Christmas lights in Calle Larios last year. / ñito salas

Malaga's Christmas lights are good value for money and create wealth and employment, councillor insists

Opposition parties at City Hall claim that the festive illuminations should be more sustainable from an environmental and economic point of view

PILAR R. QUIRÓS MALAGA.

Malaga’s councillor for Festivals, Teresa Porras, remains convinced that the city's Christmas lights are good value for money, in the face of complaints from other political parties at City Hall that they go on for too long and cost too much. During a meeting of the council’s Environment Committee she said that the city’s Christmas lights are good value for money, in the face of complaints from other political parties that they are on for too long and cost too much.

During the most recent meeting of the Environment committee, she said - as she has done before - that when the mayor of Vigo, Abel Caballero, came to see Malaga’s illuminations he described them as a ‘miracle cure’ for people’s woes. Nor are they a waste of money, she insisted: the electricity bill for the lights in 2021 came to 21,000 euros, and this year with the reduction of two hours in the time they are on and the use of LED bulbs it is expected to be 14,000 euros.

She accused the opposition of trying to mislead the public and said what they ought to be doing is demand that the government in Madrid reduces the electricity costs for domestic users and the IVA sales tax on basic products.

Cost is "excessive", PSOE says

Paqui Macías, a spokeswoman for Unidas Podemos, demanded that City Hall opt for a more sustainable Christmas from an environmental and economic point of view and said in the past three years the budget for the lights in Calle Larios and nearby streets had risen by 87%.

For the PSOE party, Begoña Medina said the amount being spent on Christmas lights in Calle Larios is excessive and the money would be better used on improvements in some of the city districts. She also recommended that, as they do in other cities, business owners contribute to the cost of the illuminations. She also said that a reduction of two hours was not enough and reminded the governing party that it had originally said the lights would not be switched on until 2 December and would be turned off at 11pm on weekdays and 2am on public holidays, but then changed its mind and announced that the illuminations will start on 26 November and be switched off at midnight on weekdays.

Porras replied that the Christmas lights create wealth and employment for the city and that the amount the council is spending this year (1.4 million euros) is far below that assigned by other cities with much lower populations.