The PSOE led central government has imposed a state of alarm covering Madrid as well as other regional municipalities (Alcobendas, Alcorcón, Fuenlabrada, Getafe, Leganés, Móstoles, Parla and Torrejón de Ardoz) that came into force on Friday 9th October and will be in force for 15 days.
The announcement comes amid a legal and political battle between the PSOE central and PP regional governments over how to contain the spread of the virus. Both governments are minority coalitions
The Minstry of Health´s guidelines call for local locksown measures in areas where the infection rate exceeds 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
The measures were initially introduced against the wishes of the Madrid regional government who successfully overturned the initial measures in the courts only to see the court´s ruling overiden by the new state of alarm imposed by the central government.
The measures invokes article 116 of the constitution which allows the government to impose up to three legal categories for emergency situations: a state of alarm, state of emergency and state of siege however the central government chose not to invoke article 155 which would allowed for the imposition of direct rule in the affected areas.
The Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez had appealed to the regional premier of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso to act but had not received a response by the time the state of alarm was announced.
Instead the deputy premier of Madrid, Ignacio Aguado, posted a tweet stating that “the declaration of the state of alarm was avoidable” and that “we politicians have failed once again. The consequences will be paid for by citizens. I apologize for that.”
Madrid Mayor José Luis Martínez-Almeida, said that the declaration was “terrible news” and added that “this is not what Madrileños want nor what the healthcare situation in Madrid requires.”
However the central government´s Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo warned that “if the regional government can’t control the spread then it was the duty of the central government to act and “do it ourselves.”
To extend the emergency situation further than the initial two weeks, Sánchez will have to seek the approval of the Congress of Deputies.
To date Spain had recorded 861,000 cases of whom 32,929 have died.