Spaniards have been confined to their homes since Monday except to go to work, to shop or to the emergency room. Internal tensions between the coalition partners, PSOE and Podemos, and the lack of coordination also accompanied the activation by the Government of the state of alarm. In a new chapter that reflected in a Dantesque way the weakness of a divided Executive and faced by the power quotas and by the reach of the economic measures before a national emergency situation. The Royal Decree that regulates the state of alarm necessarily implies a recentralization of powers under a single command, that of the Prime Minister, with a second operational step with “delegated competent authorities”, in which are the central portfolios of the coalition Cabinet, Interior, Defense, Transport and Health, all in the hands of PSOE ministers.
There was leakage of the draft of the Royal Decree, delay of the videoconference and instructions to the autonomous communities to act in this exceptional situation, and gestures of protest by Íñigo Urkullu and Quim Torra, the partners of Pedro Sánchez, against the single command in Health, transport and public order because they demand to continue making decisions without interference from the central government. Under a noise of chaos, Spain was officially off yesterday and with the uncertainty of how long it will cost to stop the health emergency and how much it will cost to restart the country. The state of alarm and its consequences blow up all plans A and plans B of Moncloa for this Legislature in the political, economic and even judicial fields. With the effects of the latter on the political, national and Catalan agenda, because the delays in the judicial processes delay the end of Quim Torra’s political career, pending the appeal in cassation that he has presented in the Supreme Court against the judgment of the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia condemning him to a year and a half of disqualification for disobedience.
There will be no elections in the Basque Country and in Galicia, but it is foreseeable that as long as the judicial decision delaying Torra’s dismissal as president of the Generalitat is delayed, it will also be necessary to wait for new Catalan elections. And this leads to an added complication for the General State Budgets because it increases the uncertainty about the future in which Sánchez has rested the future of his Legislature: the Catalan elections, the tripartite and the progressive deactivation of the bilateral “table” with the independence, with national budgets in between as an object of exchange. The opposition is neutralized for the duration of the alarm state and the action to stop the coronavirus pandemic.
But it will jump on the government coalition as soon as the health crisis ends because if they already had before them a weak and unstable government, when they have to start managing the devastating economic storm that this national crisis leaves, what they foresee is that there is “a misgovernment Absolute, with Sánchez scorched amidst the pulls of his parliamentary partners to get rid of the protest and social unrest. ” “No one will want complicity with Sánchez, everyone will become adversaries”, they anticipate in Genoa. And the PP’s sense of state, as the leader of the opposition, will stop forcing it to be silent as soon as the management of the health emergency is over. As the PSOE would do under the same circumstances. “Married cannot become an accomplice of the management of Sánchez mortgaged to his investiture partners, and will go on the attack as soon as we are able to overcome this. There will be time, but the management could not have been more disastrous. They have lacked strength and leadership and will have to explain why it took so long to act with the cost in lives that this has supposed ”, they anticipate in the popular direction. Of course, without free budget support.
As he has done so far, Casado will continue to demand that Sánchez choose between his partners or the pact with the PP for State issues such as economic policy. Sánchez is overwhelmed by the situation. In these days it has been seen that the evolution of the pandemic and the unilateral decisions of communities of such weight as Madrid, Catalonia or the Basque Country ran over the passivity of the Government and exposed the inability of the Ministry of Health to maintain the necessary unity of action. The head of the Executive tried to avoid the declaration of the state of alarm because in addition to the economic cost, in Moncloa they feared what yesterday began to be seen, the tensions with Podemos and with Urkullu and Torra. The announcement of the approval of the state of alarm in installments, without making it effective immediately, this Friday caused an exodus effect from Madrid to Andalusia and other communities in the Levant, with the cost in the expansion of the disease that derives from a uncontrolled flight from one of the main sources of contagion. When what was going to be discussed on the table of the Council of Ministers was, precisely, the plan of con ﬁ dence of the Spanish to limit this scenario. Starting Monday, the government will seek the complicity of the opposition. But first you will have to submit to the examination of the communities today. For most, the priority will be to secure resources to protect their toilets and their patients when their healthcare systems have already collapsed. As if it were not enough pressure on Moncloa, Sánchez is also examined in the pulse that Quim Torra and the “Lendakari” Urkullu pose to stop the decree that affects their powers.