16 Mar, 2023 @ 19:15
1 min read

As residents complain of filthy state of central Madrid, rats are spotted just 50 metres from the Puerta del Sol

Rats in Madrid

RESIDENTS IN THE centre of Madrid have long complained about the council’s failure to clean up the rubbish, and pictures of overflowing containers and recycling points are regular fixtures on social media. But now there is a new problem in the Spanish capital: giant rats. 

As can be seen in a video shared by councillor Ramon Lopez, from the leftist Mas Madrid party, three rats of a considerable size were calmly rifling through the trash in a container just 50 metres from the central Puerta del Sol square, which is currently being refurbished.

‘They are going to unveil the new Puerta del Sol and invite the residents who enjoy the area like none other: the rats,’ complained the Sol and Barrio de las Letras association in a statement. 

These residents have for some time now been voicing their unhappiness with the local council’s street cleaning, according to online daily El Español. They met with the heads of the area responsible for refuse collection three weeks ago in a bid to deal with the issue. 

For his part, the mayor, Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida of the conservative Popular Party, said that there had been ‘no call and no warning’ to the council about the presence of rats in the Puerta del Sol. 

‘What we have done is to send a team from Madrid Salud [Health] to monitor the situation, to get all of the information and to find out exactly whether there are or aren’t rats in the area.’ 

The video shared by Ramon Lopez would suggest that there are.

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Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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