Fears that Madrid’s bid to stay in relaxed lockdown could spark off riots in Spain’s capital

Image from Ukrainian intelligence report. Credit: [email protected]_Ukraine

While the rest of Spain is expected to move to new normality on June 21, Madrid looks set to request advancement to phase 3 of de-escalation from June 22 – meaning restrictions will remain in place.

MINISTER for Health for Madrid, Enrique Ruiz Escudero, said yesterday the Community will request on Monday. June 15, the advancement to the next stage of relaxed lockdown – after State of Alarm has ended.

The announcement has caused confusion as to why Madrid would want to maintain restrictions while the rest of the country moves to a new normality.

Spain’s capital has already seen riots on the streets during the lockdown in protest against Pedro Sanchez’s handling of the crisis, with riot police in full kit forming barricades and armed with tear gas, batons, and tasers to fight off attacks.

Throughout the leafy suburbs of Madrid, a deep hatred of the government festered as the city was plunged into lockdown, particularly in light of the fact last year was one of the best on record for business and indeed tourism.

Everything had pointed towards a great 2020 before the pandemic.

Thousands of disgruntled and angry residents stormed the streets and pavements of the city over the government’s decision to hold back Madrid in Phase 1 back in May, with the majority calling it a political move rather than a health one.

But this latest move has come from Madrid itself, which is erring on the side of caution in case there is a resurge in coronavirus infections.

The unexpected decision has caused confusion – why would the Community of Madrid ask to enter into phase 3 after June 21?

The intention to ask for a change of phase next Monday is reportedly part of a  “strict compliance with the current regulatory framework”, and to cover the Community should the health situation worsen and the return to new normality is delayed.

Should this happen, the Madrid government wants to have the procedures for progressing to phase 3 completed so as not to remain in the second stage with the rigid restrictions this implies.

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Written by

Tara Rippin

Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
She loves being part of a community that has a wonderful expat and Spanish mix, and strives to bring the latest and most relevant news to EWN’s loyal and valued readers.

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