Neither Ayuso’s decision, nor his claim that “the immigrant lifestyle in Madrid” was partly responsible for the current epidemiological situation, has been welcomed in the 37 affected areas, where there are more than 1,000 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.Neighborhood groups that organized the protests around Madrid accused the regional government of spreading “fear and hatred” and targeting already marginalized communities.
“Instead of protecting and caring for the most vulnerable people in our city and ensuring that they do not suffer from the highest infection rates, they have instead opted for stigma, exclusion and territorial discrimination ”, they declared in a joint manifesto.
They pointed out that many of those to be taken into custody were working in low-paying but vital jobs such as childcare, eldercare, reception and childbirth services. The groups also called for urgent action to help overburdened health centers keep up with demand and make long-term investments in their communities.
Arturo Soriano was one of the hundreds of people who joined the demonstration in Ciudad Lineal. “I think Ayuso behaves according to his political ideology and not according to the interests of the people,” he said.
His wife, Alicia, said Madrid had come out of Spain’s strict national lockdown too quickly and the preparation for the second wave had not been given enough thought. But she also pointed out that Ayuso’s party, the Conservative Popular Party (PP), had not invested enough in Madrid’s healthcare system.
“The PP has spent years neglecting the basics, like healthcare,” she said. “It’s an old problem.”
Nearby were two people holding up homemade signs with the words “Racist!” and “Classist!”. Miguel Montoya, holding one of the placards, said the regional government was trying to stigmatize and discriminate against parts of the community, and drive a wedge between “people born in Spain and immigrants … It’s criminal”.
Spain has recorded more than 640,000 cases of Covid, including 125,944 in the past two weeks alone. The Madrid region accounts for around a third of all cases and a similar proportion of the country’s 30,495 deaths.
Ayuso and Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez will meet in Madrid on Monday to see what can be done to “flatten the curve” in the region. The meeting is likely to be difficult as Ayuso accused the central government of distinguishing Madrid, while the central government called on regional authorities to do more.
The blame game continued in the Sunday papers. Spain’s Transport Minister José Luis Ábalos told El País that the regional government had “put the economy before health,” while Madrid’s regional health minister, Enrique Ruiz Escudero, told ABC that the Sánchez administration had indulged in public relations stunts instead of helping out. .
The regional minister also rejected suggestions that the partial foreclosure punished the poor and favored the rich. “The criteria were strictly epidemiological,” he said. “These are the highest incidences and where the most cases are detected.”
The protests in Madrid came a day after France reported nearly 13,500 new infections in 24 hours, bringing its total to 467,614. India, meanwhile, recorded 92,605 new infections on Sunday, bearing its burden total work at 5.4 million. The United States remains the country with the most cases, with 6.7 m.