When a week ago the central government decreed that Spain was once again in a state of alarm, two important politicians used the same analogy – of great caliber – to show their opposition. What the Ministry of Health understood as an essential measure to face the second wave of the coronavirus epidemic consisted for them in the equivalent of a “state of exception”. One was Alberto Nuñez Feijóo, president of the Xunta. The other, Santiago Abascal, leader of Vox. The last turn of the Galician baron of the PP has brought his speech about the pandemic to the one managed by the extreme right or Isabel Díaz Ayuso in the Community of Madrid.
Feijóo, the shadow support that the Ayuso Government has in Galicia
Feijóo then shot with unusual forcefulness against the Executive of Sánchez. The state of alarm is, he said, “a state of exception, since there are harsh restrictions in the entire territory.” He assured that its establishment was “devastating” for the economy and criticized its effects on tourism and hospitality. He even complained that in the new situation, by maintaining the autonomous communities their powers, there would be “19 alarm states“Far away is Feijóo who, with the elections in sight, asked Madrid for co-governance. Now his positions find a strange echo in those of Abascal. Strange only to attend to the analysts who place the Galician in the moderate wing of the PP and They do not perceive its zigzagging race to cover the entire spectrum of rights, including the Vox space, which in Galicia does not have representation in Parliament or in any municipal plenary session.
“The state of alarm violates fundamental rights,” said the far-right leader Vox that same day, “which cannot be limited through this legal recourse, which has become a disguised state of exception.” Helplessness, uncertainty and “measures that do not solve anything” were other ideas used by Abascal and that Feijóo has also used, in a kind of libertarianism consistent with his allergy to making compromised decisions. Both also offered legal and legislative solutions to their complaints, although it is true that, this time, they were divergent.
Abascal filed an appeal before the Constitutional Court, Feijóo a reform in the Organic Health Law in order to “manage the pandemic”, in his view, “something everyday.” Given the silence of Sánchez’s cabinet to his proposal, he has already announced that he is preparing another legal text that will allow him to restrict fundamental rights and that will soon reach the Galician Chamber to seek the support of its absolute majority. Some jurists They have shown their reluctance to the idea that a law, no matter how organic, acquires the capacity to limit constitutional rights. Nor could a regulation of an autonomous nature do so. The current norm that regulates the states of alarm, exception and siege –organic law 4 / 1981– emanates directly from article 116 of the Constitution and states, in section b) of its article four, that the alarm is intended for “health crises , such as epidemics and serious contamination situations “.
The roads of Feijóo and Abascal met again this Monday, this time in relation to the riots that occurred in several cities of the State in protests against the restrictions derived from the measures against the virus. In a peculiar theoretical pirouette, the Galician president blamed them – which at the moment have not had replicas in Galicia – on “the ultras, who are always ultras” and, he added, they are “from the extreme right and the extreme left at the same timeFeijóo thus deviated from the line of the PP leadership, which condemned the incidents and accused Vox of supporting the mobilizations. Abascal said that yes, of course they supported them, but that the problems with the police and urban furniture they were a thing of “the extreme left”.
Inside the PP
But to interpret the Galician president’s public interventions, one must never lose sight of the internal life of his party. Feijóo spoke of a “state of exception” just a few days after Pablo Casado staged his break with Vox in the failed motion of censure and repositioned the PP with respect to the ultra-rightist formation. If Casado went downtown, Feijóo traveled to the right. There you will not be alone, nor among the popular. Isabel Díaz Ayuso is the other regional president who has chosen to confront the central government regarding the epidemic. And it does so from a rather neoliberal point of view.
The coincidence with the Galician president was not long in coming: Madrid and Galicia discussed an initiative, at least singular, the weekend confinement. While most of the autonomous territories decreed perimeter closures of at least 15 days – the incubation period of COVID – Madrid closed its limits until this Tuesday, when the bridge ends for the Day of the Dead. Galicia did the same, despite the fact that there is no such bridge in the community, but it only restricted movements in the seven cities, some town councils bordering them and Vimianzo (A Coruña). The experts who questioned this strategy were not long in manifesting themselves and, nevertheless, the Xunta is even considering expanding it.
What Feijóo doesn’t want to hear or talk about is curfew, his other battle horse. And in this case not so much because he understands that civil rights can be violated, but because what you consider a “reputational issue“. Pedro Sánchez also affirmed something similar, without referring to the fact that this night time limitation is in force in many other European countries. In any case, the Galician Government has already warned that it will lift its general character on November 9, making use of its powers. delegates, and will only keep it “where there is a specific epidemiological situation.” Meanwhile, the data of the pandemic in Galicia do not stop worsening, especially healthcare pressure.
The BNG spokeswoman, Ana Pontón, launched harsh accusations on Monday against the “opacity and improvisation” of the Xunta on the matter and demanded a full monograph in the Galician Parliament. Feijóo has only appeared in it half an hour since the second wave of the coronavirus began, he recalled. And the Socialists reproached him for his clashes with Sánchez and affected his proximity to Ayuso.