The Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez had to argue his way through Wednesday night’s debate and vote on extending the State of Alarm for another two weeks.
Sanchez’s request for an additional period until May 24 was met with growing objections from the opposition, and the prime minister, who heads a minority government in coalition with junior partner Unidas Podemos, was forced into last-minute negotiations to secure the simple majority of more yes than no votes he needed in the 350-strong Congress. Sanchez came under heavy fire from the two main opposition parties, the Partido Popular and the far right Vox whose leader Santiago Abascal warned Sanchez that he will have to prepare for class action suits because of his mishandling of the crisis, and suggesting that the prime minister might soon face a vote of no confidence in Congress.
Vox has also called for a nationwide vehicle demonstration in protest against the way in which Sanchez has handled the lockdown. In his defense, Sanchez said “We are not here by chance. Nobody gets it right all the time in such an unprecedented situation. There are no absolutely correct decisions, but lifting the state of alarm now would be an absolute mistake.” I have taken Sanchez to task a number of times but the end must justify the means and like it or not, he may have got it right. Let’s get this over the line before we start playing politics, life can be too short.