State of alarm fourth extension to succeed in Spain’s congress
Basque Nationalist Party and Ciudadanos confirm their support for the measure at the eleventh hour
The Spanish government will be able to extend the state of alarm for a fourth time, prolonging it to May 23 – over two months since it was first introduced on March 14.
The Spanish congress will allow the exceptional measure once more, but unlike with the three previous extensions, Pedro Sánchez’s cabinet had a hard time in persuading lawmakers.
Only on Wednesday morning did the Basque Nationalist Party (EAJ-PNV) confirm their support, in exchange for obliging Madrid to agree the de-escalation of lockdown measures with regional governments.
This came only a few hours after unionist Ciudadanos also confirmed their support – in exchange, the Spanish government agreed to report weekly to the party led by Inés Arrimadas.
Yet, this move by Ciudadanos prompted two of its senior members to leave the party: former MPs in congress Carina Mejías and Juan Carlos Girauta.
The leading opposition party in Congress, the People’s Party, only revealed on Wednesday morning that they would abstain rather than vote against the extension, but by that stage, they weren't needed in order for the motion to pass.
For the first time in the health crisis, all three Catalan pro-independence parties (ERC, JxCat and CUP) will vote No to the extension.