Airbnb crackdown in Spain: Government wants to limit holiday flats in ‘stressed’ areas – following wave of anti-tourism protests

RESTRICTIONS will be imposed by the government on the number of tourist apartments in ‘stressed’ areas of Spain.

Housing Minister, Isabel Rodriguez, said on Thursday that she will intervene to limit tourist apartments in parts of the country because that ‘it is harming the right to access housing’.

The country’s 17 regions have no definition of what is a ‘stressed’ area but Rodriguez’s declaration signals the government’s intention to overrule local decision makers if need be.


Speaking to Cadena Ser Radio, Rodriguez made a specific reference to Madrid, where there are over 14,000 tourist flats.

“This is more than Operation Camp which is the largest ever public housing promotion and I don’t want the centre of Madrid to be a theme park, but to remain a city,” she said.

The Minister’s declaration comes days after Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, announced plans to get rid of the Golden Visa scheme which gives Spanish residency to non-EU citizens who buy properties valued at over €500,000.

There have also been protests recently in Tenerife over ‘excess’ tourism.

Isabel Rodriquez said there are 300,000 tourist apartments in Spain- ‘much more than we can build’.

She pointed out that there are regions like Andalucia, Catalunya and the Canary Islands that are taking steps but emphasised that the ‘State’ can also intervene.

“We will act in a precise and targeted way because tourist rentals in some regions are an opportunity for tourist dynamism but it has to be regulated according to that diversity,” she added.

Rodriquez also assured that the government was not playing politics with the issue on a day that Pedro Sanchez will be having a meeting with representatives of the real estate sector, banks and unions to discuss Spain’s housing problem.

Only 2.4% of housing in the country is public, compared to an average of 9% across Europe.

“There is a 1.5 million public housing shortfall, which if sorted would allow us to maintain more affordable rental and sale prices,” said Rodriguez.

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