Tourists fume at new Spanish £170 fines for buying sunglasses saying 'demonisation' needs to end

View of Alicante hrabour with Santa Barbara castle in the background, Alicante, Valencia, Spain, Europe
-Credit: (Image: scu)

Holidaymakers could face hefty fines for purchasing sunglasses, sarongs and other souvenirs from unlicensed vendors in popular Spanish tourist spots. Local authorities are cracking down on these illegal sellers, known as "manteros", with UK tourists being warned they could be hit with a fine of up to €200 (£170).

The mayor of Torrevieja has called for an increased police presence during the summer months to enforce the new regulations. Reacting to the proposed crackdown, one British holidaymaker said: "Just repeating what lots of others are saying here already, but I find it bizarre that the tourists are the ones being fined for this rather than the sellers. Definitely shows that Spain don't really care about the problem".

Another added: "I wish they would do something. I was in Tenerife recently and had four approach in ten minutes while eating dinner in the evening, trying to flog us sunglasses. It was a constant issue all day and evening and although you bat them off, it is something that would make me less likely to return." For money-saving tips, sign up to our Money newsletter here

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A third commented: "I never buy from street sellers, other than markets. The obvious question though is, if unlicensed street sellers are the problem, why are the police not instructed to check for a license rather than target a tourist? ", reports Birmingham Live.

One disgruntled individual commented: "This makes no sense. How are tourists supposed to check if a seller is licenced? This demonisation of tourists needs to end. Prosecute the unlicensed sellers, but don't push the punishment onto someone unwillingly buying souvenirs."

Another added their two cents, stating: "These so called 'vendors' are one of the reasons I loathed Tenerife. In your face all the time. If the authorities don't want you buying from them why don't they stop them selling. You can keep Tenerife. There are so many better places to go with more beautiful beaches and scenery."