• Spain's news in English

Spain hikes fines for civil offences

AFP · 30 Nov 2013, 12:10

Published: 30 Nov 2013 12:10 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

However it watered down an earlier draft of the bill which had reportedly proposed fines of up to €600,000 ($812,000) for insulting police officers or demonstrating near parliament without permission.

The reform was being mulled as demonstrations occur regularly in Spain to protest state austerity measures required to rein in debt that has undermined
the economy.

The new bill approved classifies unauthorised demonstrations near official buildings as a "serious" offence -- not a "very serious" one as earlier
proposed -- ministers said after a cabinet meeting.

Within the new system of categories, a "serious" offence is punishable by a fine of between €1,000 and €30,000 while a "very serious" offence can
yield a fine of up to €600,000.

The new bill classes insulting or threatening a police officer as a "light" offence, punishable by a fine of between €100 and 1,000 -- not a "very serious" offence as earlier planned.

It boosts fines for a range of offences, including burning bins and hiring prostitutes near schools.

The reform has sparked outrage from the political opposition, which says it threatens citizens' right to protest.

The recent years of recession and austere economic reforms by Spain's conservative government sparked mass demonstrations in the streets, including some near the lower house of parliament in Madrid that boiled over into violent clashes between protesters and police.

The new "citizen security" law was approved at a cabinet meeting on Friday and is likely to pass unhindered through parliament where the governing Popular party holds a strong majority.

Story continues below…

Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz said the new law aimed "to strengthen the guarantee of public liberties and security".

It will "more efficiently curb forms of behaviour that constitute a threat to citizen security and which have evolved greatly over the past 22 years, as Spanish society has evolved," he told a news conference.

An official from the opposition Socialist Party, Antonio Hernando, said that even the latest version of the bill reflected an "authoritarian" tendency in the ruling party.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Dine in the buff at Spain's first nudist restaurant
A buffet of organic food will be served on "human tables". Photo: Innato / Facebook

Spain's first naked dining experience is to arrive on the island of Tenerife following the success of a similar venture in London.

Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Photo: AFP

Spain's Constitutional Court on Thursday cancelled a bullfighting ban in Catalonia in what is likely to exacerbate tensions between Madrid and the separatist region, and between animal activists and fans of the tradition.

Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Eta members made a ceasefire declaration in January, 2011. Photo: Gara / AFP

Five years after armed separatist group Eta declared a permanent ceasefire, Basque journalist Alberto Letona is still wondering when the dialogue will begin.

Hunt for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Call Crimestoppers if you recognize these faces.

These fugitives from British justice are thought to be hiding out in Spain. Do you recognize anyone?

Eta 'not dead' but Spain focus moves onto jihadism
Archive photo of a pro-mural in the Basque Country. Photo: AFP

Five years after Eta quit violence, the Basque separatist group has yet to dissolve but it poses little threat and authorities have shifted their focus to fight jihadists, says Spain's chief anti-terrorism prosecutor.

Brazilian suspect in grisly Madrid murder turns self in
Marcos Campos Nogueira is the chief suspect in the murder of a married couple and their two children. Photo: Guardia Civil/Twitter

A Brazilian teenager suspected of dismembering his uncle and aunt and killing their two young sons in a grisly crime that shocked Spain has turned himself in to police.

Spain approves equal parental leave for fathers
Photo: Rietje Swart / Flickr

Fathers will now be allowed the same parental leave as new mothers, under measures agreed by Spain’s parliament.

Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Photo: Dickukne / Flickr

Do you have trouble sleeping? Then Napflix is the television channel for you.

Women in Spain will 'work for free' from October 21st
Women in Spain earn 19.3 percent less than men. Photo: World Bank Collection / Flickr

Spain's gender pay gap effectively means women won't get paid for the rest of the year, according to a new report.

The Local List
Nine incredibly  addictive television series from Spain
A still from Spanish TV series Velvet. Photo: Antena3.com

As the evenings draw in, what could be better than curling up on the sofa to watch a box set?

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
Bison found decapitated on Valencia nature reserve
Forgotten Voices: What Brits in Spain think about Brexit
One dead and 14 injured in blast at Spanish resort
Game of Thrones want extras 'with muscles' to film in Spain
Thousands march in Madrid to push for bullfighting ban
Spanish team invents hands-free 'penis bidet'
In pics: Devastation caused by Costa Blanca wildfires
jobs available