It is understood that the Spanish government’s intention is to request Congress approval for at least two further extensions to the state of alarm, which would take it up to 21 June.

As well as increasing anger in Congress, Pedro Sánchez is facing mounting opposition to the handling of de-escalation from some regions. A complaint is that favouritism has been shown to certain regions - the Basque Country being cited in particular. The complaints have come from both right and left, such as from the Partido Popular president of Andalusia and Sanchez’s PSOE colleague in Valencia, Ximo Puig. These regions believed that the whole of their territories should have entered Phase 1 and not just parts of their territories.

The government is making available 16,000 million euros of aid to the regions. Sánchez is trying to keep the regions onside but he is struggling to do so. The aid package isn’t mollifying regions which perceive that there is differential treatment. So he has now said that once the crisis passes, new laws will be drafted for “co-governance” with the regions.

Sánchez is hoping that this will do the trick and calm the regions, but it is an offer with clear implications for reform of the existing system of autonomous government. If this turns out to be the case, then the crisis will have precipitated a reform agenda that will cause an almighty clash with the right in Congress but doubtless fall short of nationalists’ aspirations.


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