Blood on the Floor
The night of Sant Joan is normally an occasion for fireworks and parties in Barcelona. However, you do not expect to get up in the morning to find that someone has been injecting drugs just outside of your door.
By the time we went out the addict had gone, leaving behind the abandoned paraphernalia and a copious amount of blood on one of the lower parts of the stairs.
Barcelona’s Ciutat Vella (the old town) has serious problems, ranging from pickpockets and drunken tourists at one end, to hard drugs at the other. The local government has been unwilling or unable to address the problems, prompting the local residents and business association in the Raval to encourage people to put up large banners proclaiming “Volem un Barri Digne” (we want a decent neighbourhood). Very little has actually happened in response to this.
The authorities seem only to listen to those with money. All that matters is an ever increasing commercial stream of bargain basement tourism that is driven in no small part by easy access to cheap drink, prostitution and drugs.
Is this really the city that Barcelona wants to be? It is certainly not what the residents want.
Barcelona has just elected a new city council led by the activist Ada Colau, presenting a rare chance to change the policies of the usual incumbent political classes. I hope that this leads to a better city for everyone – not just those making money from tourism.