How do Spaniards really feel about lockdown?

Most Spaniards support the lockdown and believe it should be extended, a survey showed Tuesday, despite angry protests in Madrid and elsewhere denouncing the government's handling of the coronavirus crisis.

Figures from a survey by the state-run Centre for Sociological Studies (CIS) showed 95 percent of respondents believed the measures to fight the epidemic were necessary or very necessary.

Spain has suffered one of the most-deadly outbreaks of the epidemic, counting more than 231,000 cases and 27,000 deaths, although the numbers peaked on April 2nd.

Six out of 10 respondents said they believed the strict conditions of the lockdown, which was imposed on March 14 but is being slowly eased, should be extended for longer, while 29 percent said they wanted more freedom of movement.   

But the population appears divided over how the government of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has handled the crisis, with 46 percent saying they had a lot or quite a lot of confidence in its policies, while 48 percent said they had little or none.   

Carried out between May 4 and 13 among a sample of 3,800 respondents, the survey was published just days after anti-government demonstrations took place in several districts of Madrid and in other cities, some involving hundreds of

Banging saucepans, waving Spanish flags and calling for “freedom”, the demonstrators demanded Sanchez resign in a series of protests firmly backed by rightwing and far rightwing parties.

READ MORE:  VIDEO: Dozens in upmarket Madrid neighbourhood ignore social distancing to protest lockdown measures


“Sanchez's management of the crisis is a disaster,” demonstrator Fernando Lopez told AFPTV during a protest outside the headquarters of Sanchez's Socialist party in Madrid.

“Everything he's doing, the delays in acting and the lack of freedom, what he's putting Spain through is intolerable,” he said.

In the southern city of Seville, there were similar demands.   

“We want Sanchez to go because he's ruining this country,” said a man who only gave his name as Ignacio.

Renewed four times, the state of emergency has let the government impose some of the world's tightest restrictions on Spain's nearly 47 million population, although it has since begun a cautious rollback which is due to finish by late June.

The state of emergency is set to expire on May 23rd at midnight but the government will on Wednesday seek parliamentary approval to extend it one more time.   

If approved, it would mean the state of emergency would last until late June.

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