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It is very likely that by now there are more countries that have closed their borders or have taken measures to deter the transit of passengers than there are those who still have their frontiers completely open for the movement of people. From countries with small populations such as Norway, with 5.2 million inhabitants, Portugal (10 million) or the Czech Republic (more than 15 million) to those of an intermediate size such as Spain and Italy, and on to Germany, the EU's most populous country, which has not yet closed its doors fully but is applying severe checks at all its border crossings. Russia is shutting off entry this Wednesday and will remain closed until 1st May. The European Union has taken another step by imposing a closure of its external frontiers for the next 30 days which will affect more than 500 million inhabitants.

In South America, most of the Mercosur countries have taken similar measures, after Uruguay and Argentina decided to do so. Colombia has closed frontiers until 30th May, and in Central America, El Salvador and Honduras have done the same. The United States has not closed its borders but for the next 30 days has suspended international arrivals from areas affected by the coronavirus. Canada, however, has closed the gates for all except permanent residents of the country, except for US citizens.

This is only a thumbnail survey of how different countries are behaving, but it should be enough to put an end to the stupid phrase which says that the virus doesn't abide by borders. Since they are all being closed. The little ones, the middle-sized ones and the big ones, sooner or later, but the direction is the same. Border closure and total or porous lockdown, depending on how drastically governments wanted to act. If this is so obvious, why has the Catalan government been denied the option of extending the decision imposed in Igualada to the whole of Catalonia?

Due to a belief by the Spanish government that the decision was wrong? No, because isolation has been imposed throughout Spain. Because it goes against the World Health Organization criteria? No, because it is exactly what the WHO has been insisting on and for which it has criticised the slowness of Pedro Sánchez. Because it is a territory with a small population and for that reason would be better to tackle at a macro level? Even less so. Common sense suggests that it is easier to divide off Madrid, Catalonia, the Basque Country and Valencia than to apply a single decision to the whole of Spain, since the levels of contagion will be different and the decisions may not be the same.

Consequently, one can only conclude that what has been prioritized is the only frontier that people in Madrid have in their head above the highest possible safety for all citizens. The same is true of the Spanish government's economic plan to combat coronavirus. It has tried to to find a catchphrase that sounds more or less good - 200 billion euros - and there is no way to know how they will manage to conjure up that amount for the huge drama that is approaching for hundreds of thousands of people. Wouldn't it be better to have asked the different territories what their economic needs are, in order to serve their citizens? Europe's most decentralized regional model, according to the official script, should at least take this into account. Cooperation.

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