Spanish Government faces strong criticism in Congress and may not have enough support to extend the State of Alarm

Spanish Government faces strong criticism in Congress and may not have enough support to extend the State of Alarm
Spanish Government faces strong criticism in Congress and may not have enough support to extend the State of Alarm

The Partido Popular and VOX political parties have warned Pedro Sánchez and his coalition government that they intend to take legal action over the handling of the Coronavirus crisis which has brought Spain and it’s economy to a standstill for almost two months.

Pablo Casado, leader of the main opposition party, the Partido Popular (PP), repeatedly accused Sánchez of lying and warned that his party may abstain from the upcoming vote on whether or not the State of Alarm in Spain is to be extended by a further two weeks. In his statement in Congress, Casado told Sánchez, “Don’t count on us if things carry on like this”. Sánchezr admitted that the economic situation in Spain is “very serious” but continued to say that the “crisis will not serve as an excuse to abandon the environmental transition, nor to scale back the welfare system or to continue to make employment more precarious”.

Members of the PP and Vox also warned Sánchez and his government that they would file lawsuits for “criminal” offenses related to their management of the coronavirus crisis. To date almost 25,000 lives have been lost, according to recent Coronavirus data from the Ministry of Health.

Sánchez was also critised by the Ciudadanos Party who have not committed their support to a further extension of the State of Alarm, and other political parties who have said that unless the Government provides more details, they may also withdraw their support. Gabriel Rufián of the Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya party questioned some of the measures, saying, “You cannot go to a funeral but you can go to work on the Metro; an adult can go to buy tobacco and a child can’t go out to play”.

The State of Alarm was first implemented in Spain on March 14 and must be extended in Congress every two weeks. The most recent extension to the State of Alarm which grants the government extra powers to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic was agreed on April 22. It was opposed by VOX, Junts per Catalunya, Candidatura d’Unitat Popular. The Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya abstained from voting.

The current set of special measures will remain in place until May 9.