Pedro Sánchez in Congress on Wednesday. | Efe

As expected, Pedro Sánchez and the Spanish government of PSOE and Unidas Podemos have gained Congress support for what will be the final extension to the state of alarm until 21 June. The voting support from other parties was as it was when the current extension was approved, led therefore by Ciudadanos and the PNV Basque Nationalist Party. On this occasion, votes against were lower, the ERC Esquerra Republicana Catalunya having abstained.

The debate was once more characterised by the accusations from the opposition, the Partido Popular's Pablo Casado describing Sánchez as "a lame duck with the worst and blackest balance in democracy". Casado accused Sánchez of having hidden the number of deaths from coronavirus and of having put thousands of women at risk during the International Women's Day rallies in March. The PP leader added that his party will be demanding that there is a commission of investigation into the management of the pandemic.

Sánchez made repeated requests for unity and referred to what has been happening in the US. "We do not want to see this poison in Spain. Let us say no to the poison of hatred, no to physical violence, no to verbal violence, no to insults and no to provocation. Our parents did not make a sacrifice for this."

In calmer moments, the prime minister explained that the government will next week approve a decree law with rules for the "new normal". This decree will bring together measures for prevention and coordination to deal with the pandemic once the state of alarm has been lifted. The aim will be to set out health measures that need to be observed until there is a vaccine or effective treatment and so avoid new outbreaks of coronavirus in Spain.