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'Tourists go home': Leftists resist Spain's influx

Youths in Catalonia and the Basque Country have daubed the slogan "tourists go home" on some buildings - just as foreigners flock to Spain on holiday, spending millions of euros.

Who is protesting, and how?

Many young Spaniards earn no more than €1,000 (£902; $1,176) a month, yet an ordinary apartment in central Barcelona can cost €800 or more in monthly rent.

Spain's El Periodico newspaper reports that many apartment rents in central Barcelona rose more than 10% in 2014-2016.

Ms Olona says many residents "have been struggling to find affordable rents, and moving to small places on the outskirts".

"But Barcelona doesn't have much space to grow - there is sea on one side, mountains on the other and the city is surrounded by urban areas."

In summer the daily influx of tourists from cruise ships has also fuelled resentment, she said.

Is there any official sympathy?

Yes, some. But it is tempered by exhortations to keep welcoming tourists, because of their economic value.

Arran wants a freeze on new hotel construction, more regulation of tourism and a model that "really respects the dignity of working people".

In Majorca, Balearics Deputy Prime Minister Biel Barceló said he shared the concerns about today's mass tourism and the "unbalanced" model. But he condemned Arran's methods.

A leading Basque tourism official, Denis Itxaso, said "concentrations of tourists" were inevitable in some places, but stressed that tourism was a vital source of income.

"Mind you don't play around with the hen that lays the golden eggs," he warned.

Ernai then mocked him in a tweet, showing him as a hen, with the message "Your golden eggs are the misery of young people!"

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