May 14, 2021

Autonomous presidents seek their own profile in the fight against the virus

Regional leaders have faced the coronavirus crisis in first person and with different styles. The six videoconferences that, from the state of alarm, have held every Sunday with the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, to join the work, have also served to arm themselves before an alleged recentralization.

The seventeen presidents have chosen different lenses. From the obstinacy of the President of the Generalitat, Quim Torra, in rescuing the ‘procés’ to the initial resistance, both of Torra, and of the Lehendakari, Íñigo Urkullu, to the Executive taking control of their autonomous police and their health systems . What was called the “unitary command” of the central government.

From the Community of Madrid, the one most affected by the pandemic (more than 12,000 deaths), its president, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, has made it clear that she cannot feel proud of her management but has admitted that the decisions that were made as the closure of colleges and senior centers have made Spain “wake up and wake up”.


With six weeks of confinement and three extensions of the state of alarm, the community presidents begin the task of detailing their de-escalation plans, aware that the results of the management will take their toll on the ballot box.

Elections, sooner rather than later, in the Basque Country, where Urkullu is already considering holding elections in July. An electoral call that, in Galicia, where they are also playing this year, its president, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, has already said that he does not have it on the agenda: “This matter did not even cross my mind.”

The Galician president will wait to see how the pandemic evolves to call the elections.

Feijóo, aware that the steps he takes will be reflected in the ballot box, wants a de-escalation “planned, without improvisation and safe from the health point of view.”

Along the same lines, Torra has put aside the idea of ​​bringing forward the elections in Catalonia because it is focused on stopping the virus and pending reactivating the dialogue table once the peaks of the epidemic are overcome.


Some socialist barons, such as the president of Aragon, Javier Lambán, or the president of Extremadura, Guillermo Fernández Vara, have left aside their most critical personality, and have opened up to agreeing on agreements for the social and economic reconstruction of their territories.

Since Aragon, Lambán has underlined the idiosyncrasy of his community, and has proposed that, in the case of his region, it be the inhabitants of rural areas who leave before their homes for a “progressive” return to normality.

And in this spirit of parking criticism and opting for the pact, Fernández Vara has also spoken.

The Extremadura president has acknowledged that he would like that, given the current situation, the relationship between Sánchez and the PP leader, Pablo Casado, be “otherwise” because in this crisis “we are all going to burn.”

And he assured that this crisis “will take a political generation in Spain ahead” because the moment is so hard and complex “that only leaving the best that each one will be possible”.

In the same vein, the president of Castilla-La Mancha, the socialist Emiliano García-Page, has expressed himself, who has appealed to maintain “unity of command” to face the crisis and has said that this Sunday he will ask Sánchez to count with your community to articulate the recovery pact.

The controversies of the start of the crisis in which García-Page was involved are far away, and which, in his opinion, were misinterpreted.

“So risky is it that children play in a park than they play at recess. You have to speak clearly to people and especially to people that what they want is to have fifteen days of vacation,” the then-Castilian president said before the announcement of the closure of schools.

After the unrest created by these words in the educational community, García Page assured that they had been misinterpreted and was disciplined with the measures of the central government.


In this line of agreement, the president of the Junta de Andalucía, Juanma Moreno, where the PP governs with Cs and the support of Vox, has proposed a “great alliance” of all political groups, institutions and social agents to try to “reactivate the economy “and” get the community out of the current situation.

In this way, Moreno has exhibited the most pactista profile that, from the PSOE, the Andalusian leader Susana Díaz has welcomed.

The Murcian president, Fernando López Miras, who governs with Cs and the support of Vox, has also chosen to reach out and join efforts because being loyal to the central government is not at odds with demanding measures against the crisis.

Begoña Fernández


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