ALICANTE mayor, Luis Barcala, has rubbished a Valencian government proposal that all municipalities should turn off 20% of their public Christmas light displays later this year to save energy.

“We need an aid plan to help municipalities to improve energy efficiency instead of coming up with an ill thought-out idea over Christmas lights,” said Barcala.

The light cut down is one of eight energy saving proposals that the Valencian government, under President Ximo Puig, has submitted to the Ministry of Ecological Transition.

Luis Barcala said: “President Puig has not realised that Christmas lighting in the region is crucial for commerce and tourism.”

The Alicante mayor added that a ‘sweeping’ 20% cut in all towns and cities does not make sense.

He commented that municipalities that have made great strides in energy efficiency cannot be penalised in the same way as others who have done comparatively little.

“Alicante’s Christmas lights contract costs €343,000- considerably less than what other municipalities of a similar size spend, with some having budgets of over €1 million with 20% increases this year, “ Barcala added.

“All of the Alicante lights are LED bulbs and the display encourages business, hospitality and tourism in the city which will be even more important at a time of inflation and lower purchases,” he concluded.

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