The European city that is under ‘black level’ alert over chaotic overcrowding

A major European capital is preparing to introduce ‘black level’ crowd calming measures as huge numbers of people are expected to descend over the festive season.

Authorities in Madrid, Spain, have drawn up plans to shut down streets and public transport if traffic and pedestrian congestion becomes too high as people celebrated Christmas and the holidays.

Drones are understood to be used to watch the crowds from the skies and when the numbers reach unacceptable levels the extreme measures will be put in place.

People with enochlophobia, a fear of crowds, may welcome the draconian measures which are understood to also affect public and private transport.

Major tourism hotspots including the streets of Preciados and El Carmen, the Plaza del Celenque, the Calle Alcalá near the Plaza de Cibeles and the Gran Vía could all be closed.

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Spain as a whole has seen nearly a 20 percent rise in visitor numbers, with more than 74 million people going to the country on holiday last year.

This year more than nine million people visited Madrid, with almost a million in June alone. Despite the crackdown on certain areas, holidaymakers remain a strong boost for the Spanisih economy.

Acting Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Héctor Gómez told euronews: “The tourism sector is one of the main economic engines of our country.

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“Spain continues to create jobs linked to tourism activities and does so in an increasingly robust way and always under the motto of quality, stability and excellence.”

It’s reported more than 1,200 police and ‘additional agents’ will be on duty to manage the crowds in December and on New Year. When areas are closed down people will be allowed to leave but not allowed to enter.

British, German and people from the Nordic countries are most likely to visit Spain, with the biggest numbers flocking to the costas in the south.

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