State of emergency and the sidelining of Sánchez: Debunking disinformation from the NATO summit in Madrid

The NATO summit in Madrid drew a lot of international attention to its host country, Spain. But it has also become the center of misinformation online.

While some of the false statements may be circulated to sow mistrust and tension within the alliance, others are just pictures or statements that have been taken out of context.

Some social media users have falsely claimed that Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez was given a secondary role, despite Spain hosting the event.

In this supposedly official photo from the summit, Sánchez is seen standing in the corner as well as in the back.

However, this photo is misleading as it is not from the top in Madrid.

Using reverse image search, Euronews discovered that this photo was taken at another NATO summit in March 2022 in Brussels to discuss Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In the actual photo from the event held in Madrid, Sánchez is in the front row next to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

Another example of a false claim circulating on social media is that Spain has declared a state of emergency due to the NATO event.

Furthermore, these messages indicate that a new national security law will ban all demonstrations and even exploit the communications of private citizens.

However, according to Spanish lawany state of emergency in the country must be approved by the Congress of Deputies.

It must then be published immediately in the Official State Gazette and disseminated by all public media.

Euronews found no trace of an announcement of this supposed state of emergency in Spain.

As for the so-called new national security law, it does not exist.

There is indeed an amendment to be tabled in parliament to the current National Security Act 2015, but the draft does not mention a ban on all demonstrations or the monitoring of all communications.

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