Crypto Writer Ranting About Barcelona’s Anti-Tourist Brigade

Barcelona tourist issue crypto
Crypto Writer Ranting About Barcelona’s Anti-Tourist Brigade

NAIROBI (— Dear Citizens of Barcelona,

The recent outcry against tourists in our beloved city has reached an alarming crescendo. Water guns, anti-tourist graffiti, and the burgeoning “degrowth” movement have painted a picture of tourists as the root cause of the economic woes.

While frustration over soaring rents and economic inequality is understandable, we must address the underlying cause: rampant money printing by central banks.

Barcelona Tourist Crypto Bitcoin
Protestors hassled tourists in Barcelona. Source: Levelsio

Tourism’s Economic Impact

Tourism constitutes a significant portion of Barcelona’s economy, contributing 20% to the city’s GDP, equivalent to €32 billion ($35 billion) annually. This sector supports over a million jobs locally and three million nationwide.

Since the financial crisis of 2008, central banks worldwide have engaged in unprecedented levels of quantitative easing. In the Eurozone alone, the European Central Bank (ECB) has injected trillions of euros into the economy.

This influx of new money has led to asset bubbles, particularly in real estate. As a result, property prices in Barcelona have surged, making housing increasingly unaffordable for local residents.

Central Banks and Housing Crisis

The latest data shows that the euro area’s M3 money supply reached €16.27 trillion in May 2024, up from €16.22 trillion in April 2024. This marks a substantial increase from €16.01 trillion a year ago​​. This aggressive money-printing policy devalues the currency, leading to higher prices for goods and services, including rent.

In 2024, the European Central Bank’s (ECB) balance sheet decreased to €6.61 trillion ($7.28 trillion), reflecting a significant reduction from its peak during the pandemic. This contraction is a result of the ECB’s ongoing quantitative tightening (QT) efforts, which have seen the central bank shed approximately €2.2 trillion ($2.42 trillion) in assets since the start of QT​.

Barcelona Tourist Crypto Bitcoin
ECB Total Asset chart. Source: WolfStreet

This liquidity injection inflated housing markets and widened the wealth gap. Asset holders, particularly in real estate, saw significant gains while average wages stagnated. This disparity has fueled social tensions, contributing to the rise in anti-tourist sentiments​.

Blaming tourists for high rents is a misdirection. The currency’s devaluation erodes purchasing power, raising living costs. Central banks printing money increases the money supply without a corresponding rise in goods and services, leading to higher prices, including rent.

Data from the Bank of Spain supports this, showing that property prices in Barcelona have surged by over 60% in the past decade, largely due to the ECB’s quantitative easing programs​​.

Moreover, government policies have failed to address the housing shortage. Restrictive zoning laws and bureaucratic red tape hinder new construction, limiting supply and further driving up prices. To address the housing crisis, we need a multifaceted approach.

Reforming monetary policy to curb excessive money printing is crucial. Encouraging new housing development is essential. Ensuring economic growth benefits all citizens, not just asset holders, is necessary.

It’s crucial to recognize that tourists are not the enemy. They contribute significantly to our economy, and their spending supports countless jobs and businesses. Instead of directing our frustration toward them, we should focus on advocating for sound monetary policies and effective housing reforms.


A Humble Crypto Writer@Coinchapter

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