By Alex Trelinski • 28 April 2020 • 15:51
PEDRO SANCHEZ has delayed an important speech, causing concern to business owners across the Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca that reopening dates could be further delayed.
The hold up from Spain’s Prime Minister came as France was set to reveal its post-lockdown plans in an afternoon briefing.
No reason for the hold up in Madrid has been given, but most of the main announcements from Sanchez have normally tended to come during the evening.
Gary Adamson from the Costa del Sol-based Bars Abroad real estate agency told the Euro Weekly News: “I’ve been waiting for the speech all day and see it’s delayed. I hope he’s not changing his mind.”
San Pedro de Alcantara chip shop owner Nigel Harris said: ”Here we go again, just as we get our hopes up, they look like being dashed. I really hope not, as I need to open fast now.”
The Spanish government has promised to slowly, but surely reduce the lockdown restrictions, as they listen to the best medical and scientific advice.
Sanchez appears to be caught in a couple of different camps, with critics saying that he’s dragged his feet over key areas like tourism and the hospitality sector being allowed to reopen, even with appropriate health restrictions.
They say that he’s only coming forward with a post-lockdown plan because most other European countries have come up with one.
Italy that was for so long the ‘ground-zero’ for the coronavirus on the continent, has said that bars and restaurants will reopen in the first week of June.
The contrary view is that reopenings could lead to a second spike in Covid-19 cases, which is a major fear in the UK for Boris Johnson, and there is some suggestion coming from countries like Germany that it could indeed be the case.
In the end, Sanchez and his government have a difficult balancing act to follow between health and the economy.
Spain’s State of Alarm rules were relaxed at the weekend to permit children to go out for a walk, and the start of May will see all ages allowed out of their homes for exercise and walking.
Crucially now it’s businesses that are crying out for news on when they might be able to open again, especially in the hospitality sector.
The Andalucian regional government has asked Pedro Sanchez for permission for bars and restaurants to be allowed to reopen from the end of May.
Hospitality business owners in British expat areas like the Costa Blanca and the Costa del Sol are reviewing their future seriously, with some threatening to close up permanently.
They are now anxiously waiting for what Sanchez says, whenever that might be today.
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