Sánchez agrees to parliament check during new state of alarm

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez speaks during the question time at the Lower House in Madrid, Spain, 28 October 2020. [EPA-EFE/Chema Moya]

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez agreed on Wednesday to appear before the Spanish parliament every two months to explain his government’s decisions to curb the second wave in exchange for a favourable vote on the six-month-long state of alarm he proposed last week, EFE reported.

The PM’s proposal comes after centre-right opposition party Partido Popular (PP) accused him last week of exceeding his mandate by avoiding regular democratic control by parliament.

Though the Spanish government decreed a new state of alarm last Sunday and announced a night-time curfew, the prime minister requested that parliament keep the emergency mechanism in place for six months until 9 May but was fiercely criticised by the parliament’s centre-right parties.

“The situation we’re in is extreme,” said Sánchez. “The reality is Europe and Spain are immersed in the second wave of COVID-19,” he added.

Meanwhile, the regional government (PP) in the south-eastern region of Murcia decided on Wednesday to close the region’s borders to contain the rapid expansion of the virus, EFE reported.

The right-wing regional government of Madrid is also considering a “perimetral lockdown”, according to which citizens would only be allowed to enter or leave the region if they are visiting a doctor, taking care of the elderly or heading to work, among other reasons. According to Madrid’s regional president Isabel Díaz Ayuso (PP), however, this would have a “devastating effect” on Madrid’s battered economy. (Fernando Heller /EUROEFE (Madrid))

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