The phenomenon of street vendors is not a unique characteristic of Barcelona , it is the reality of most cities on the Catalan coast. And since the authorities recognize their helplessness in the fight against people engaged in illegal trade, it was decided to fine their clients.
The municipality of the capital of Costa Daurada has launched the campaign No trenquis el cor al comerç, which responds to the moods of businessmen of the city, whose business is undermined by illegal street trading. A fine of 300 euros will be imposed on everyone who buys anything – a bag, shoes, a shirt, sunglasses, beer, etc. – from a street vendor. Also, Salou will be fined by the traders themselves and people who provide any services without a license.
The campaign was started after a clash broke out in Salou between the police and illegal sellers, as a result of which two policemen were injured.
Salou is a coastal town, home to about 20,000 people, and in the summer months the influx of tourists increases the number of inhabitants by five times. At the same time, the number of street vendors reaches 400, and the city authorities simply are not able to control them, despite the fact that police patrols are increasing and even private security services are hired. Therefore, the only way out to the authorities is to fine the buyers.
The city of Salou did not become original in this matter, buyers are fined already in Barcelona and Calafell. In Calafell, the amount of the fine imposed on the seller is 300 euros, and the buyer’s fine varies from 1 to 20,000 euros – depending on the value of the purchased goods. In Barcelona, buyers pay a modest fine of 50 euros.