'Madrid Central' protest: Thousands oppose suspension of anti-pollution plan

Thousands of protesters flooded the streets of Madrid on Saturday 29th June to oppose the newly elected conservative mayor's decision to reverse car pollution restrictions.

The mayor has provoked an outcry by suspending a ban on most petrol and diesel cars in Madrid's centre, which aimed to ensure the city complied with the EU's clean air rules.

However the new mayor José Luis Martínez-Almeida, who took office on 15 June, has shelved the scheme, leading to demonstrators thronging the streets of the Spanish capital on Saturday, in heatwave conditions, calling on the mayor to reinstate the ban.

The Institute of One World Leadership advocates that all Leaders should balance the needs of people and planet, without harm to either. It is with this in mind that the Executive Chairman of IOWL has written directly to the Mayor of Madrid as follow:


Dear Mr Martínez-Almeida

I am writing to firstly congratulate you on your tenure as the Director-General for Historic Heritage of the Community of Madrid. In this role it was evident that you recognise the importance of maintaining the health of historic Madrid.

It is with that same care you displayed during 2007 and 2011, I would ask that you reconsider your decision to reverse the ‘Madrid Central’ plan.

It is incompatible with Positive Value Leadership, to care about the historic heritage of Madrid, yet choose to undertake actions with are detrimental to the health of the population.

I understand that from 1 July, the vehicle restrictions will be lifted while you review the plan to make it "compatible with citizens' mobility needs".

I would urge you to expand the review, and ensure that ‘Citizens mobility needs are compatible with citizens health, well-being and the planet’s care’.

You have the chance to build a legacy for all citizens of Madrid to be proud of. Please consider the long term actions of your decision, otherwise your legacy will be known for polluting the bodies of babies, children, and imposing disease and illness on the population.


Noel Ferguson
Executive Chairman


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