Spain Warns Failure To Extend State Of Emergency Could ‘Bring Chaos’

Commuters receive face masks distributed by Red Cross volunteers in a train station in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, May 4, 2020. Spaniards will be able to get a haircut, buy glasses or take away food as long as they hav... Commuters receive face masks distributed by Red Cross volunteers in a train station in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, May 4, 2020. Spaniards will be able to get a haircut, buy glasses or take away food as long as they have previously made an appointment and they travel on public transport with mouth and nose covered with mandatory masks. The country enters the first stage of its 4-phase lockdown rollback helped by the lowest daily reports of deaths from coronavirus in 1.5 months. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti) MORE LESS
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May 4, 2020 9:49 a.m.

MADRID — The Spanish government is turning up pressure on opposition parties to approve another extension of the country’s state of emergency. The government says a failure to do so could “bring chaos.”

Transport and Mobility Minister José Luis Ábalos anticipates a tough debate in parliament on the issue Wednesday. He says the measure is “the most effective legal instrument” to fight the new coronavirus because it grants authorities the exceptional power to restrict freedom of movement.

Ábalos says that without it all the sacrifices made so far will have been “pointless.”

“There’s no Plan B, no alternative” to the state of emergency, Ábalos told a news conference in Madrid on Monday.

Health Minister Salvador Illa said it was “indispensable.”

Spain has managed to reduce the daily increase in the number of coronavirus infections from around 35% in mid-March to 0.16% because of a strict lockdown. More than 25,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the country.

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