THE approval of the six month state of alarm came as a bit of a bombshell yesterday. Everyone I had spoken to over the past few days thought that the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, had little chance of getting it over the line with the opposition Partido Popular preferring two months and then a review of the situation.

What is more, what is going to happen over the next six months is anyone’s guess because Sánchez has decided to take a “hands off” approach to managing the state of alarm. Unlike during the first wave, he wants regional leaders to make the hard choices.

The PM says the new state of alarm will give legal certainty to regional governments when adopting tougher measures restricting basic freedoms. But unlike during the first wave in the spring, the Sánchez wants central government to take a less hands-on approach.

Rather than grabbing devolved health powers, his government will instead act to coordinate the response, handing tough lockdown decisions to regional leaders.

Ahead of what could be a very difficult winter, Sánchez appears to be taking steps to insulate himself from mounting political heat.

But, with his poll ratings falling while the main opposition parties gain support, Sánchez could be taking a huge risk, not only for his own political future, but for the welfare of the whole country.

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Nigel Stack / Hace about 1 year

How can you say Sanchez is trying to insulate himself from mounting political heat. Every countries leaders are in the same boat. Health verses the economy, how can you win that argument in front of a country full of people seeing their "rights" being remove or limited before their very eyes and their income and freedom being eroded every time any government tries to do anything that appears to go against their "normal lives". Going to the pub, club, restaurant is all very well but now it can kill you and others. Wake up and smell the coffee people, take it on the chin now for a short period of time or fight it and it will last for years.

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