Madrid starts to put up Christmas lights amid energy crisis debate

CHRISTMAS lights are already being put up in Madrid amid a debate on energy saving and efficiency.

There have been calls for a reduction in the number of lights put up this coming festive season, but it is unclear whether the Mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, will cut back on the numbers lit up.

He has stated that Madrid will have Christmas lights but that he ‘will ensure that they are switched on with efficiency and energy efficiency’. The lights are normally switched on on the last Friday of November.

Christmas In Puerta Del Sol, In The City Of Madrid With Lighting
Christmas in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol in the past. Photo: Adobe Stock

This was his response to Minister for Ecological Transition Teresa Ribera’s call for ‘creative solutions’ for Christmas lighting.

The mayor refused to consider keeping the lights switched off  ‘because they are a tourist, commercial and economic attraction for the city of Madrid as a whole’.

Alicante Mayor Luis Barcala has taken a similar stance following a Valencian government proposal that all municipalities should turn off 20% of their public Christmas light displays to save energy.

It is one of eight energy-saving proposals that the Valencian government, under President Ximo Puig, has submitted to the Ministry of Ecological Transition.

But Barcala was not impressed. He said: “We need a plan to help municipalities to improve energy efficiency instead of coming up with an ill-thought-out idea over Christmas lights,” said Barcala.

“President Puig has not realised that Christmas lighting in the region is crucial for commerce and tourism.

“All of the Alicante lights are LED bulbs and the display encourages business, hospitality and tourism in the city which will be even more important at a time of inflation and lower purchases,” he concluded.

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