Barcelona’s Les Rambles to keep flower and news kiosks but will remove souvenir and pet kiosks

A year ago, the Barcelona City Council made the decision to convert pet kiosks on Les Rambles into souvenir kiosks. Now, they have changed their minds, claiming that their decision led to overcrowding and lack of public space.

CNA / Rafa Garrido

December 17, 2010 10:04 PM

Barcelona (ACN).- A year ago, the Barcelona City Council made the decision to gradually remove all pet kiosks from the famous street ‘Les Rambles’. The City Council made the decision after receiving pressure from animal rights groups and the Catalan Eco Socialist Party, which is part of the city’s government. As pet kiosks have been a historic part of Les Rambles, pet kiosk owners were given the option to convert their family-owned stands into souvenir kiosks for traditional foods, drinks and other local items. New shops began popping up on the upper part of Les Rambles just 3 months ago, when the new ordinance took effect. Flower and news kiosk owners were allowed to maintain their kiosks on the famous walkway.

Now, the mayor of Barcelona, Jordi Hereu, has changed his mind. This Wednesday, the decision was made to remove all souvenir stands from Les Rambles due to overcrowding. According to Hereu, “the system did not work”. The new proposal to remove all pet and souvenir kiosks from Les Rambles is intended to create more open space, making it easier to walk down the famous street that is currently crowded with tourist memorabilia. Hereu stated that the decision made by the Barcelona City Council a year ago was “the wrong decision” and “had to be changed”.

“We made a decision and now we are changing it”, said Hereu. According to the Mayor, after seeing “how it evolved”, the City Council decided that “it was better” to remove the kiosks in order to provide the street with more open space. Hereu regarded the decision as “positive…good news for all” and stressed that the new decision will not affect flower and news kiosks.