THE President of Spain, Pedro Sanchez, has spent the afternoon in congress debating the extension of the State of Alarm and the actions that the government has taken so far to combat the coronavirus crisis. Sanchez has admitted that in another 15 days he is likely to have to return to congress and ask for another extension to the State of Alarm.
These are the main points they have debated and touched upon:
The Prime Minister has admitted that “there are discrepancies between government officials and scientists about when to lift quarantine,” he assures that “right now, most infections are happening within households.”
Sanchez has anticipated that in another two weeks, he will have to return to congress to once again ask for an extension to the State of Alarm because “the pandemic will not have ended.”
He contends that the reason why he is not asking for a month-long extension is because he does not want congress to be able to accuse him of skipping a future debate.
Sanchez and his party have been receiving a great deal of criticism in regard to the actions taken by the government to contain the coronavirus in Spain. Sanchez welcomes criticism, however, he laments that many comments made by the opposition “are not constructive” or well intentioned.
Sanchez has defended his actions by stating that Spain has consistently been coordinating their efforts with recommendations from the European Union and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Sanchez reminds Congress that there is “an enormous tension in the global marketplace for the purchase of respirators” and for this reason he has driven the manufacture of these devices on a national scale with SEAT and another factory in Mostoles.
He also defended his management of the crisis by stating that Spain is “one of the countries who has done the largest amount of PCR testing” for the coronavirus “with 20,000 daily” tests being conducted.
Sanchez made a special mention to Spain’s far right party, Vox, and its leader Santiago Abasal, as well as the “thousands of ‘bots’ working for him on social media” which try to instil panic and hate. Sanchez assured that in the face of the “hate [Vox] is propagating, [the government] will continue to have hope and try to battle this illness.”