The anti-crisis plan will be extended until December 31. This will be approved by the Council of Ministers this Saturday, as announced by the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, in Brussels. “We are going to incorporate new measures for families and companies, to protect ourselves from rising prices,” said the Prime Minister, leaving the specific details of the decree for Saturday: “These measures will not last three months, if not until December 31 this year. Tomorrow we will have the opportunity to explain them in the Council of Ministers. It is consistent with everything we have been doing in the last three months.”
“First of all”, Sánchez said, “we wanted to protect families; secondly, we are committed to supporting affected sectors; we have launched an item of 1,000 million euros for sectors such as transport; and thirdly, make selective reductions in certain taxes such as VAT for a year to cushion this rise in prices in what the electricity bill represents, in addition to continuing with the transformative agenda and the promotion of self-consumption, the promotion of renewables, the energy independence of Europe”.
Sánchez acknowledged: “We know that inflation is high, and we know very well for whom this Government governs. There are other sectors that want a status quo and privileges, we know for whom we govern, for families, that is why we want selective tax reductions, specific aid to affected sectors, such as transport and primary activity. Tomorrow we will give an account of these stockings”. And he added: "After a three-month evaluation, in dialogue with the sectors and the political forces, we have understood that all the measures had to be prolonged and extended until December 31 of this year."
The United We Can part of the Executive believed at the beginning of the week that the negotiation with the PSOE was going to be easier than it is being less than 24 hours after the approval of the anti-crisis decree by the Council of Ministers, reports Iñigo Aduriz. Sources from the confederal group considered that, given the bad result of the left in Andalusia, the socialist part of the Government would be more inclined to endorse some of the proposals put forward by United We Can, with the intention of giving a social and more leftist impulse to the progressive executive.
The negotiation, however, is still "frozen", according to sources from the Executive. From the second vice presidency, the department headed by the coordinator of United We Can in the Government, Yolanda Díaz, regrets that the contacts to address the anti-crisis decree have been launched at the last moment. They also consider that "it is a delicate moment" for the Spanish economy, for which they emphasize that the Government cannot be satisfied with extending the measures of the previous decree, to which Sánchez's announcement of reducing from 10% to 5% has been added. % VAT on electricity. "It is time to protect the citizens who are having the worst time," say the sources consulted.
To that end, Díaz herself proposed this week a “300-euro check for the people hardest hit by the crisis, as has been implemented in France”, in addition to measures to “reduce the transport subscription by 50%” throughout the country. country. He also proposed "a mechanism that allows the bonus to be graduated to the price of gasoline and non-professional diesel according to the income level of the beneficiaries", so that the aid now in force is not the same for all citizens and is done based on of his wealth. And, to pay for all this, Díaz proposed increasing the type of companies by "10 points" to the large electricity companies to raise between 1,500 million and 2,000 million euros a year.
On the Treasury side, Ministry sources avoid assessing the point of the negotiations. At this time, it is taken for granted, in what affects the cabinet led by María Jesús Montero, the reduction of VAT on electricity to 5%, as announced by the Prime Minister this Wednesday. There is also an extension of the discounts of 20 cents per liter for gasoline and diesel. But it seems ruled out that the plan includes changes in the taxation of energy companies as requested by the minority partner. The Treasury considers that the vehicle of the Royal Decree does not allow the creation of a new tax and that the rise of Companies is complicated. They point out, however, that the Government does not rule it out for later.
“Rail highway” to get grain out of Ukraine
The Spanish government has also announced this Friday in Brussels that it is going to participate in an initiative to take wheat out of Ukraine through “a railway highway”.
"Spain is going to provide considerable support to mitigate the effects of this acute food crisis caused by Putin and Russia blocking the export of these cereals," said the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez.
The idea, according to sources from the Executive, is that the Ukrainian trains –with different gauges– arrive at the border with Poland, where they would unload the grain to be put on other trains on the way to a railway highway with a specific itinerary through Poland, Germany , Luxembourg, France and Spain. In Spain, the Ukrainian grain would be stored in Spanish silos in the Mediterranean so that from there it can be exported to the Maghreb. From Poznan to Spain, it will be a six-day journey.
The initiative, the sources explain, starts on July 15, has the collaboration of three other countries, and is "led by Spain." In addition, there is private participation, with railway companies from the French subsidiary and RENFE.
The project starts with 600 tons and is expected to reach 6,000 tons in September –8,000 in total in the first three months–. From there, it will be possible to continue scaling the quantities, according to the sources, who recognize that "it is an important contribution from a country that is far from the conflict, but that has good silos to store grain." However, sources concede that much more grain can be removed by ship than by rail. Romania recently chartered a ship with which it moved 70,000 tons.
“We have approved the candidate status of Ukraine and Moldova”, said Sánchez, which “shows the commitment of the entire EU to solidarity. We have taken a historic step that demonstrates the EU's commitment. In relation to the economic and social consequences of the war, we have talked about the food crisis. There are hundreds of millions of people at risk of suffering from the food crisis, we believe that it is imperative to get out of Ukrainian cereals that cannot be exported due to the Russian blockade”.
In effect, the leaders of the EU have granted the country invaded by Russia the status of candidate this Thursday after the positive evaluation of the European Commission and with this they send a political message with a double recipient: the Ukrainian population and the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. “Okay, the European Council has just agreed on EU candidate status for Ukraine and Moldova. A historical moment. Today marks a crucial step on your way to the EU. Congratulations, Volodymyr Zelensky, Maia Sandu and the people of Ukraine and Moldova. Our future is to be together."
"We have also had the opportunity to agree to continue supporting Ukraine in the financial and military sphere, as well as for the consequences of the Russian attack on the food crisis," Michel said after the agreement, while affirming that there is a commitment to " revive” the European process with the Western Balkans: “We are committed to resolving disputes that are a brake on progress in the process, pending the decisions of the Bulgarian Parliament [sobre Macedonia del Norte]. And with Bosnia there is interest in accelerating, so that the European Council can return to this issue, according to reports from the European Commission. In addition, we support the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina so that there is progress."
This Commission report, according to some sources, would be ready by the end of the summer, in October.
“This is a defining moment”, said the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen: “The three countries are part of the European family, and this historic decision confirms it.
The European Council, in fact, has also agreed to grant the “European perspective” to Georgia, the previous step to the status of a candidate country. “Today is a great day for Europe”, said the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen: “Congratulations to President Zelenski, President Maia Sandu and Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili. Your countries are part of our European family. And today's historic decision by the leaders confirms that."