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  • Writer's pictureWGON

Madrid To Refund €1.7 Million Lockdown Fines After Coronavirus State of Emergency Ruled Unlawful

The city of Madrid has moved to return 1.7 million euros worth of fines that were handed out during Spain’s first state of alarm during the start of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic.

Inmaculada Sanz, the spokesperson for the Madrid city council, announced last Thursday that the money would be refunded to those fined, while the Madrid City Council made the announcement official this week.

The 1.7 million euros collected by the municipal police after the state of alarm was declared in March of 2020 will be returned to the over 5,600 people who received 600 euro fines, or 300 euros if paid promptly, for violating the restrictions in place during the first part of the pandemic, El Mundo reports.

Inmaculada Sanz stated that he hoped the return of the cash to those fined would not take long and that there could be a waiting period for those sanctions which had gone through the justice system rather than being paid promptly.

Measures of the initial ‘state of alarm’ in Spain were declared to be illegal by the Spanish Constitutional Court in July of 2021, including restrictions such as home confinement. However, the court rejected proposals for lawsuits from people and businesses who claimed to have lost income due to the lockdown measures.

The ruling came after a suit filed by the populist party VOX, and just months later in October, the Constitutional Court declared the second state of alarm, enacted between November 2020 and May 2021, was also unconstitutional.

The court ruled that the government’s measures were not legal because they should have been enacted under a stricter state of emergency that requires parliamentary approval.

The Spanish approach to the Chinese coronavirus pandemic saw not only harsh lockdowns in the early months of the spread of the virus but also saw outdoor masking mandated in December of last year. The mandate was quickly dropped, however, as by February of this year Spanish leftist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez began scrapping restrictions, including the outdoor mask mandate.

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