SEVEN regions have now asked the Government permission to install a state of alarm, with an eighth set to do so tomorrow.
It comes after Catalunya, La Rioja, Navarra and Cantabria became the latest to do so Friday night, while Castilla-La Mancha said it would make the request on Saturday.
They join the Basque Country, Asturias and Extremedura (plus the autonomous city of Melilla) in demanding extra powers to battle coronavirus without fear of judicial setbacks.
It comes after restrictions put in place in some regions have been challenged in the courts.
Last week the Basque Country ordered capacity reductions and limited friend and family meet ups, both of which were overturned in the Superior Court of Justice.
Navarra president Maria Chivite said her government ‘needs to have legal coverage to be able to adopt other measures that go beyond the current ones in force.’
La Rioja president Concha Andreu said: “The state of alarm means only one thing: having legal protection to be able to adopt the necessary measures to stop the contagion curve.
“We need certainties and to act within a regulatory framework that protects us while making firm decisions.”
Until this week, most regions had feared the political consequences of declaring a state of alarm, but the rapidly deteriorating figures have seen a sharp turn around.
Sanchez’s address to the nation earlier today, in which he invited the regions to ask for the state of alarm if they deemed it necessary, has seen just under half the country’s autonomous governments do so.
The official declaration of the state of alarms will be made official in the coming days, possibly in an emergency meeting of the Council of Ministers on Sunday, but otherwise on Tuesday.
Catalunya, one of the latest to ask for the extra powers, wants a curfew from 11pm to 6am. Asturias, which decreed the closure of Oviedo, Gijon and Aviles on Friday, wants similar restrictions on night time mobility.
Most of the regions requested that the state of alarm be declared nationwide.
“The situation needs a national model,” said Castilla-La Mancha president Emiliano Garcia-Page, “The ship needs a captain and while the autonomous communities can manage their own state of alarm, there cannot be 17 of them. Spain cannot be a puzzle.”
Sanchez would struggle to garner enough votes for a state of alarm without the help of the Partido Popular.
Regardless, his government is not in favour of declaring another without the opposition’s support.