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Spain's state of emergency extended for 5th time

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[Newsphopick=Hani Na] Spain's left-wing minority government succeeded Wednesday in maintaining the country's lockdown in place despite criticism from opposition parties, as the national parliament endorsed a new — the fifth in a row — two-week extension of the state of emergency.

Spain's lockdown which has succeed in reining in a COVID-19 outbreak that has claimed over 27,000 lives in the country will now last at least until June 7. The government says at least one more two-week extension will still be needed to complete what it considers a necessarily cautious return of centralized control over health policy to the governors of its 17 regions.

"The path we are on is the only one that can possibly beat the virus," Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez told a chamber with only a handful of members to limit contagion risks. "Thanks to all the parliament members who have supported the state of emergency because with their vote they have saved thousands of lives."

Parliament approved the government's extension request by 177 votes to 161, with 11 abstentions.

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