Spanish PM seeks two more weeks of state of emergency

Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez will this week seek parliament's approval to extend the state of emergency one final time, which would keep the coronavirus lockdown in place until 21 June. The current emergency is set to expire on 7 June. According to Sanchez, one last two-week extension was required in order to get his hard-hit nation safely out of confinement.

The sixth extension since March will need to be ratified on Wednesday by the 350-seat parliament, where Sanchez's coalition is in a minority. But he can count on a Catalan independence party to abstain, as well as the support of Basque nationalists, under deals which he sealed on Saturday.

In mid-May, Sanchez tried to extend the state of emergency for a full month, but was forced to reduce the request to two weeks to secure the support of the centre-right Ciudadanos party.

Announced on 14 March, the state of emergency has allowed the federal government to control the response in a country where regional governments hold great sway. The measures are expected to be fully lifted in late June or early July, depending on the region.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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