State of alarm extension to succeed despite No votes from pro-independence parties

Pedro Sánchez defends a centralized authority to avoid “disorder and division” as Basque nationalists and Ciudadanos give key support

The Spanish president, Pedro Sánchez, in congress on April 22, 2020 (by Spanish congress)
The Spanish president, Pedro Sánchez, in congress on April 22, 2020 (by Spanish congress) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

May 20, 2020 12:03 PM

The three Catalan pro-independence parties will vote No to extending the state of alarm until June 7, which is being discussed on Wednesday in Spain’s congress. 

Yet the extension will pass, thanks to the support of unionist Ciudadanos and the Basque nationalist EAJ-PNV parties.

Separate talks between the Socialists with Esquerra and Junts per Catalunya failed, as both groups made clear to lawmakers that their conditions had not been granted

Esquerra’s leader in Madrid, Gabriel Rufián, said that they had asked for key powers to manage the health crisis to be returned to regional governments, such as the Catalan one, but that had been rejected. 

In his speech in Congress, Rufián criticized the Spanish government for siding with Ciudadanos instead of his left-wing ERC party, and said Pedro Sánchez has "possibly definitely" refused to negotiate with Esquerra Republicana.

Indeed, Spain’s health minister, Salvador Illa, will be the only authority during the fifth extension of the state of alarm, apart from President Pedro Sánchez, if it succeeds. 

Another reason Rufián gave to reject the prolongation was the government’s deal with Ciudadanos announced on Tuesday. 

As for Junts per Catalunya, they had announced they were in talks with the Socialists to strike a deal that would have seen them abstaining in the vote in exchange for the Catalan president, Quim Torra, to be recognized as a competent authority during the state of alarm. 

The third pro-independence party, CUP, will also reject the extension, like they have done in the previous four votes.