A Campaign to Fine the Poor? Totally Random
Okay, so I was reading El País this morning and got to this article. It’s absolutely extraordinary news. Surreal. Apparently Madrid has passed new legislation that allows police to fine people for a very strange and entirely random succession of things- many of which are very open to interpretation; But almost all of which seem designed to harass and scare the poor away from the city. My guess is that if you’re begging on the streets or trying to sell products to people in their cars, you can’t afford the 750 euro fine…
Light infractions (fine of up to 750 euro fines) : begging near hospitals, shopping centres, trying to sell products to people in cars, soliciting sex, playing ‘unpleasant’ or dangerous games in public, acrobatics on roller blades or bicycles, spitting or littering, offer tarot services on the street, offer massages or fortune-telling, camping on public land, use a bench for something other than sitting, walk an aggressive/dangerous dog, release said dog in a public zone, let the dog bathe in a public fountain, feed dogs on the street, wash or repair cars on public streets, shake dust from rugs onto the street, offer to ‘guard’ a car, bathe one’s self in a fountain, climb fountains, destroy public property
Serious Infractions (759 to 1500 euro fines) : Any act of harassment or discrimination (including homophobia). Organized begging or forcing others to beg. Offering to clean windscreens at traffic lights. Offering sexual services near schools or shopping centres. Promoting prostitution. Gambling in public. Reckless use of rollerblades. Public urination or defecation (or not cleaning up after your dog). Lighting bonfires. Using sports installations for non-sport purposes.
Very Serious Infractions (1500 to 3000 euro fines) : Discrimination or harassment against children, the elderly or the handicapped. Using minors or the handicapped for begging. Promoting prostitution near schools with small children. Sexual acts in public. Taking drug users to buy drugs. Putting plant pots (or other objects) on balconies in a way that endangers pedestrians.