Madrid Mayor Lifts Driving Ban, Environmentalists Go Bonkers

Madrid, Spain’s new mayor, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, has wasted no time getting down to the business of reversing the policies of his predecessor. According to The New York Times, yesterday he temporarily reversed a policy enacted by city politicians less than a year ago to restrict so-called high emission vehicles (such as diesel-powered cars) access to central parts of the city, known as Madrid Central.

According to The Times, the ban restricted most vehicles from the central part of Madrid and residents could face fines of up to $100 for entering areas designated off limits unless their vehicle was electric or certified as non-polluting. As a result of lifting the requirements, residents who drive vehicles originally covered by the prohibitions will not be fined.

Martínez-Almeida’s decision has already triggered city environmentalists and their elitist allies. Shortly after the announcement was made that the hurdles would be removed, the Grey Lady reports that Spanish environmentalists, writers, and academics conducted a protest Saturday condemning the policy change. The city reportedly implemented this new policy last year to meet the European Union’s clean air requirements, allegedly amid a warning from EU regulators that Madrid was in violation of the EU’s stringent clean air targets.

Despite threats of potential fines for lifting the vehicle restrictions, fortunately Mayor Martínez-Almeida moved ahead with the change. The policy itself was not about clean air but political control and the intelligensia who were outraged by the policy reversal demonstrated their true intent. The restrictions wouldn’t have affected the Leftist, elitist snobs and they hated the idea of someone else being able to have access to a nice area of Madrid they would rather have for themselves.