Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Las Ramblas Florists in Danger of Fines

I blogged about 3 years ago about the proposed changes to Las Ramblas and the animal stalls - "ocellaires"which used to occupy the top part of the most-walked street in the city, and sure enough, they have almost disappeared, with just a few remaining. I have to be honest, though, whilst I wasn't in 100% agreement or disagreement with the tiny sizes of the stalls, I think their replacement is a real let down. 

Those stupid ice cream stalls and bright yellow aprons with cheap industrial cakes and rubbish at high prices are exactly what Las Ramblas didn't need. There are enough of them on the actual sides of Ramblas (and of much better quality). So, whilst walking the other day through the city centre, I began to notice that all of the flower sellers have now, too, added a notice to their stalls:

Now, I don't care if the prices of the florists are more expensive than a normal florists elsewhere in the city, or if they've kind of had to adapt to the "crisis" by adding those material joke flowers and such like, can you imagine St Jordi without flowers on Las Ramblas? And their replacement to be what ?! More bloody waffle stalls and chatty necklaces?!

The photo above says "Keep the Florists of Las Ramblas in your prayers. Who will soon die for the hard line taken by The Town Council of Barcelona and for the incomprehension of Converència I Unio after a massive indigestion of tourism. The funerals will take place as soon as the first fines imposed by the Town Council of Barcelona will be administrated to Florists. We would appreciate your support by signing the Book of Condolences".

OK, so the translation leaves a lot to be desired, but you get the picture. The lady in the photograph was accompanied by an elderly gentleman (I assume her husband) who have been working the flower stalls in Las Ramblas ALL OF THEIR LIVES!!! I asked the man what they had in mind (me meaning the council) to replace the stalls and he cut me off and said they would begin a hunger strike, so they're clearly taking it all very seriously. It has to be said too, that up and down each side, the stalls were dotted with people signing and shaking their heads and generally being supportive of the stalls and their proprietors, and I have to say I agree, too. It would be a real shame for those people to lose their livlihood and Las Ramblas would lose yet another piece of its identity. What do you think? Agree ? Disagree? Let me know in the comments!

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