- Title: Barcelona to step up security after van attack
- Date: 23rd August 2017
- Summary: BARCELONA, SPAIN (AUGUST 23, 2017) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF BARCELONA TOWN HALL SPANISH AND CATALAN FLAGS VARIOUS OF BARCELONA MAYOR ADA COLAU AND CATALAN INTERIOR MINISTER JOAQUIM FORN AT MEETING JOURNALISTS AT NEWS CONFERENCE COLAU AND FORN AT NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Catalan) CATALAN INTERIOR MINISTER, JOAQUIM FORN, SAYING: "(We will) keep the security level at four but we will increase the intensity of resources specifically for the anti-terror operative plan. That means the Mossos d'Esquadra (Catalan police), a 10 per cent reinforcement for public safety, a 20 per cent for public order, this would be the first measures, as well as a reinforcement at airports and train stations." JOURNALISTS COLAU LISTENING JOURNALISTS (SOUNDBITE) (Catalan) CATALAN INTERIOR MINISTER, JOAQUIM FORN, SAYING: "A reinforcement of the most important touristic towns, an increase of the police presence at events with large numbers of attendants, that meaning football matches, concerts... On Saturday (August 26) we will have a big demonstration in Barcelona, then September 11, then the Merce street party. In Barcelona and everywhere in Catalonia there are plenty of events planned until at least October or November and in some of these events security will be stepped up." VARIOUS OF POLICE IN DOWNTOWN BARCELONA (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH TOURIST, HELEN LYTH, SAYING: "It is very emotional when you look at the flowers and the tributes and it has been very sad. But we feel safe. There are lots of police about and a lot of security about. The police seems to be watching what is going on and we feel quite safe, yes." (SOUNDBITE) (French) TOURIST, REMY ARMAND, SAYING: "You see them (police) everywhere, like in Paris. The atmosphere is all very relaxed. At the Ramblas you can feel the sadness and the pressure, but everywhere else it is very relaxed." PEOPLE WALKING EXTERIOR OF ITACA SOUVENIR SHOP VARIOUS OF SHOP OWNER BIBIANA MARTIN AT WORK TRADITIONAL FIGURINE (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) ITACA SOUVENIR SHOP OWNER, BIBIANA MARTIN, SAYING: "No, we haven't seen any changes so far and we don't expect anything to change. We hope nothing changes. We normally see a lot people now in August and so far it is still so." PEOPLE WALKING EXTERIOR OF TAPAS BAR FERRAN VARIOUS OF WAITER KEVIN CEBALLOS SERVING COFFEE (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) WAITER AT FERRAN, KEVIN CEBALLOS, SAYING: "Lately we have actually had more clients, people are not afraid anymore. They were in the beginning, but I don't think it is going to have any impact because Barcelona has always been open to the world. We are happy with the customers we have, the numbers are not going down." SIGN READING "TAPAS BAR" VARIOUS OF PEOPLE AT BAR PEOPLE WALKING CATALAN SEPARATIST FLAG WITH A BLACK RIBBON HANGING FROM BALCONY VARIOUS OF BALCONY AT LAS RAMBLAS
- Embargoed: 6th September 2017 16:57
- Keywords: Barcelona attack Las Ramblas security increase tourists shop keepers
- Location: BARCELONA, SPAIN
- City: BARCELONA, SPAIN
- Country: Spain
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,International/National Security
- Reuters ID: LVA0016VDO4ZR
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Spain's northeastern region of Catalonia, hit last week by two Islamist militant attacks which killed 15 people, announced on Wednesday (August 23) it is to deploy more police, install bollards in Barcelona and step up security around stations and tourist landmarks.
The trick is to strike a balance between security and not overloading residents with restrictions.
Catalan Interior Minister Joaquim Forn said that some 10 per cent more police would be deployed.
A van ploughed into crowds of holidaymakers and local residents on Barcelona's crowded Las Ramblas boulevard last Thursday (August 17), killing 13 people. Two others were killed during the driver's getaway and in a separate attack in Cambrils.
The regional capital, which receives around 30 million visitors a year, is home to several landmarks designed by architect Antoni Gaudi, including the towering Sagrada Familia.
With police to be seen everywhere in the streets around Las Ramblas, passers-by said they felt safe.
"The police seems to be watching what is going on and we feel quite safe, yes," said Helen, from Manchester, who arrived two days after the attack and at first considered to cancel her trip.
"You see them (police) everywhere, like in Paris. The atmosphere is all very relaxed. At the Ramblas you can feel the sadness and the pressure, but everywhere else it is very relaxed," said Remy, who lives in Paris and arrived the day of the attack.
A very popular destination, Barcelona's city centre was busy on Wednesday and business owners did not expect last week's attack to have a long lasting effect on business.
Bibiana Martin, owner of a souvenir shop in the heart of Barcelona, located only metres away from where the attack happened, said she had not seen any changes and was not expecting any either.
Kevin, a waiter at a traditional tapas bar said, they felt there had been less clients the first days after the attack but that the flow of people had slowly gone back to normal.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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