No need to beat around the bush. Lately, prostitutes from Barcelona have managed to become front-page news around the world. This might give you the idea that prostitution in Spain is ‘tolerated’. Believe us, it’s not. It’s the oldest profession in the world, so far so good. But what does the law say? And how does it influence the image and reputation of Barcelona?
Some people living around the Boqueria (the most popular market) were fed up with the nightly activity there and claimed the police did nothing. So they decided to make it public. A renowned Spanish newspaper published some pictures taken on a Saturday night, that left nothing to the imagination. Thanks to the media attention, a big clean-up was held at the beginning of September. Some girls and pimps were arrested, and now the zone around the Ramblas is more or less clean. About 90% of the prostitutes in Spain are illegal immigrants. The spanish home office promised more police control at night, while the city of Barcelona is working on new laws regarding street prostitution.
But what do the neighbours think? As soon as the attention fades, the problem will re-appear. Or it will simply move to other parts of the city. They are pleading for a partial legalisation, in controlled areas. That way, prostitution could be taken both out of the city centre and out of the marginality. It’s a big step and a controversial one which will not be accomplished in a short period of time.
Meanwhile, in some internet forums it has become a real hype to identify prostitutes and their clients with… Google street view! Surely, this wasn’t what the creators had in mind. People look up the zones where it’s usual to find prostitutes and once they got one ‘caught in the act’, they post the material on the forum. Some people like to collect stamps, but whatever floats your boat I guess?
Don’t let this spoil your image of Barcelona as a charming and lively city. Because at night the streets fill up with party people, couples in love and happy travellers. Come and experience the nightlife of this beautiful city by the sea. Rent the best apartments in Barcelona, and enjoy a trip to the Mediterrenean.