Madrid to obey new lockdown rules but will fight them in court

A police officer stands guard at a checkpoint in the Orcasitas neighbourhood in Madrid
A police officer stands guard at a checkpoint in the Orcasitas neighbourhood in Madrid - (Copyright AP)
12:52pm, Thu 01 Oct 2020
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A national order restricting mobility is being enforced in Madrid as coronavirus is spreading rapidly in the city.

Spain’s official gazette published the Health Ministry order that gives the country’s 19 regions two days to implement limits on social gatherings and shop opening hours and restricts trips in and out of any large cities that have recorded a 2-week infection rate of 500 cases per 100,000 residents.

But Madrid’s regional president has announced she will fight the Spanish government’s resolution in the courts because she considers it to be arbitrary.

Regional officials say time is needed to see if current lighter limitations are having an effect - (Copyright AP)

Spain’s central government and regional officials in Madrid have been at odds for weeks over how to respond to the pandemic while the spread of the virus in the Spanish capital surged to the highest level in Europe’s second wave of infections.

The centre-right Madrid government has resisted the stricter measures in the city of 3.3 million and its suburbs for fears of damaging the economy.

Regional chief Isabel Diaz Ayuso also claims that Spain’s national left-wing coalition is targeting Madrid for political reasons and disregarding her efforts to contain the spread of the virus.

“This government is not in rebellion,” she said, pledging to comply with the national order but adding that she would take it to court “to defend the legitimate interests of the people of Madrid so that the measures conform to the regulations, to the reality, so they are objective and fair”.

Speaking at the regional assembly, Ms Diaz Ayuso said her challenge was to avoid a “return to the queues of hunger and unemployment” that she blamed on the national Socialist government.

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