The conservative Popular Party (PP) lost control of the Spanish capital after 24 years in May 2015 when the left-wing Manuela Carmena was elected as mayor of Madrid.
Now they are taking aim at, what they claim, is a serious security problem in Madrid… leaves.
“They’re not doing anything to solve the real problems of the residents of Madrid,” PP spokesman Íñigo Henríquez told Europa Press.
“Madrid is becoming dirtier and dirtier and it not merely a problem of aesthetics or sanitation, but of security of many Madrid residents, who have been suffering accidents because of the abundance of uncollected leaves,” he added.
Madrid residents have taken to social media to complain, not just about the leaves, but about the general build up of rubbish in the city.
— Silvi (@Silvi_ta) January 7, 2016
— Canard Désenchaîné (@CDesenchaine) January 7, 2016
Last summer, the newly elected Carmena promised that the cleanliness of the city was one of her top priorities.
One of her more controversial suggestions was to make university students sweep Madrid’s streets as part of a volunteering scheme.
Carmena also announced more concrete plans, such as a series of “intensive cleans” of different areas of the city, on top of the usual street cleaning.
She also announced that around 500 extra street cleaners would be employed.
But Ahora Madrid, Carmena’s left-wing coalition, has admitted that the cleanliness of the streets is a problem in Madrid, but has laid the blame on the weather; high temperatures and little frost have played a part while high winds have caused the build up of leaves.
Ahora Madrid has also blamed the former conservative mayor of Madrid, Ana Botella, who in 2013, awarded cleaning contracts to companies with insufficient manpower to perform the service.