Friday, September 30

Catalonia asks to tighten restrictions throughout Spain and Moncloa awaits the appointment with the presidents

The increase in coronavirus infections has set off alarms in some regional governments and in Moncloa, which has summoned the presidents this Wednesday afternoon to discuss the intensification of measures to fight the sixth wave. The Government avoids specifying what proposal Pedro Sánchez will send to the regional leaders while they begin to speak out with disparate measures – ranging from the mandatory use of the mask outdoors to the imposition of a curfew. The latter is a proposal from Catalonia, whose president, Pere Aragonès, is the one who has raised the toughest restrictions that extend to all of Spain. That the limitations are common to the entire territory is a demand of more regional leaders who collide with the criteria of Isabel Díaz Ayuso, who considers that it is not necessary to increase precautions against the advance of infections.

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Meanwhile, the Government wants to wait for the Conference of Presidents to communicate any type of decision on “new measures” that would operate for the next few weeks, according to Sánchez in a speech in which he did not accept questions from journalists. “They will allow me not to enter into the realization of some questions that the Government will raise in that meeting that intends to be one of sharing and analysis of the situation,” the spokeswoman responded at the press conference after the Council of Ministers. , Isabel Rodríguez, to the specific question of whether capacity will be limited and nightlife will be restricted.

“The approach that the Government takes to this Conference of Presidents is collaborative, joint work, listening and sharing the decision. The decisions that arise will be shared wishing the agreement in its maximum expression, but taking into account a reality that is our country , as an autonomous state with highly delegated competencies in health matters “, Rodríguez warned, who at all times has insisted that this sixth wave has nothing to do with the previous ones due to the high vaccination rate and the consequent lower severity of cases , despite the increase in incidence.

The Government also defends itself from the criticism that comes from regional executives and parliamentary groups – including some of its allies – because the appointment is late, just 48 hours before Christmas Eve dinners. “We have not been late because we had never stopped being,” said the coalition spokeswoman, who recalled that the Government and communities are in permanent contact through sectoral bodies such as the Interterritorial Health Council. However, recent attempts to achieve common positions in the fight against the virus have been in vain. The last COVID traffic light, for example, was approved without concrete measures to be implemented depending on the situation.

The PP has been especially hard on Sánchez by ensuring that he arrives “late and badly” in the call. The spokeswoman in Congress, Cuca Gamarra, has criticized that the measures that the Government is going to put on the table in what it considers to be a strategy to hide behind the autonomous communities are still unknown. Gamarra lamented that “24 hours before Christmas Eve, no one knows how many people can be at home.” However, within the PP there are also discrepancies: Gamarra has avoided supporting the absence of quarantines that Ayuso has defended and has defended more restrictions against the position of the Madrid president, who has been against. The new Minister of Health of Castilla y León, Alejandro Vázquez, has followed that path and has rejected more measures under the pretext that the Castilians and Leonese “are masters of their lives.”

Moncloa, for its part, does not consider that it has to make self-criticism for having reacted on the eve of the Christmas holidays after weeks in which it was limited to “vaccination and the mask” as the recipe against the virus. “What has changed in the last days and hours is an increase in the incidence as a consequence of the appearance of a new variant that has not been among us for a month,” stated Rodríguez: “Proposing and coordinating measures with the communities is what that the Government has been doing since March 2020. There is nothing new, this is the 19th time that the conference of presidents is going to meet. Five weeks ago we did not know omnicron. ”

“In the age group of people over 70 years old, this population already has 83.7% its booster dose, it is in this age group where the incidence has least affected”, he has put as an example . “Prudence and tranquility in the confidence that the public administrations have been, we have been decisive in the worst moments and capable of agreeing and meeting those objectives,” she said, convinced that on Wednesday the presidents will reach a common position despite the disparate approaches at this time.

Rodríguez has insisted that this sixth wave is different from the previous ones and has avoided speaking in terms of alert, as the Catalan president has done when assuring that the situation is “critical”. “Tomorrow I will convey to the conference of presidents that the measures that have been adopted in Catalonia should be extended to other territories, each one with regard to their data”, Aragonès has advanced. “We cannot settle for masks on the street. The measures to be taken are not to anyone’s taste, but they are necessary and courageous,” added Aragonès, who indicated that “Catalonia is not an island” and that, therefore, the decisions of the rest of the territories affect it.

Catalonia is going to ask the Justice for authorization to impose a curfew in all municipalities that have a cumulative incidence of more than 250 cases per 10,000 inhabitants in the last seven days. In addition, it wants to limit social gatherings to ten people, close nightclubs and include capacity restrictions in bars, restaurants, shops, cinemas and theaters to try to stop the spread of the pandemic.

Euskadi, which is the autonomy that requested the convening of the conference of presidents, has described its situation as “serious” and has asked that they apply “common” measures throughout the territory. “With a little more time and working things, without electricity but with technicians to raise some minimum common denominators, it would have been better,” the PNV spokesman in Congress, Aitor Esteban, has reproached. Ciudadanos, Más País and Compromís have also criticized the “improvisation” by the Government.