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Concerning rise in illegal drinking gatherings over last few weeks

Catalan Minister of the Interior, Miquel Sàmper, expresses his worry and calls for ‘patience’ over upcoming months

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12 April 2021 02:27 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

The Minister of the Interior, Miquel Sàmper has expressed his concern about the growing number of parties and drinking gatherings (“botellons”) that police have detected over the last few weeks. 

Over the Easter weekend, when mobility restrictions were relaxed and people were travelling to spend time with family and friends, the head of the Mossos d’Esquadra police, Joan Carles Molinero, commented that there were “many police interventions” made and more serious breaches reported. 

For example, 24 people were reported to the police for attending a flat party in the coastal town of Blanes over the Easter weekend. 

As well as that, just last Sunday the Catalan Guàrdia Urbana police intervened at a birthday celebration taking place in Barcelona’s Les Corts neighbourhood where there were allegedly 29 people inside the residence.

“Botellons”, where people partake in drinking activities outside, have also been halted. On Friday, around 200 people were removed from Barcelona’s central spot Passeig de Lluís Companys for partaking in “botellons”. 

Molinero has said that the police will continue to work hard to stop these parties, and has also decided to increase police checks taking place on major routes frequently used to travel around Catalonia, to ensure that people are complying with current regulations and not leaving their county unless for necessary reasons, such as for work.

“It’s worrying” said Sàmper during a visit to Girona, regarding the rise in illegal gatherings currently taking place. He also added that these types of incidences are particularly “difficult to control” since it's hard to enter someone’s home for breaches of the law which only result in administrative sanctions. 

Nevertheless, he has reiterated the “importance” of fines, currently in place to deter people from hosting and attending illegal parties, and has called for “patience” over the coming months. 

“In a few months, at most, we will have a summer, not like that of 2019, but better than the last,” said Sàmper.

The minister has also noted that the evolution of the fourth wave, detected by the rise of patients in intensive care, appears to be very different to the others. He has suggested that this “opens up the possibility for the return of many things”, such as night-life. 

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  • Catalan Guàrdia Urbana police intervening in an illegal party taking place in Badalona (courtesy of the Badalona Guàrdia Urbana)

  • Catalan Guàrdia Urbana police intervening in an illegal party taking place in Badalona (courtesy of the Badalona Guàrdia Urbana)

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