Ministers in discussion on Tuesday.

19-05-2020

The Spanish government, needing support in Congress for a further extension to the state of alarm after 24 May, has reached agreement with Ciudadanos for a fifteen-day extension.

Prime Minister Sánchez indicated on Saturday that Congress would be asked for one final extension of "around a month". The government had in fact been considering an extension until 27 June, but securing agreement for a month or more was always likely to have been difficult. The Cs opposed a month's extension and so threatened to vote against an extension.

The agreement with the Cs doesn't guarantee the government a majority, but with the normal support it can expect from small parties, the ten votes from Ciudadanos will give a majority. It may in fact be that the voting becomes less difficult for Sánchez, as the government will undertake to analyse measures and, where appropriate, legislative reform that will allow there to be an orderly exit from the state of alarm and at the same time the management of the pandemic. This would not entail the use of the constitutional tool of the state of alarm declaration.

The statement from the Moncloa Palace regarding this agreement doesn't make clear if the government will seek another extension after 7 June, which is when this latest extension would expire. However, the implication is that the government won't be seeking another extension.

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