MADRID has learned its lesson from the Berlin and Nice terrorist attacks. A comprehensive ban is in place on large trucks and even certain buses entering the city centre while the capital celebrates multiple Three Kings parades.
One of the largest public parades in the country will take place tomorrow evening January 5 on Madrid’s Castellana boulevard. Trucks and buses weighing more than three and a half tonnes have been barred from the city limits since January 3.
Spain celebrates the Epiphany on January 6 and millions will be out on the streets partying from Benalmadena to Bilbao.
Drivers of the spectacular floats common in the parade will be vetted by security forces, and all large vehicles and floats checked for bombs and weapons amid a heavily armed police presence.
Terrorists driving vehicles into pedestrians has opened up a new front in the low level warfare engulfing Europe. More than 80 people were killed in France by a truck driver on Bastille Day. A dozen people were mowed down at a Berlin Christmas market.
Fortunately Madrid has valuable experience in dealing with the threat posed by trucks, albeit of a different kind. Heavy goods vehicles have already been banned from the city over the festive period as officials struggle to contain the capital’s serious smog problem.