Friday, December 3

The political and legal labyrinth of Almeida to advance his alternative to Central Madrid | Madrid


José Luis Martínez-Almeida finished the Camino de Santiago last week. The mayor of Madrid went to Galicia at the end of August to disconnect for a few days of vacation. The new political course was expected to be sunny in the Palacio de Cibeles and what better way to enjoy the holidays than with a plate of octopus. He did not do it alone, at his side was the delegate of Mobility and Environment, Borja Carabante, with whom he dispatched kilometers and kilometers of routes. “It was a great trip,” he said yesterday in an interview on the SER network. Almeida, smiling, uploaded several photos of the feat on his Instagram profile. Back on the asphalt of the capital, the PP faces this week a crucial appointment for the future of the capital of Spain.

Central Madrid area, which will be renovated by the City Council.
Central Madrid area, which will be renovated by the City Council.Jaime Villanueva

If it fails to support the new mobility ordinance – known as the alternative to Madrid Central – all cars, regardless of whether they have an environmental label or not, will soon be able to circulate through the center of Madrid without fines. Since last week, the vote was set for this Friday in an extraordinary plenary session. Borja Carabante’s team leads the negotiations with the rest of the groups to try to approve the regulations. Assignments and concessions until the last moment. Vox, its priority partner, was planted weeks ago. He doesn’t even want to hear about Madrid Central.

The PSOE, for its part, is willing to give in on some issues. Abstention may come, but popular and Citizens would have to swallow many allegations. And More Madrid wants Madrid Central to continue as it has been up to now: what is it about giving more space to cars with the entry of up to 15,000 new vehicles by merchants.

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And yet, everything took a turn at six in the afternoon this Monday. Justice has decided that four of the 19 councilors of Más Madrid can form the Mixed Group and thus vote in favor of the Almeida ordinance, if they accept some of its amendments: plans for the bikes, burying the A5 and the maintenance of the entry of motorcycles to the downtown area until ten o’clock at night and not until eleven o’clock, as the popular ones propose. How have you got here?

For several months, the noises and whispers in the Palacio de Cibeles have been marked by four councilors who appeared with Manuela Carmena for the 2019 elections and who, in April of this year, decided to leave the formation due to discrepancies with the spokesperson. , Rita Maestre. Since then, they have been cornered, with no voice, no vote. The four call themselves Recupera Madrid, but they were not part of the Mixed Group, nor were they even non-attached councilors. They were from Más Madrid, but practically absent. Justice is who will determine that decision in the coming months.

But suddenly, at six o’clock yesterday afternoon, a Madrid court joined in with an unexpected script twist to save Almeida’s regulations, by lifting the precautionary suspension that prevented the councilors from forming the Mixed Group. Until the case is definitively resolved, the councilors may constitute it. A boost to the thesis of the City Council, which considers that they should be there according to the law.

“We came out of a limbo in which we had been since April 5,” says Luis Cueto, one of the four divided councilors, by phone. “This quota of four councilors will make people who are more in tune with our way of seeing politics will feel more represented than with Rita Maestre, who has not managed anything.”

More Madrid: “We condemn Almeida to buy votes”

For its part, Más Madrid has sent a press release to the media with harsh attacks on his former colleagues and the mayor: “We condemn Almeida buying votes showing the worst face of a PP that, given the impossibility of supporting this ordinance with the votes of the constituted municipal groups, use this type of tricks that dirty the institution and that can cause serious damage to the City Council and the citizens ”.

The four councilors receive the label of carmenistas: Marta Higueras is a close friend of Carmena and was the deputy mayor of the capital during her mandate; Luis Cueto is the political nephew of the former mayor and was her general coordinator of the mayor’s office; Felipe Llamas was his chief of staff at the Palacio de Cibeles and José Manuel Calvo, the head of Urban Planning, one of the strongest portfolios of the City Council.

The mayor, as confirmed by the SER network late yesterday afternoon, will convene in the next few hours an extraordinary plenary session at the Palacio de Cibeles to configure the new parliamentary arch, which will be as follows: More Madrid, with 15 councilors; PP, also with 15; Citizens, 11; PSOE, eight; Vox, four and the new Mixed Group, with four. After this plenary session, an Environment commission will be convened to analyze all the party’s amendments and, finally, another extraordinary plenary session for the final vote, which, at the latest, will be next Tuesday.

Madrid Central was Manuela Carmena’s star project. The main legacy of the previous mayor. The idea of ​​the current Executive of Popular and Citizens was to launch its new project a couple of months ago, but everything suddenly precipitated on May 11. That day, the Supreme Court left Madrid Central up in the air by accepting the arguments of a complaint initiated by the Popular Municipal Group in 2018, where it defended that this low-emission zone had not been properly processed because the 11.7 million of economic impact that, it was estimated, would have on the accounts of the Madrid City Council.

After this ruling, Almeida’s team rushed to prepare its new Central Madrid, which will be called the Central District and which will occupy the same streets as Manuela Carmena, but giving entry to more cars than before by granting new permits to the 15,000 merchants of the center and, if the amendment of the new and controversial Mixed Group is not accepted, extending the time of passage of the motorcycles, until eleven o’clock. The week, yes, is expected to be noisy.

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