Madrid to obey mandated lockdown rules but appeal them in court

By Jake Threadgould

Madrid, Oct 1 (efe-epa).- Officials in Madrid have 48 hours to implement a partial lockdown that will prevent residents leaving the city limits without justification and introduce tighter measures on social life, according to new criteria approved by the Spanish government on Thursday.

The capital and its outlying region have once again become the focal point of the pandemic in Spain with a two-week coronavirus incidence rate of 784 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, more than double the national average.

Madrid’s regional president Isabel Díaz Ayuso, a member of the conservative Popular Party, said her government will obey the new measures but would appeal them in court.

“This (regional) government is not in revolt, it will comply strictly with all of the orders,” Ayuso told members of the Madrid assembly on Thursday morning.

The legal challenge, she insisted, would “defend the interest of the people of Madrid.”

“(The government’s) plan won’t work because it destroys Madrid for no reason,” she added.

The Spanish response to the coronavirus pandemic has been hindered by deeply ingrained political rivalry, which thrives in the country’s decentralized system.

The central government delegated powers to respond to the pandemic to regional authorities at the end of the state of alarm that had kept the nation largely housebound between March and June.

Ayuso, whose regional executive is staffed by the PP and center-right Ciudadanos and is propped up by the far-right Vox, has been at loggerheads with the left-wing coalition government of Socialist Party (PSOE) leader and prime minister, Pedro Sánchez.

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