- When the pandemic first struck, Spaniards forgave the government’s mistakes.
- This time it could be different
Spain’s socialist prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, provided a reassuring contrast to the buffoonery of Boris Johnson and Donald Trump during the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic. When he forced the country into a harsh mid-March lockdown, he freely admitted mistakes had been made.
Spaniards were prepared to pardon. But, just as Americans cannot forgive Trump for leading the United States into a double-bump pandemic, so a sense of anger is building as Spain’s triumphant “defeat” of coronavirus threatens to become merely a brief holiday.
New daily cases here have jumped to three times the level in Britain and show a steep progression. In the worst-hit areas, partial lockdowns are being reinstated, with the Catalan regional premier, Quim Torra, talking of a “critical situation” and threatening the harshest lockdown measures available to him within days. “I don’t want another 7,000 deaths,” he said. Community contagion – when nobody knows who is infecting who – is reportedly back in some parts.