Madrid beefs up security ahead of New Years Eve

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© Tomas Fano via wikipedia.

THE HISTORIC Puerta del Sol metro station will be closed on the evenings of December 30 and 31 as Madrid’s regional government looks to enhance security throughout the Hogmanay celebrations. 

Police had demanded the closure to limit overcrowding in the iconic square, Madrid’s busiest meeting point, which will see thousands arrive to greet the midnight bells. 

The underground station will be closed from 9pm each night when police will clear the square ahead of the festivities which will see a maximum of 25,000 people allowed in through tight security. 

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Puerta del Sol has a special place in Spanish hearts and is the single most popular spot across the country for revellers to join in the traditional celebrations, which are broadcast live on television around the nation.

Over 100 years ago grape growers from Alicante helped begin the now hugely popular tradition of eating 12 grapes at New Year, one at each gong of the bells at midnight. 

Police advise anyone looking to reach Puerta del Sol to get off instead at nearby stations Tirso de Molina, Opera, or Callao. 

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