Despite being in minimum services, the Congress of Deputies will meet again in plenary this Wednesday to approve the extension of the state of alarm announced by the Government a few days ago and also to validate the executive orders to deal with the economic crisis and social unleashed by the emergence of the coronavirus.
The lower house decided two weeks ago to suspend its ordinary activity, so the commissions are still not being held and the processing of the laws and initiatives that were already underway (as well as the deadlines for it) have been paralyzed. However, last week the plenary session of Congress already met so that the Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, could come to explain the statement of alarm. And this Wednesday, the House will have another session required to give its approval to its extension.
It will be the second time in all democracy that Congress has been forced to vote an extension of the state of alarm, which gives an idea of the emergency of the situation. But not only the content of what will be debated tomorrow in the Chamber will be exceptional: the strange picture from last week will also be repeated, when an almost empty chamber listened to Sanchez.
Parliamentary sources confirm that 306 of the 350 deputies have requested to vote electronically to avoid having to crowd the hemicycle, which means that a maximum of 44 parliamentarians will physically attend. From the PSOE, only 11 deputies will not have the option to vote remotely, for nine from the PP, seven from Vox, seven from Unidas Podemos, one from ERC, one from the PNV or one from EH Bildu. In addition, parties such as Ciudadanos or JxCat have already confirmed that they will not attend the plenary, as they did last week, although they will vote.
The PP guarantees that the extension will go ahead
The Government is guaranteed to carry out the extension of the state of alarm. Despite the hardening of the tone of its criticism of the Executive in recent days, the PP has already confirmed that it will vote in favor of the proposal, which together with the votes of the PSOE and United We Can add a large majority of Congress. But heGroups will have the possibility of proposing changes in the text, and it is not ruled out that some do.
The PP president, Pablo Casado, opened the door on Monday to present amendments, although the conservatives did not confirm at 20minutos.es if they had already made a decision in this regard. Neither did Vox, which nevertheless did send a package of proposed modifications to the PSOE this Tuesday, including the assumption of the autonomous powers of Catalonia by the central government or the obligation that foreigners without residence permits have to pay for health care for the duration of the alarm state.
Other smaller parties, such as Citizens, PNV, More Country or Commitments, They have also confirmed their vote in favor of the extension of the state of alarm, although some have proposed changes to the Government, mainly in the economic sphere. The party led by Ines Arrimadas bets on a generalized tax moratorium for all companies, that of Ínigo Errejon asks to stop all non-essential economic activities in the most affected communities (Madrid, Basque Country, Catalonia, Castilla-La Mancha or Castilla y Leon ).
The independentistas consider abstaining
On the contrary, several of the pro-independence parties are not going to support the request for an extension of the state of alarm, mainly because they demand that the confinement measures be tightened against the criteria of the Government, which has been ensuring for days that the position adopted is already enough. hard. It will most likely be the case of ERC, whose secretary general, Marta Vilalta, dropped on Monday that Republicans will not support the expansion requested by the Executive if general confinement is not proposed.
Who has already ensured that will abstain from voting for this reason is JxCat, in line with what was defended in recent times by the President of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Quim Torra, who has insisted on completely closing that community. The independence formation will support the decrees of economic and social measures of the Government, although it assures that they seem insufficient and they request “the creation of a minimum income of citizenship”.
Similarly, EH Bildu will present his own amendment to the extension of the state of alarm, and until this Tuesday he was trying to form a common position with the rest of the pro-independence forces in Congress, sources from the abertzale formation explain. Their final vote both to the extension of the state of alarm and to the decrees of emergency economic measures, indicate these sources, it will depend on the Government’s response to this amendment.