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Lockdown’s skepticism seems to overshadow Madrid’s far-right vote

MADRID (AP) – Welcoming the flag bearer of the Spanish anti-Orienteering movement, the mayor of the country’s capital turned Madrid this year into a European exception, where bars, restaurants, museums and concert halls remained open even when the level of infection was rising. hospitals

Madrid President Isabel Diaz Ayuso’s resistance to creeping closures CO5ID-19 patients preferring to be treated in caves are constantly fighting the 42-year-old conservative against Spain’s left-wing ruling coalition. Bragging, accusations քաղաքական Political clashes involving lawsuits have intensified in the run-up to the May 4 regional elections.

“I’m facing an investigation,” election leader Diaz Ayuso told The Associated Press this week. “It’s like asking, ‘Do you like what I’ve done so far?’ So give me a bigger majority so I can handle things more powerfully. ”

Diaz Ayuso called the election two months ago, when coronavirus cases were rising above the post-Christmas peak, but Madrid hospitals were shaken, they are still one of the steady flow of COVID-19 patients. “His decision was final, but his decision came as a natural end to his Popular People’s Party’s experimental relationship with the Liberal Citizens party, a junior partner in the Madrid ruling coalition.”

“The government’s mind and heart were simply not in the same place,” said Diaz Ayuso, referring to disputes that strained relations within the coalition during the epidemic.

However, the public health crisis helped turn Diaz Iusso into an inexperienced politician who raised his eyebrows in front of the cameras, turning his fist into comments on the contemptuous face of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, leader of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party Pedro Sanchez.

On the way, he earned as much support as hatred. Vox, overwhelmed by the extreme right-wing populism of Spanish nationalism in the Ox era, has increased its popularity. The left is disgusted with him.

“(Diaz) Ayuso seems more of a far-right candidate than (Vox candidate Rossio) Monasterio,” said Pablo Iglesias, leader of the Conservative Party against the United We Can party.

Iglesias resigned from the cabinet as deputy prime minister to run in the March elections in Madrid with an “anti-fascist” ticket. Ayuso, who described the election as a betrayal of his “Sanchez”, initially using “Socialism vs. Freedom” as his unofficial campaign slogan, greeted Iglesias in “Communism vs. Freedom” tweets.

The rapidly rising star of the Spanish Conservative camp seems to be causing a tectonic shift in Spanish politics. If his divisive style pays off, his Popular People’s Party could win an absolute majority in the 136-seat regional parliament. Few polls predict that scenario, but Diaz Ayuso’s support has grown throughout the campaign, putting him in a stronger position, which could undermine Vox’s success and silence moderate voices within his party.

If the Popular People’s Party fails to secure 69 seats, Diaz Ayuso will likely have to rely on an alliance with Vox, possibly opening the door to Spain’s first regional government, where the far right is controlled by several ministries.

“I have a team that is very well prepared for the worst two years for Madrid in terms of epidemics, winter blizzards and forest fires,” he said. “If I have to depend on other parties, I want it to be as small as possible, so I will not have to change my bill.”

“I want to lead a project freely,” he added.

Last week, the campaign took an unpleasant turn with envelopes containing death threats sent to Iglesias and other left-wing politicians. While Iglesias blamed the poisonous political climate created by the far right, left-wing candidates sought to weaken Diaz Ayuso’s chances of re-election by criticizing his use of the epidemic.

Madrid reports 23,000 virus-related deaths, proportionately more than in any other Spanish province or European capital. More than 5,000 people died of COVID-19 in nursing homes in the region, most of them during the first wave of the epidemic in Spain.

But Diaz Ayuso rejects any criticism or comparison of his government’s epidemic response to other parts of the world. He described as “pure manipulation” documents leaked to the Spanish media showing regional officials discussing how to treat patients նամ A letter from a member of the government condemning the system’s collapse in those early days left many, especially the elderly, without medical care.

“What happened was painful, a great tragedy. But it would be foolish to tell people today that the death of their father or mother was inevitable. False. People were dying everywhere. “They died at home, in ICUs and in hospitals,” he said. “It was like a tsunami.”

Diaz Ayuso claims that the lessons of the first wave taught his team that blockades harm the economy and the mental well-being of many citizens.

“We have become allies of catering establishments, shops, museums, and moreover, of society as a whole,” he said, rejecting the idea that Madrid became Europe’s party base this spring.

Despite experts claiming that the airborne nature of the virus facilitates the spread inside, Diaz Ayuso said that bars and restaurants in Madrid remain safe because they are properly ventilated. He said his government had decided that most outbreaks occur in homes where masked people gather just when they can not go out to eat or drink.

“That’s why there are other Spanish regions, other parts of Europe, that have been closed, but they have not been able to defeat the virus,” he said. “They are not going to achieve that.”

One of the most welcome steps in Madrid during the first wave of the epidemic was the improvisation of a field hospital in a large exhibition center, which eased the pressure on existing medical centers. The facility was also used as a project for a huge, permanent “epidemic hospital” built for a record initial investment of € 120 million ($ 145 million).

His critics described Nursing Isabel Hospital as a futile project that diverted much-needed medical staff from facilities and money the region could use to increase its search for contacts. Angela Hernandez, a spokeswoman for AMYTS, the main union of medical workers, said the facility was “the most prominent symbol by which Madrid chose a model that wanted to live with the virus rather than eradicate it”.

Diaz Ayuso, however, using the “1-kilometer-long front” of the hospital, said that the epidemiological hospital had treated more than 4,000 patients since December.

“Isn’t that a good thing?” he said.

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