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World Spain govt under fire over Women's Day March on eve of outbreak

06:25  29 may  2020
06:25  29 may  2020 Source:   msn.com

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Spain ' s left-wing government was facing growing pressure Wednesday after a damning report emerged criticising its decision to permit a huge March 8 rally in Madrid as the epidemic gathered pace. Spain has suffered one of the most-deadly outbreaks of the virus that has so far killed more than 27

Spain ' s left-wing government was facing growing pressure Wednesday after a damning report emerged criticising its decision to permit a huge March 8 rally in Madrid as the epidemic gathered pace. Spain has suffered one of the most-deadly outbreaks of the virus that has so far killed more than 27

Spain's left-wing government was facing growing pressure Wednesday after a damning report emerged criticising its decision to permit a huge March 8 rally in Madrid as the epidemic gathered pace.

Thousands of people gather during International Women's Day at Cibeles Square in Madrid, Spain on March 8, 2020. © (Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) Thousands of people gather during International Women's Day at Cibeles Square in Madrid, Spain on March 8, 2020.

Spain has suffered one of the most-deadly outbreaks of the virus that has so far killed more than 27,000 people, with the battle to contain the epidemic becoming increasingly politicised. 

As the country began a 10-day mourning period to grieve the victims, a storm of controversy blew up around Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska for sacking a top Madrid police chief who oversaw the report, prompting calls for his resignation. 

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The ministry said 39 deaths were reported over the last seven days , while a total of 236,769 cases have been detected since the beginning of the outbreak . The Guardian. Spain govt under fire over Women ' s Day March on eve of outbreak . AFP. Barcelona’s BCN Film Fest to Go Live in Late June.

Thousands of women across Spain marched on Sunday against gender inequality to mark International Women ' s Day , despite concerns the Responding to discontent with Spain ’s sexual violence laws, the leftwing government has approved a bill to qualify all non-consensual sex as rape.

The dispute centers on a case recently opened by an investigating magistrate following a private complaint over the government's handling of the crisis in Madrid, the epicentre of the epidemic.  

A key question in the investigation, which is looking into suspicions of possible administrative misconduct, is whether the government should have let the International Women's Day rally go ahead.

The march was attended by 120,000 people including many members of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez's government, with three ministers later testing positive for the virus.

As part of the probe, the magistrate commissioned a report from the city's Guardia Civil police, and has summoned Jose Manuel Franco, the government representative in Madrid, to appear on June 5 to explain why he let the march and other events go ahead.

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The next day he returned to a frequent complaint that America should not be acting as a "police force" in Afghanistan. "After 19 years, it is time for them to police their own Country," Trump wrote on Twitter. Spain govt under fire over Women ' s Day March on eve of outbreak .

Hundreds of feminist activists took to the streets of Madrid on Wednesday, marking the eve of International Women ’ s day . Subscribe to our channel

According to the report, a copy of which was seen by AFP, Franco's department "was aware of the danger involved" in holding such a rally. 

At the time, the epidemic was already under way but the scope of it only began to emerge on March 9 when the numbers shot up and Madrid said it was shutting down all the region's schools. 

Five days later, the government declared a strict nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of the virus.

- 'Thousands of lives put at risk' -

"We demand you take responsibility for subverting the judicial independence of the investigation into alleged crimes on March 8 when thousands of lives were put at risk," opposition leader Pablo Casado of the right-wing Popular Party charged on Wednesday. 

The Guardia Civil report also criticised the health ministry's emergencies coordinator Fernando Simon for not advising against the rally, while privately telling an evangelical churches' representative that "under no circumstances" should they hold a congress with international visitors.

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Amid the coronavirus pandemic across the globe, the government on Monday prohibited the entry of passengers from European countries and Turkey as a

Women Rally Worldwide. Women in dozens of countries went on strike, held rallies, marched in the Some women , fueled by impatience over the long-running fight for equality and the sense that the “We have seen his direct attacks on women under his iron-hand rule, and it’s now time to heighten The words “Now We Act” were projected on the Eiffel Tower on the eve of International Women ’ s

But Simon brushed off the criticism, telling reporters on Tuesday the impact of the march was "marginal" on a weekend when the city also hosted a football match, public transport was running normally and the far-right Vox held a rally of 9,000 people after which several of its leaders tested positive.

The increase seen on March 9 "is not attributable to the (previous) weekend" but to cases that would have been transmitted at the end of February, taking into account the incubation period, he said. 

The impact of that weekend would have been seen "perhaps 16 or 17 days later, but no specific increase was noted in that period," he adding: "What we saw was the expected evolution of the curve."

- The minister responds -

On Monday, Grande-Marlaska dismissed Diego Perez de los Cobos, head of the Guardia Civil in Madrid who was responsible for the report. 

"The executive cannot impose pressure like this," Jose Cobo of the Spanish Guardia Civil Association told AFP, saying he suspected the minister knew about the report. 

Quizzed over the move in parliament on Wednesday, Grande-Marlaska, a former anti-terror judge, rejected the allegations, saying the dismissal was part of a planned reshuffle in the Guardia Civil leadership and denying he had access to the report.

"There has not been any interference with any other power of state and there will never be as long as I am interior minister," he said.

Spanish production slumps a third .
Madrid, Jun 05 (Reuters) - Spanish industry went down in April because of the nationwide lockdown in the fight against the corona pandemic. Production slumped 33.6 percent year-on-year, according to the INE statistics office in Madrid on Friday. In March there had already been a sharp decline of minus 13.7 percent. Spain is severely affected by the pandemic, which is why the government imposed particularly stringent restrictions in the fight against the pathogen.

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