Countries Where The Opposition Has Parked Political Rivalries In The Face Of The Worst Pandemic In a Century

If there is an international media outlet whose editorial line would hardly coincide with the coalition government program of PSOE and United Podemos, it is the liberal British newspaper Financial Times. Which is not an obstacle for a recent editorial to be surprised at the virulence of the Spanish political climate. “In some countries, the worst pandemic in more than a century may have put aside political rivalries. This is not the case in Spain, one of the nations most affected by the coronavirus epidemic,” wrote the newspaper: “As the death toll increases and the government uses emergency powers, the confrontational policy has returned viciously.”

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Thus, the Financial Times pointed to several examples: “The main opposition group, the Popular Party, has branded Pedro Sánchez a liar; one of its regional leaders has accused him of giving orders to hide the real number of deaths; the extreme right of Vox, the third force in Congress, has called for Sánchez’s resignation and his replacement by a national unity government, and the Catalan independence administration attacks the government for its alleged incompetence and parsimony almost daily. “

“Whatever its cause, the deep fissures that are now re-emerging highlight the magnitude of the challenge if the country wants to overcome the health and economic crisis that many fear,” the Financial Times warns.

But how is it in the rest of Europe? Among the 27 EU countries, plus the United Kingdom, you can usually find everything. Rarely is a country an exception to something. It is true that the Financial Times is surprised by the virulence of the opposition in Spain, something that it will not be able to describe in Hungary, while Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (Fidesz / PPE) governs by decree after dissolving Parliament indefinitely. due to the coronavirus crisis.

Germany. It is a unique example because for seven years the conservative chancellor, Angela Merkel, has governed in coalition with the SPD, the Social Democrats. And, also, because being a federal State, the measures are being agreed with the 16 länder, in which, in addition to the CDU / CSU and the SPD, there are governments in which the Greens –second party in the polls–, Die Linke –The Left– and the liberals –FDP– are involved. With the länder The restrictions that started on March 16 were agreed.

In this way, the loyalty Institutional is almost generalized, except for the extreme right, AfD, on which a sanitary cord weighs and which has tried to introduce the migratory axis in the debate, but since the borders were closed it has been out of focus.

That yes, although the great coalition is being united before the request of eurobonds of countries like France, Spain or Italy. The Greens and Die Linke are pushing for Germany to get involved in solidarity outings to the crisis.

Polls show 93% agree to restrictions on personal contacts, according to an ARD public television poll. 63% of citizens say they are satisfied with the government’s work, an increase of 28 points compared to the previous month. The degree of management support for the pandemic rises to 72%.

Portugal. It is being the other side of the Peninsula. There, with a socialist government supported externally by the Bloco de Esquerda and the PCP, he is highlighting the toughness of the Prime Minister, António Costa, against the Netherlands for his “repugnant” attitude in the search for a solidarity response in the EU to the coronavirus. And, also, due to the attitude of the opposition leader, Rui Rio (PSD / PPE).

The reason? His support for the government of the socialist António Costa, whom he wished in Parliament “courage, nerves of steel and good luck”. “Because their luck is our luck,” finished the center-right president of the Social Democratic Party (PSD).

The gesture was mentioned as an example by the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez.

Rio, an austere 62-year-old economist, has promised not to create “difficulties for the country just to create difficulties for the Government. I am not cooperating with the Socialist Party, I am cooperating with the Government of Portugal, on behalf of Portugal. It is Portugal that is in the crosshairs. “

Italy. Like the others, Italy also has its uniqueness: it is the only country in which the extreme right is leading the polls: the Lega of Matteo Salvini, who was expelled from the Government after the summer in favor of the Social Democrats of the PD. It is true that Orbán is authoritarian, but his in-laws are still the PPE; and that the Polish Government is ultraconservative, but in Europe it is related to the British Conservative Party, in addition to Vox or the Flemish nationalist N-VA. But Salvini goes even further: he is the battle partner of Marine Le Pen (National Rally) and the AfD, for example.

With that pressure on the outside, Giuseppe Conte’s cabinet has faced the first major restrictive measures in Europe for being the country that was hit hardest initially. And it has also been one of the countries that, with Spain and France, are fighting for a forceful, ambitious and supportive response in the EU that allows sustaining the health crisis and projecting an early economic recovery.

Salvini, how could it be otherwise, has focused criticism on its main axes: sovereignty against the “ineffectiveness” of the EU that only wants to intervene in the country with the ESM-EU rescue fund-; and the phantom of migrants as agents of spread of the pandemic.

“The interior minister has authorized the landing in Sicily of almost 300 immigrants. Even in a serious emergency situation, the government does not believe that it will have to close the ports,” said Salvini from the start of the crisis.

However, confidence in Conte has risen to 57%, from 51% on March 24, according to the latest survey by the Ixe Institute.

Meanwhile, Salvini went so far as to accuse the Government of bowing to the rest of the community partners and asked for an urgent parliamentary appearance by Conte to give explanations.

In recent days, the far-right leader asked on social networks that churches be opened to allow the faithful to celebrate the rites of Easter by saying “that not only science is enough” to curb the coronavirus, but it is also needed “goodbye”.

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