolve the housing problems, she hinted that the government could also take direct action, if necessary.

Spain suffers from a chronic lack of public housing, which is becoming a major political issue.

Only 2.4 percent of housing in the country is public, compared to an average of 9 percent across Europe.

The Housing Minister admitted there was a 1.5 million shortfall in public housing but insisted that if the problem was fixed then rental and sales prices would become much more affordable.

Locals in the Canary Islands are gearing up for big protests on April 20 against mass tourism.

Organisers of the protests say that a burning issue is a lack of accessible public housing, due to investors snapping up real estate to rent to tourists.

As a result, many island residents are being priced out of the property market and left homeless. Angry protesters have also been leaving graffiti messages calling on tourists to “go home”.

Business leaders have expressed concerns that the growing backlash among locals towards tourists will deter people from visiting the islands.

Jorge Marichal, president of regional hotel association ASHOTEL, recently told Spanish radio station COPE he sympathised with some of the issues raised by locals.

However, he added: “It pains me because people confuse the message. We don’t have to be anti-tourist.

“What we have to do is demand infrastructures in accordance with the tourist model that’s been chosen.

“And we have to understand that the tourist model has changed because of technology and Airbnb and the fact property owners have converted those properties into businesses with very lax regulation and that the growth in the amount of tourist accommodation has not been matched by the investment in infrastructure.”

Jamie Roberts

By Jamie Roberts

Jamie is an award-winning investigative journalist with a focus on uncovering corruption and advocating for social justice. With over a decade of experience in the field, Jamie's work has been instrumental in bringing about positive change in various communities.

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2 thoughts on “Spain’s Gov’t Warns of Crackdown as Locals Fed Up with Tourists”
  1. I totally support the government’s stance on cracking down on tourist apartments. It’s about time action is taken to address the housing crisis and prioritize affordable public housing for locals. If we don’t act now, more residents will be pushed out of the market, and the anger will only escalate further.

  2. It’s about time the government takes action to address the housing crisis in Spain. Locals shouldn’t have to suffer while investors profit from tourism. Hopefully, these protests will lead to real change.

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