Spain congress backs PM’s request to extend state of alarm until April 26, with a further 15 days likely.
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez secured approval from the Congress of Deputies on Thursday for his decision to extend the state of alarm which will keep residents of Spain locked down in their homes for an additional two weeks from the previous deadline of April 12.
The coronavirus spread is slowing but it said to be likely that a further extension will be made until May 10. Sánchez told Congress he is “convinced” that before the new deadline ends, he will have to ask the legislature “for another extension of 15 days, because by then we will not have put an end to the pandemic.” It is not yet known what the exact confinement conditions would be under this extension. The Spanish government has hinted that it is considering a very gradual deescalation of the measures currently in place.
Sánchez leads a minority coalition government with junior partner Unidas Podemos. Given the lack of a working majority, the prime minister needs the support of other groups in order to pass legislation. The leader of the main opposition group, Pablo Casado of the Popular Party (PP), on Thursday threatened to stop supporting any more extensions to the lockdown.