They are also melias, like the trees that a few months ago were replaced amid neighborhood protests on the central Avenida de la Constitución. And they have also been cut down, turning a deaf ear to the complaints of opposition political groups and neighborhood associations.

It happened in San Blas, a populous neighborhood of Alicante, where upon restarting some works whose stoppage had caused numerous protests, the team in charge of the work proceeded to cut down 72 melias that, according to a technical report, showed signs of deterioration. Yesterday, Monday, a neighborhood rally, joined by left-wing opposition groups (PSPV, Compromís and EU-Podem), brought together about three hundred people against a decision that is now irrevocable.

The deterioration is the reason given by the city council chaired by Mayor Luis Barcala, of the Popular Party, who recalled that the examples of melias that have disappeared are going to be replaced, when the corresponding phase of the remodeling of the space they occupied arrives, for specimens of some other tree species “that causes less problems”, in reference to the supposed dirt generated by the previous one. “The cycle of the trees themselves requires renewal,” explained Barcala, “it had already generated many problems due to the lifting of sidewalks; or very serious problems due to rooting in the collectors.”

The fact is that last March the city council awarded Pavasal the restart of the works in the Plaza de San Blas and adjacent streets for 3,793,313 euros with a completion period of ten months. The action resumes the work after it was stopped by the previous successful bidder, which led to the subsequent termination of the contract and a delay that has made the neighbors impatient. According to the documentation published by the council itself, the action contemplates the complete and comprehensive reorganization of the square, “respecting the trees as much as possible”, with a new design that prioritizes pedestrian use and improves accessibility, as well as improving interior lighting.

The technical report linked to the project in fact provided for the replacement of only the specimens in the worst condition, because “neighborhood and media pressure” prevents changing all of them despite their “decrepitude.” But someone has thrown down the middle street and the neighbors regret the disappearance of the shadow on the eve of a summer that promises to be torrid.

Raúl Ruiz, councilor of the socialist group, told La Vanguardia that in the recordings they have it can be seen that healthy trees have been cut down. Last week he asked the city council for a report that he has not yet received. Manolo Copé, spokesperson for Eu-Podem, assures that the trees “have all been cut down without any type of control.”

Rafa Mas, from Compromís, announced a complaint to the Local Police and a consultation with the Prosecutor’s Office: “They put us in danger by generating heat islands. A lot of cement and few green areas. Last year, 11,000 people died in Spain from heat stroke and, as I say, they are putting us in danger by cutting down trees that generated oxygen and provided a lot of shade,” said Mas.