Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Force of numbers

Sit down at any of the cafes and bars along the seafront at Torrevieja and you can guarantee that at some point you will be pestered by the looky looky salesmen. For many, their presence is annoying, after all you don’t go out for a meal with the intention of buying fake sunglasses or a cheap watch. 

The police have a duty to stamp out the sale of counterfeit good so they regularly round the sellers up and confiscate the goods to be later destroyed.

Last Monday, the police arrested five Senegalese vendors and took them to the Guardia Civil station. This was the last straw for the looky looky men who gathered outside the station to demand the release of their countrymen.

The protest continued with the vendors setting up barricades across roads to stop the traffic. They managed to cut off Avenida de las Habaneras for most of the afternoon. 

The situation with regards to these people has now become intolerable. Their presence along the seafront is not the attractive picture the town wants to present. The fact is that sterner measures should have been taken years ago to stop the influx of Senegalese coming into the town and setting up their stalls in this way. The problem is that there are obviously many who buy from them and thus encourage their presence.

1 comment:

Bill said...

I have no particular brief for these, generally 'black', vendors of various items, but I do have to say I detect a little whiff of racism in your article.

We have the same 'problem' with these people in Mazarron and indeed I have noticed it in many other parts of Spain, but at least these folks are not 'stealing', mugging or breaking into people's homes. They are trying to make some kind of a living, more than can be said for some others.

If they are in Spain illegally, then they need to be rounded up and eventually deported, if present legally then their feeble efforts at paying their way should not be denigrated. Of course I know that many of them will be selling mostly fake goods, but probably not any less effective or durable than the piles of cheap rubbish that most of the recent influx of 'Chinese bazaars' stock.

I do get irritated with these folks sometimes, too, but compared to their difficult lives my own life is pretty comfortable and, to be honest, when one tells them to go away I have always found that they do without any undue unpleasantess.

Life is difficult in Spain just now, of course, for many people. I'm sure if the Spanish authorities really wished to 'get rid of' this 'problem' they could do so without too much trouble, but I suppose it boils down to the fact that the authorities have not forgotten that basic humanity is important, too, and for that I think they deserve some recognition, a not unremarkable thing in my view during the financial crisis the country is going through.