Protest in Barcelona Calls for Opening Borders to Russian Tourists

Written by Kathrine Frich

Jul.01 - 2024 7:51 PM CET

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock
Activists in Barcelona gathered in front of the Sagrada Família cathedral to protest

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Activists in Barcelona gathered in front of the Sagrada Família cathedral to protest against the exclusion of Russian tourists from entering the country.

According to reports from Lenta, demonstrators condemned what they perceive as a discriminatory policy driven by nationalism that prevents Russians from visiting Spain.

They argued that such measures not only undermine inclusivity but also have substantial economic repercussions for the country.

The demonstration highlighted concerns over Spain's tourism industry, citing significant financial losses amounting to four billion euros over the years 2022 and 2023 due to the absence of Russian visitors. Protesters emphasized the cultural exchange and economic benefits that Russian tourists traditionally bring to destinations like Barcelona, urging authorities to reconsider their restrictive policies.

Economic Impact of Tourism Restrictions

The economic impact of barring Russian tourists was a focal point of the protest in Barcelona, underscoring the financial strain on Spain's tourism sector.

Activists pointed out that the exclusionary measures not only hinder cultural exchange but also negatively affect local businesses that rely on international visitors.

They called for a more inclusive approach that balances security concerns with the economic benefits of welcoming tourists from diverse backgrounds.

Political Responses and Diplomatic Relations

The protest coincides with recent statements from Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez regarding military and diplomatic relations with Turkey amidst the Ukraine conflict.

Sánchez reaffirmed Spain's position during talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, asserting mutual solidarity while addressing regional security challenges.

This diplomatic backdrop adds complexity to the ongoing debate over border policies and their geopolitical implications for European countries like Spain.