MADRID is the sixth most-polluted big European city, according to a new study.
Green group Ecologists in Action estimates air pollution causes 2,000 deaths a year in Madrid.
Locals have often bemoaned the ‘beret’ of exhaust fumes that cover up blue skies on still days.
While Ecologists in Action claims that in the first two weeks of January, Madrid has already exceeded one of the European Union’s annual health limits for poisonous nitrogen dioxide gas in the air.
Madrid has now breached the limit every year since the EU norms came into force in 2010, according to the group, has even attempted to sue authorities for breaching pollution limits.
In December it brought a lawsuit against Madrid mayor Ana Botella and environment minister Diego Sanjuanbenito.
However, with the court still undecided on whether to hear the case, Sanjuanbenito dismissed it as a publicity stunt ahead of May’s local elections.
He claimed the number of times pollution measurements have exceeded EU limits has declined since the PP launched its ‘clean-air’ scheme in 2011.