Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain
in the Autumn for a month or so

'Fair and softly goes far' - Miguel de Cervantes

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Murcian towns get tough on 'anti-social' behaviour

Abarán (north-east Murcia region) is introducing effective September a whole raft of new municipal ordinances to try and instil more civic-spirited attitudes. Included are prohibitions on using car horns, accelerating brusquely in vehicles, limiting the number decibels which bars may produce from their music systems, against filling trash bins after 8pm, prohibiting leaving dog excrement on the streets or other public places. The regulations are based on those already in force in Bullas (north-west of Murcia city).

The sanction for a first offence will merely be a warning, but for repeat offences there will be an escalating range of fines available ranging from 60 to 750 Euros ('mild'), upto 1,500 Euros (severe) and finally upto 3,000 Euros (more 'severe').

I wrote here in June about similar kinds of municipal regulations in Mazarrón affecting use of beaches in the area, although the new ordinances in Abarán seem to go a lot further. For example in a small piece of fenced-off open ground adjacent to a reasonably attractive little square, planted up and with irrigation in place, near where I often park when I go shopping in Mazarrón, there is an abundance of litter and other discarded items - for instance, ever since I started to visit the area almost three years ago there has been a discarded mattress lying amongst the litter in this open space and it has not moved a centimetre in all that time. It's a pity that efforts could not be made to clean up this kind of mess to make the area more pleasant and sanitary for everyone who uses it. However these moves in different parts of the Murcia region may show that attitudes, at least at an official level, are beginning to change and perhaps these may filter down evenutally to the wider population - encouraged by the threat of fines. Although as I mentioned when the Mazarrón regulations were introduced, only if the new regulations are enforced, and word of mouth confirms they are being enforced, will anything change.

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