Large protests in the Canary Islands • Swedish Ann: “It’s become outrageously expensive”

Large protests in the Canary Islands • Swedish Ann Its

Published 2024-04-21 22.37



The inhabitants of the Canary Islands have had enough of mass tourism.

Large protests have broken out while local residents have gone on hunger strike.

– It is difficult to feel that you are not part of the problem, says Swedish Ann who has spent 15 winters in Lanzarote.

“Tourists go home”, is scrawled on the walls in Tenerife.

At the same time, the protesters are fully planning for another hunger strike on the paradise island after news of a new luxury hotel construction.

The protests against mass tourism have spread throughout the Canary Islands due to the widespread lack of housing.

According to activists, local people are forced to sleep in their cars or in caves, reports Euronews.

– Airbnb and are like cancer that is destroying the island bit by bit, says activist Ivan Cerdena Molina.

“Become outrageously expensive”

In recent days, large demonstration trains have been organized around the archipelago.

Swedish Ann is one of those who have been out and shown their support.

She has spent the winters in Lanzarote for the last 15 years and is one of those who understand the demands of the local population for a more sustainable tourism on the islands.

– It is ordinary people who serve breakfast or food in hotels. There are many who are concerned about what the future will be like for their children and grandchildren. It is extremely difficult to find housing for those who have not inherited it through generations. It has become prohibitively expensive, she says.

On Saturday, a long demonstration march was organized in Lanzarote while placards of strangled canaries were put up on the island.

– I don’t want to say that it was violent, but there were quite upset feelings. People walked arm in arm in a 500 meter long train. The police were of course there and made sure everything was handled well, she says.

“Maybe doesn’t belong here”

As a Swede, she feels herself to be part of the problem that has arisen, she says.

– I feel the atmosphere and thought that maybe I don’t belong here even though my Spanish family down here almost adopted me. Then I also thought about the tourists who go here and experience this. They probably feel right now like it’s their fault and it’s unfair that they’re stuck. I feel for both sides of this.

However, she emphasizes that the protests are not aimed at tourists.

– The main aim is not to access tourism per se, but to get politicians to start balancing tourism and meeting the needs of the local population. They need politicians who listen to them so they don’t get run over themselves.