In addition to that event, there were other large ones in Madrid, such as the Vox congress (after which leader Santiago Abascal, number two Javier Ortega Smith and deputy Carlos Zambrano tested positive).
And although the Spanish minister asked European governments to act cohesively in the face of the new coronavirus, the same did not happen in his country. Proof of this was that the autonomous communities rushed to close schools and universities in the face of the central government’s hesitation to make that decision. The first to take this step were the Community of Madrid and La Rioja on 10 March, followed by the remaining 15 autonomous communities in Spain in the following two days. Only on the 15th, a Sunday, did the central government decree a state of emergency.
In addition, Spain made the same mistake as other countries: it did not supply itself in time with essential materials for the pandemic, as are the tests and also the masks and fans, ending up chasing the damage in a wild market. As a result, it cost Spain an expensive order of 58,000 tests to a Chinese company through a Spanish intermediary – which, it turned out after analyzing some of them, were of very poor quality, identifying only 30% of positive cases.
Politologist Pablo Simón fears that the Government is on the verge of making yet another mistake: allowing some non-essential sectors (such as industry, construction and other activities in the primary sector) to return to work from April 13 and 14 , as determined in a meeting of the council of ministers this Wednesday. “I don’t even want to imagine what this could result in,” feared that politologist. “Two weeks from now, we can be the same as we are now or worse.”
If the health crisis during the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting Spain in a particularly serious way, the future after it, when it arrives, does not make it easy to guess. This also applies to the government of Pedro Sánchez. Between a traumatized population and a devastated economy, it remains to be seen what stability a minority coalition government may have in the Congress of Deputies.
This Thursday, Pedro Sánchez seemed to already begin to anticipate this even more heated dispute future – preparing him with the same cunning that has allowed him to survive and triumph, despite all the difficulties, in the artful terrain of Spanish politics.
This move began with the agreements signed in October 1977, in the midst of Transition, which allowed the then President of Government, Adolfo Suárez, to bring together various sectors of Spanish politics and civil society to reach consensus on three fronts – politics , economic and social – thus first bricks of the construction of the 1978 Spanish Constitution.
This spirit, however, is unlikely to be replicated in 2020, say the experts consulted by the Observer unanimously. Still, they point out different reasons.
“I don’t think it will go anywhere, because there are no political conditions for that”, stresses Fernando Vallespín. “PP has already ensured that it does not sit at the table with Pode and Pedro Sánchez wants Pode to be there. Afterwards, Pode will always veto the presence of Vox. Now, this makes it difficult to find a broad solution ”, he says, referring that in any case there is room for an economic type agreement between the Government and the PP. “The PP will have to understand who is its natural constituency, which is the Spanish business community, when it tells you that the time has come to save the economy. At that time, you may be able to reach an agreement, but nothing like the Moncloa Pacts. ”
Luis Cornago sees in this measure an “interesting” strategic solution by Pedro Sánchez. “If from now on, with more tools, we can conclude that social and sanitary measures did not work, Sánchez will be more penalized for this if he works alone all this time,” he says. Therefore, when exploring a route of dialogue – however unlikely it may be – you can be “less alone” when the time comes to return to the polls.