Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez made his weekly televised address yesterday and said he would be requesting a last extension to the state of alarm, this time for a month.
He also said that the deescalation process could be completed by half of the country by the beginning of summer.
The PM the testing being carried out among the Spanish population to determine how many people have been infected by the coronavirus had brought three important pieces of data: the infection has affected different territories in very different ways, only 5% of Spaniards have been infected and the death rate is at 1%.”
The Socialist PSOE Party leader also insisted that the state of alarm had worked and was the only path possible.
He said the scientific facts have shown that a “herd immunity” approach would not have been successful, and defended the need to limit mobility and social contact.
If Spain had opted for this approach the PM continued, the infection could have reached 30 million people and cost the lives of 300,000, or maybe more, because the health system would have been overwhelmed.
The prime minister said he would request one more extension to the state of alarm which be different, it is expected to be the last and last for a month.
The prime minister leads a minority coalition government, with junior partner Unidas Podemos, and needs the support of other parties to pass the legislation.
In order to extend the state of alarm he requires just a simple majority in the 350-seat chamber – i.e. more yes votes than no.
However, he has found it increasingly difficult to secure backing ahead of these votes, and has lost the initial support of the main opposition Popular Party (PP), as well as far-right Vox, which is the third-largest group in parliament.
It’s unclear whether he will be able to garner the votes or abstentions required for this last extension from regional parties such as the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) and the Catalan Republican Left (ERC).
During his address, Sánchez made an appeal for unity. “Unity saves lives, and can also save companies and jobs.”