The Congress of Deputies has authorized, late this Thursday morning, the extension of the state of alarm that the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, has defended, as a harsh measure for society, but “indispensable” against the coronavirus, therefore who has called for political unity and loyalty.
The support of the Congress has been overwhelming through the exceptional recourse to the telematic vote, since the Chamber, to avoid contagions, only a little more than 40 deputies and a little less than a dozen ministers, led by Sánchez, have attended.
There has not been a single vote of rejection and only the independence and sovereign formations of the ERC, JxCat, EH Bildu, the CUP and the BNG have abstained.
321 votes in favor, 28 abstentions and no vote against were computed.
For the sovereign parties, the criticism is the same: the confinement of citizens as a great measure of containment of contagions by COVID-19 must be more demanding, and in addition, production must stop in all sectors except those that are essential in the current situation.
The support has come from left-wing acronyms, such as Unidas Podemos or Más País, but also from those on the right, cases of the PP, Vox and Cs. However, this has not avoided reproaches and warnings.
Except for the formation of Pablo Iglesias and the PSOE, all the groups present in a Congress again half-empty due to the mandatory security measures established by the House itself have questioned aspects of Sánchez’s management.
And the President, in spite of everything, has emphasized the relevance of the fact that before the next phase that will open with the extension of the state of alarm, unity and loyalty are the priorities.
He stressed that this extension is the “only effective option” to stop the spread of the coronavirus, which this Wednesday produced disappointing data: more than 47,600 infections and more than 3,400 deaths, which places Spain with a higher number of deaths than the China has reported to date.
The vast majority of citizens, therefore, will be confined to their homes, for the time being, from March 14 to April 11, almost a month. The measure is “indispensable”, Sánchez said.
With the extension of the state of alarm, which will be in the same conditions as the current one, the country tries to save time and make it easier for the national health system to resist despite the saturation and tension to which it is subjected.
In Pedro Sánchez’s opinion, time, if achieved, will become a key factor to first flatten the contagion curve and then lower it. And there is, in his opinion, “another asset just as precious” at the moment: unity and loyalty.
Precisely as a result of loyalty, the President has advanced a new initiative that aims to establish a channel of information and coordination between the Government and Congress.
While the pandemic lasts, the Health Commission will become a kind of monitoring committee for its evolution and the branch minister, Salvador Illa, will appear before it once a week. You will also receive data from the Technical Committee and those that are handled daily by the Coordination Center for Alerts and Health Emergencies.
In reciprocity, the Government will attend to the proposals transmitted by the groups.
Sánchez has made it clear, in reference to the claims of many parties to toughen confinement, that what the Government is seeking is the balance between the current severe containment measures and the possibility that, once these have ended, the country will quickly resume economic dynamism .
The PP leader, Pablo Casado, has underlined his support for the extension, but also the questioning of the Executive’s management, which he believes faced the virus crisis late – allusion to the week of 8M-, and for this reason, has accused of “gross negligence”.
Nor does he believe that there are effective measures, rather “soflamas”, and thus, he has asked him to leave the “rallies”.
Married has proposed that when the pandemic ends, a state funeral is held and a monument is made in memory of the victims in the center of Madrid.
Vox will also support the extension, as its president, Santiago Abascal, has advanced, which did not mean that it did so amid criticism of the management of the emergency and between requests for dismissals. Thus, he has demanded that Sánchez stop his second vice president, Pablo Iglesias, and the director of the Center for Coordination of Health Emergencies, Fernando Simón, whom he disapproves of a delay in prevention.
Cs has been present in the chamber in spite of the protests that it has been repeating all week so that the plenary session becomes telematic and thus avoids the risk of contagion. The leader of the training, Inés Arrimadas, has not attended due to her pregnancy.
Instead, the deputy María Muñoz, with her hands protected by gloves, has ratified the vote in favor of Ciudadanos, but with conditions, the most important being the delivery of medical supplies to professionals.
Basically two have been the axes of the disagreements with the Government: that the confinement has to be harder, for which the independence formations and most of the minority parties have bet, and a late initial action.
The expansion of the coronavirus is now what it is for that initial management of the crisis, they have argued above all PP and Vox.
The president has denied that this is the case, although he has admitted that it has not been possible effectively to stop – not even in other countries – and has pointed out that against the promises of the opposition to investigate the management and demand responsibilities, he will defend himself, but not now. He has appealed to unity again because “the enemy” is common: the virus.
He has also demanded the solidarity of the entire country with Madrid.