Barcelona City Council bans nudity and semi-nudity on the streets

The measure is a reaction to the large number of people, many of them tourists, who in the summer months only wear swim suits across the city or walk with their naked torso, even in the underground. The area next to the more than 5 kilometres of beaches is excluded from the ban, although complete nudity will also be banned. Four weeks before the municipal elections, the two main parties at Barcelona City Council have agreed on the measures.

CNA / Rafa Garrido

April 30, 2011 04:22 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- Barcelona City Council has taken action to end the summertime image of people walking on Barcelona’s main streets with their naked torso, wearing only swim suits or even going completely nude. The new ban on nudity and semi-nudity however makes a clear exception: Barcelona’s beaches and the surrounding areas are completely excluded. Therefore, people will be allowed to go shirtless or only wear swim suits around beach areas, such as the maritime walkway, but they will be banned of doing so in the rest of the city, such as in the famous Les Rambles or the Passeig de Gràcia boulevard. Complete nudity will be banned everywhere, except in a very concrete zone within one beach. Local police will not fine people directly: firstly they will inform the person that its behaviour is not allowed and the person will be requested to put some clothes on. If the person decides not to do so or is caught again for the same transgression, local police are entitled to fine the person with a quantity ranging from 120 euros to 500 euros. The measure has been approved just before the municipal elections with the votes of the two main parties.

The measure is intended to counteract the great number of people, many of them tourists, who walk around Barcelona as if they were in the middle of a beach resort. The phenomenon has been regularly debated in the last number of years by local media. Now, just four weeks before the municipal elections, the two main political parties in Barcelona City Council agreed to modify the so-called “civic-mindedness rule”, which rules behaviour and activities in public spaces. The Mayor’s Catalan Socialist Party (PSC) and the main opposition party the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition Convergència i Unió (CiU) –which is leading the polls– agreed to strengthen the aforementioned rule to ban nudity and semi-nudity. The Deputy Mayor for Security Issues, Assumpta Escarp, from the PSC, explained that the new rule is aimed at developing “pedagogy”. CiU’s leader at the City Council, Xavier Trias said “it was time” to do so and it wants to “guarantee a space for living together”. The Conservative People’s Party (PP) abstained as the new ban “only shows a yellow card and not a red one” to the people who go “stark naked”. The Left-Wing Catalan Independence Party (ERC) and the Catalan Green Socialist Pary (ICV-EUiA) voted against as they think the new rule is “disproportionate” and “will generate conflict”.