Wednesday, August 4

Urkullu asks Sánchez by letter to make masks mandatory again and suggests a return to the state of alarm

Faced with the new wave of COVID-19 infections, the Lehendakari, Iñigo Urkullu, has resumed his tradition of writing letters to La Moncloa and, in the last of them, on this Monday, he asked the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, that it makes masks compulsory even on public roads and that it adopts “urgently” the “necessary measures” so that the autonomies can establish curfews and limit the number of people in meetings. He does not speak verbatim about the state of alarm – now under the controversy after the Constitutional Court ruling – and sources from his team insist that the formula must be arbitrated by the central government, but at other times of the pandemic it had been a constant claim from the Basque Country before contrary resolutions of the Superior Court of Justice of the Basque Country (TSJPV).

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The letter, as reported by the Basque councilor-spokesperson, Bingen Zupiria, has two points. The first calls on the Government to stop the validation in Congress of the royal decree of June 24 that exempted the use of masks on the street. The vote is scheduled for this Wednesday. Urkullu believes that this has led to the fact that a good part of the people, in general, “have stopped using the mask” when the norm forces them to do so if there are no distances or there are crowds. Ask for a message that “clearly” appeals to the “constant use” of protections except in stays in remote natural environments. “Mask, mask and mask” has been one of his latest slogans. It so happens that that same June 24, the Basque Parliament approved an anti-pandemic law that made masks mandatory, but it has not been applied due to the approval of state regulations.

The second refers to the new wave of the pandemic and the “disparate situations” that the courts are allowing depending on the communities. For this reason, he asks Sánchez to adopt measures this week that provide “guarantees” to regional decisions. He does not formally mention the state of alarm but it is what he has requested on other similar occasions. Of course, now it does so without the Euskadi having approved any measure questioned by the courts and without exhausting the possibility of reaching the Supreme Court to seek the unification of doctrine. It also does so without clarifying which are the express measures that it wishes to adopt in the Basque Country, since two weeks ago the health emergency crisis table decided not to modify the restrictions and one week ago, only a generic limitation of encounters of non-cohabitants was articulated by the night. However, it refers to the fact that what should be regulated will be “night mobility” and the number of people in meetings.

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