Extension of state of alarm and lockdown once again likely

Spain's president to address congress next Wednesday, as top Catalan scientist asks for exceptional measures to last until May 10

Spanish president Pedro Sánchez speaks at Moncloa in Madrid during the coronavirus crisis (by Pool Moncloa / Borja Puig de la Bellacasa)
Spanish president Pedro Sánchez speaks at Moncloa in Madrid during the coronavirus crisis (by Pool Moncloa / Borja Puig de la Bellacasa) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

April 15, 2020 12:40 PM

Extending the state of alarm across Spain once again is now likely. 

The Spanish president, Pedro Sánchez, will address the congress in Madrid next Wednesday, April 22, at 9 am, where he is expected to ask the chamber to extend the state of alarm for a third time.

Some parliamentary sources said that he has requested to speak before MPs to inform them about the upcoming European Council session, to be held on April 23, and also to ask for a new extension of the exceptional powers to the government. 

The state of alarm was implemented on March 14, and has been extended twice for 2 weeks each time – if no further extensions are approved, it will expire on April 26. 

Yet, Sánchez himself acknowledged the last time he requested an extension that he was likely to return to the chamber again to ask for a third prolongation. 

Aware of the far-reaching effects the pandemic is having, Sánchez has also proposed a cross-party agreement - a new Moncloa Pact of sorts - to rebuild Spain. Speaking to the head of the People's Party, Pablo Casado, the Spanish president once again on Wednesday called for unity in Congress to achieve an "agreement on social and economic reconstruction."

But not only are unionist opposition parties skeptical of it, so are pro-independence parties. Sergi Sabrià of left-wing Esquerra Republicana argued on Wednesday that the meetings for this agreement "have the sense of being the same thing as always, to keep the status quo of those who always decide."

Catalan scientist calls for lockdown extension

Meanwhile, one of Catalonia's top scientists, Bonaventura Clotet, has said in a radio interview on Wednesday that Spain should extend the lockdown until May 10. 

"If in Italy, which has had a very bad time, it is until May 3, here it would be good to extend it at least a week more after this date in order to give more security."

Yet, like the Catalan government has done in the past few days, Clotet complained about Spain lifting the ban on workers of non-essential services to go back to their workplaces, in effect since Monday – although in Catalonia it was in practice since Tuesday, after the Easter Monday bank holiday. 

Clotet's area of expertise is AIDS and is the head of infectious illnesses in Hospital Trias i Pujol (Can Ruti), in Badalona. He is leading a research program on Covid-19, together with doctor Oriol Mitjà and other epidemiologists and doctors.