VALENCIA – It is an increasingly common phenomenon: Take the centre of any popular city in Europe and you see groups of strangely dressed people in a cheerful mood having an ostentatious and often very noisy time.
It is of course fine that those people are enjoying themselves. However, their fun often comes at the expense of the residents. Bachelor parties are also an indispensable part of the street scene in the beautiful historic centre of Valencia, known for its futuristic Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias, oranges and vibrant nightlife. The city council is now taking drastic measures to combat the growing nuisance.
Residents, especially in the trendy Ruzafa district, have been raising the alarm for years about the noise and vulgarity that these parties often entail. Now it appears that action is finally being taken.
Juan Carlos Caballero, the spokesperson for the Popular Party and Councillor for the Environment, has announced that the municipal council is considering a regulation previously introduced in Málaga and Cordoba. These regulations prohibit people from going out in public wearing only underwear or sexually suggestive accessories. “It’s a good ordinance, and we are already working on amending our local laws,” Caballero said.
The core of the problem
The nuisance is not only a problem for residents but also tarnishes the city’s image as a tourist destination. “These measures are intended to improve coexistence between residents and visitors and respect in public spaces,” Caballero explains.
The regulation from which Valencia draws inspiration was recently approved by the city council of Málaga. This legislation aims to preserve public space as a place of meeting, coexistence and good manners. Violations can lead to fines of up to €750. That’s quite something, therefore, “forewarned is forearmed”.
In addition to the new rules for bachelor parties, Valencia is also committed to tackling other forms of public nuisance, such as drinking alcoholic beverages on the street, better known as ‘botellón’. Several operations have already been carried out, in collaboration with the national police, to tackle this form of nuisance. Last weekend, 36 inspections were carried out, resulting in nine fines for various violations such as noise pollution.
With these new rules, Valencia hopes to find a balance between vibrant tourism and the peace and order that residents deserve. It is a delicate balance, but one that the city council takes seriously. Time will tell whether these measures are effective.