Buskers, pimps and plant-lovers beware: This is Madrid's biggest crackdown since General Franco

New anti-social behaviour laws ban everything from carelessly perched pot plants to carpet-beating in public

Madrid

In the biggest crackdown on anti-social behaviour in decades, the city of Madrid is to impose new restrictions and fines on everything from soliciting the services of a prostitute to juggling, dog-feeding and carpet-beating in public.

All manner of human behaviour is being targeted under the new laws, including being careless with pot plants on a balcony or for using a park bench for – perish the thought – “something other than sitting”.

The draft series of regulations, currently being reviewed in all-party discussions, represent the biggest single series of potential changes to the Spanish capital’s civic legislation since the ‘Policing and Good Government law’ of 1948. In equally wide-ranging format, that 1948 law banned everything in Madrid from blasphemy (intriguingly defined in the legislation as ‘particularly forbidden’) to woodchopping in public and keeping poultry.

With blasphemy hardly an issue the new set of fines and bylaws is aimed at tackling  more contemporary social problems, ranging from the relatively inoffensive car windscreen washers at traffic lights or skateboarders on pavements to the hire of private cars as group taxis, nicknamed cundas, for illegal drug users to visit their dealers.

In a crackdown on the street version of the “oldest profession in the world”, however, clients soliciting services of a sex worker in a public place will be first warned and then fined €750 if a repeat offender. The prostitute, considered to be in a high-risk category for exploitation, will not be charged.

Fines are far more severe, however, – up to €3,000 – for pimping near a school, for operating cundas, for acts of discrimination towards the disabled or for using minors in begging operations. More surprisingly, perhaps, another activity which may become a ‘serious offence’ is placing a pot-plant in a dangerous location on a balcony or windowsill – dangerous, presumably, for those walking below.

And the list of minor offences which could end up as a Madrid bylaw is a long one. According to El País newspaper, amongst other misdemeanours will be using a bench “for a purpose other than sitting down”, offering tarot services or massages on a public thoroughfare (where walking a ‘bothersome’ dog  or feeding any kind will be banned, too), shaking out carpets in the street, (previously permitted in the 1948 law, but only daily from 7am to 9am) and using  municipal ponds for model boats. Fines will range from the largely symbolic 90c [70p] to €750.

A prostitute checks her make up on a street in Madrid (Getty) A prostitute checks her make up on a street in Madrid (Getty)

 

Long-lasting public protests may also become more difficult. Demonstrators like the 15-M indignados anti-austerity movement who have previously set up campsites in central Madrid could now risk a fine if they erect so much as a tent in the emblematic Puerta del Sol square.

Madrid’s buskers, in any case, will soon find it tougher to ply their trade, having to pass a formal music exam and possess a (free) licence in order to? play. Not, though, during siesta time – 4 pm to 6 pm – when playing music in public will be prohibited.

Protesters like those who pitched tents in Puerta del Sol square risk being fined (Getty) Protesters like those who pitched tents in Puerta del Sol square risk being fined (Getty)

 

For all its thoroughness in its new bylaws, elsewhere Madrid’s government is currently battling for one special legal loophole to be created – in Spain’s anti-smoking legislation.

Madrid is keen that smokers will be able to light up in some areas inside Eurovegas, the mega-casino resort, which, if built  – although Spain’s anti-smoking laws could be a stumbling block – could provide tens of thousands of jobs for the unemployment-ridden capital. 

Eurovegas or not, running a gambling game on the streets of Madrid could garner a fine of €1,500, with throwing a cigarette butt on the pavement costing as much as €750.

Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
Al Pacino in ‘The Humbling’, as an ageing actor
filmHam among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
News
Fifi Trixibelle Geldof with her mother, Paula Yates, in 1985
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Sport
Mario Balotelli in action during his Liverpool debut
football ...but he can't get on the scoresheet in impressive debut
Environment
Pigeons have been found with traces of cocaine and painkillers in their system
environmentCan species be 'de-extincted'?
Arts and Entertainment
booksExclusive extract from Howard Jacobson’s acclaimed new novel
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
A Pilgrim’s Progress is described by its publisher as “the one-and-only definitive record” of David Hockney's life and works
people
Sport
Loic Remy signs for Chelsea
footballBlues wrap up deal on the eve of the transfer window
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Art
Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth McGovern as Cora, Countess of Grantham and Richard E Grant as Simon Bricker
TV
Life and Style
Instagram daredevils get thousands of followers
techMeet the daredevil photographers redefining urban exploration with death-defying stunts
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard, nicknamed by the press as 'Dirty Diana'
TVDaughter says contestant was manipulated 'to boost ratings'
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Manchester - Computer Futures

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Computer Futures (an SThree br...

Maths Teacher

£85 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: randstad education require a ...

SEN Teacher - Hull

Negotiable: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education are recruiting for spe...

Primary Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: Randstad Education Ltd are seeking EY...

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor