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‘New normality’ decree approved in Spanish Congress

Pro-independence Catalan parties vote against, criticizing “re-centralization” and lack of dialogue

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25 June 2020 05:11 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

The Spanish Congress has approved the decree regulating the 'new normality' by a large majority in the chamber thanks to the support of the People’s Party, Ciudadanos, Basque National Party, Más País, and other regional parties. 

Catalan pro-independence groups, meanwhile, voted against the Pedro Sánchez's initiative. 

The decree provides a framework for how regional governments manage the health crisis, as they recover their powers from Phase 3. Catalonia is already past Phase 3, and has implemented its own set of measures to manage the pandemic. 

The text includes measures that seek to prevent a new wave of the coronavirus once the worst stage of the pandemic is over and states, among other things, that an interpersonal distance of 1.5 meters must be maintained, the mandatory use of a mask if the safety distances cannot be respected, PCR Covid-19 tests on all suspected cases, and controls at airports. 

Health Minister Salvador Illa has defended that it is an "essential" decree to keep the virus under control. Illa assures that they are "necessary, proportionate measures, elaborated with the participation of the regions" and, therefore, with "a high degree of consensus." 

The health minister argues that work needs to continue against the coronavirus beyond the state of alarm and has warned that “the virus is still here” with the appearance of localized outbreaks.

Opposition of the pro-independence parties

ERC MP Xavier Eritja defended the 'No' of his party for the lack of dialogue from the Spanish government, whom he has accused of making “unilateral” decisionsEsquerra Republicana says the ‘no’ is a “warning” and has remarked that this attitude can “mark the dynamics of the legislature.”

JxCat MP Concep Cañadell also criticized the Spanish government's attitude and criticized its action during the state of alarm. According to JxCat, the decree has measures that denote a "centralist paternalism" with the regions. 

On part of CUP, Albert Botran rejects the "re-centralization" that the decree gives and criticizes the Spanish government for making decisions based on economic interests.

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  • Spanish health minister Salvador Illa speaking in Congress in June, 2020 (image courtesy of Spanish Congress)

  • Spanish health minister Salvador Illa speaking in Congress in June, 2020 (image courtesy of Spanish Congress)

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