Estado de Alarma Extended

SPN Chamber of Congress ParliamentThe Spanish Government managed to push through the extension of the present Estado de Alarma yesterday, taking it to the 9th of May – six months.

However, it is on the condition that the Government evaluates the situation in March with the Heads of the regional governments.

The parliamentary support in the voting was almost across the board with only the far-right party, Vox and Foro Asturias voting against it. The main opposition party, the PP, abstained as did the Basque and Catalan separatist parties.

However, even with sufficient votes in favour, the PM, Pedro Sánchez, received a roasting from all of the opposition parties when they took the floor, partly because he abandoned the session before the voting began, leaving it up to the Minister of Public Health, Salvador Illa, to respond to each party’s spokesperson.

Basically, Sr. Sánchez opted not to take the brunt of the opposition, as he did back in March when the original Estado de Alarma was imposed.

The results were:

In favour 194: PSOE, Unidas Podemos, ERC, PNV, PDeCAT, Ciudadanos, Más País-Equo, Compromís, BNG, CC, NC, PRC y and Teruel Existe.

Against 53: Vox and Foro Asturias.

Abstention 99: PP, Bildu, JxCat, CUP and UPN

Editorial comment: there are two points here; one to explain what the voting was about, and another how things are shaping up for the crucial support that the Government needs to pass the upcoming 2021 budget.

This extension doesn’t change the measures in force, nor does it mean that they will be in force until May, but rather it extends the legal coverage that permit regional governments and the central one, if needs be, to tighten or ease off on restrictions. In other words, if the health situation improves so much that by Christmas the restrictions can be lifted, then they can.

Secondly, the Government angled for six months not only because medical experts recommended it, but because it was a litmus test to see how voting might go when it comes to the budget approval before the Chamber; who they could count on and who they couldn’t. It was a given that Vox would oppose anything and everything that the Government might put forward, but it also highlighted that the PP is still incapable of backing a government in a time of national crisis, unlike the rest of the opposition parties across Europe.

(News: Spain)

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