While winning the support of congress to extend Spain’s lockdown until the 26th April, Spanish President Pedro Sánchez indicated yesterday that he would have to to extend the state of alarm for a further two weeks, until 10th May.
Congress passed yesterday’s vote to extend the lockdown until 26th April by 270 votes. It was opposed by the far-right Vox party, who are calling for Sánchez’s resignation, and Basque and Catalan nationalist parties who support confinement measures but oppose the far-reaching powers assumed by Spain’s central government.
The opposition PP supported the extension, but rejected Sánchez’s proposal for a pact of national unity to reconstruct the nation’s economy. They also failed to give assurances that they would support any further extensions.
Sánchez said that, as Spain slowly gets past the worst of the crisis “we are entering uncertain territory” , and repeated the importance of caution. However, as the lockdown continues, its devastating effects on the Spanish economy are becoming more pronounced.
This is why Sánchez is keen to reach a consensus on measures that address the longer-term effects of the crisis, which are likely to include mass employment and the slow recovery of a tourist-based economy. His government is currently working on a plan to provide a universal basic income for every Spanish resident, although this is several months away and likely to face strong opposition.
In the short term, financial matters may be eased by yesterday’s agreement of the Eurogroup of EU finance ministers to a €500 billion rescue package for nations affected by the virus. However, these funds apply only to tackling the coronavirus crisis, and are not aimed at economic recovery after the crisis is over.
Meanwhile, the USA yesterday recorded a total of 16,690 COVID 19 deaths, passing Spain’s tally of 15,238. The USA is now the second-worst affected country and, with almost half a million positive cases, it is sure to pass Italy’s figure of 18,279 deaths shortly.
Latest statistics: 9th April , 20:00
Increase on previous day’s figures in brackets.
Total Canarian Cases: 1858 (+24)
Cases on Lanzarote: 74 (+3)
Deaths (Canaries): 94 (+2)