May 14, 2021

The Government plans legislative changes to dispense with the state of alarm



The Government plans to push for legislative changes to dispense with the state of alarm when the de-escalation ends and not to have to resort to article 116 of the Constitution again in the event of a relapse of the coronavirus pandemic in the autumn.

The first vice president, Carmen Calvo, has announced the intention of the Executive to undertake these reforms and has asked the parties to agree to consensus to carry them out.

Calvo, who has been probing the parties for days to approve a forthcoming extension of the state of alarm that is one month instead of fifteen days, has confirmed in his appearance in the Senate that this is the intention of the Government.

And he explained that they are talking to the groups to get support so that this fifth extension lasts until the end of the lack of confinement, “which means more or less a month.” Earlier, he recalled that the Executive estimates that the de-escalation will end in late June or early July.

The Government wants to undertake “quickly” the legislative reform that the first vice president has advanced, with the aim of “equipping” to spend the summer and autumn, if there is any upturn, in conditions that allow it to no longer have to resort to state of alarm.

He has insisted that ordinary legislation does not allow “precise measures” to be taken in the face of a coronavirus pandemic, because it was “unimaginable” when it was legislated thirty years ago and “is not contemplated.”

Calvo has advanced the government’s reformist intention hours after the president, Pedro Sánchez, defended in Congress the maintenance of the state of alarm, although “a different state of alarm” until the de-escalation was completed and the “new normality” was reached.

Sánchez has again appealed to the “unity” of the political parties in this period, and has done so in his response to the opposition leader, Pablo Casado.

But the PP president has repeated to him what he has been saying in recent days, that his party is not going to support a new extension of the alarm. “So far we have come,” he said.

Although the Government did not need the PP in the vote for the fourth extension by taking the favorable vote of the PNV and Cs, Sánchez has insisted on demanding unity from Casado to face what is coming, because, as he has stressed, it is necessary not only to save lives but also companies and jobs.

But Casado has compared Sánchez with José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and this crisis with the one managed by the previous socialist president and has accused him of using the “same propaganda” as then, and has demanded that he explain if Spain is going to ask Europe a ransom and how much it will cost.

Sánchez has not entered the confrontation and has insisted on asking for unity, and later, in his response to the PNV spokesman, Aitor Esteban, it was when he defended maintaining this “different” state of alarm.

He has also risen to the accusations of awarding the PNV – an ally in numerous votes and who voted yes to the last extension – granting the Basque Country phase 1. And he has insisted that the criteria were “strictly technical and not political” that led to the decision of the phases of all the country’s territories.

Carmen Calvo has also defended the state of alarm in the control session as the most “guaranteed and democratic” instrument.

It has been in a hard face-to-face with the PP spokeswoman, Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo, who has demanded the resignation of Calvo for “negligence” in the face of the pandemic, which is counted “in thousands of broken lives and millions ruined”.

In her response to Gabriel Rufián, the vice president has assured that the Government has responded “quickly” to the coronavirus, but the ERC spokesperson has reproached her that many of the approved measures are not being followed.

Because according to Rufián, there are 700,000 people who have not received the temporary employment regulation files (ERTE) and 300,000 who have not received the unemployment benefit, while the ICO credits are being used with “usury” by the bank, which forces freelancers and SMEs to buy life insurance packages.

In the control session on Wednesday, there have been many more reproaches that the Executive has received, such as that of the PP general secretary, Teodoro García Egea, in his rifirrafe with the second vice president, Pablo Iglesias.

García Egea has criticized the government for hiding the names of the experts who advised to decide the phase change. “Why are they hiding their names? Is it because they are negotiating with the health of the Spaniards to maintain what little health is left to the government?” He has told Iglesias, whom he has reproached for insulting other popular people like the president. Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso.

Iglesias has replied warning that if the luxury apartment in which Ayuso lives “is being paid by a businessman” we will be facing “a new case of corruption and the citizens, in a pandemic situation, will not consent to it.”

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