Prime Minister Sánchez with health minister Salvador Illa. | Jose Maria Cuadrado Jimenez


The state of emergency in Spain, which was initially until 29 March, is to be extended by fifteen days to 12 April, Easter Sunday.

In a Sunday morning videoconference, Prime Minister Sánchez is explaining this latest development to regional presidents. The decision to extend the state of emergency will need the approval of Congress. This will be a formality, even if there are opponents, not least in Catalonia, where nationalist parties want to be able to take their own decisions.

There is criticism of the government over medical supplies. This is mainly coming from opposition parties - the Partido Popular in particular. The PP president of Galicia, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, told Sánchez during the Sunday videoconference that there were "contradictions" in health criteria. Although there are voices among the opposition who, in private at any rate, believe that there is management failure on behalf of the government, the extension to the state of emergency will get PP support.

The approval will be sought on Wednesday. Political parties will have the opportunity to make proposals as to the nature of the state of emergency, for which there are three levels - a state of "siege" is the most extreme. At present, it is at level one.

Among presidents from Sánchez's PSOE party, Ximo Puig in Valencia expressed a hope that the fifteen-day extension will not mean a further fifteen days.