The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, assured this Tuesday, during his appearance in the Senate, that the "Iberian mechanism" that separated electricity from the price of gas has meant "in just over three months" a saving of 2,000 million euros “for families and companies”. "Without this Iberian exception, today households and companies would be paying 2,000 million euros more," he explained. For this reason, he has asked the PP of Alberto Núñez Feijóo, who was the one who asked for the plenary session on Tuesday, to “stop making a fool of yourself” and to “not call the “defense of citizenship” an Iberian scam”.
Yolanda Díaz's price limit on food finds opposition in the sector and division in the Government
During his speech, Sánchez also announced the approval of an "exception for cogeneration facilities for industries with large gas consumption so that they are temporarily covered by the Iberian mechanism." "This is an exceptional measure for exceptional times that has been requested by the industry itself and that will benefit sectors that represent 20% of GDP and that are key to many territories", recalled the Chief Executive. Likewise, the Government is preparing a "comprehensive proposal for the reform of the electricity market" that will be presented "in the coming weeks".
All this responds to a great objective of the Government: that the crisis is not paid for by the working middle classes and that, with it, large companies do not become rich, as happened during the economic collapse of 2008. “We will go out of our way to prevent the impacts social problems become chronic over time”, assured Sánchez. "We will do everything in our power to prevent a repetition of the neoliberal exit from the previous crisis", he said, because "in Spain there is a democracy in which the popular will prevails, the vote prevails, which is expressed in the Congress and in the Senate and not in a few restaurants.”
Sánchez, however, has denied that this winter the Executive is going to adopt "dramatic measures" in energy matters. "There are not going to be electricity blackouts or rationing of butane cylinders, or any of those apocalyptic scenes that are often evoked by the right-wing and far-right bloc, along with the media," he pointed out. “Citizens can rest easy”, he concluded.
In the short term, the Government will propose "to change a little some life habits". "We will do it to defend our model of life," said Sánchez. They will be, in any case, "recommendations that will help reduce the energy bill." “Our priority is going to be to stop waste”, he added, without closing the door to “additional and temporary measures in some industries”, which the Government will try to “make them temporary and compensate them from the force of the State”. “It is not about making great sacrifices but about adapting our model of life. The Spaniards will understand. Spain is the most supportive country in the EU”, he remarked.
Regarding what will happen in the coming months, Sánchez has acknowledged that the Government is working with "different scenarios". “It is possible that Putin and Russia, which depend on gas to pay the bill for the war, maintain an export volume with cuts to generate fear and uncertainty. It is also possible that Putin will order Gazprom to further reduce this flow or directly turn off the tap completely with the aim of bending Europe, to force us to stop supporting Ukraine”, the President of the Government has pointed out.
“We don't know what's going to happen. We cannot figure out that unknown. We cannot read the uncertainty. What we are doing is preparing for the worst and the worst is the total cut off of gas”, he has said. On the part of Spain, it is trying to "ensure imports" that arrive from other parts of the world, as well as "accelerate its own energies, renewable and other sources", as well as "reducing" consumption "with saving policies and efficiency". “Putin can break Ukraine, or any other country alone. "But what we are clear about is that he has no chance of breaking a united Europe," he pointed out.
Amid applause from all the ministers of the Executive and from the benches of PSOE and United We Can, Sánchez has appealed again and again for European solidarity to ensure energy supply to all EU countries. “We must help our European brothers out of solidarity and Europeanism. But also for strategic interest, because its economic future also affects our economic future”, added the Chief Executive.
A “very volatile” scenario
Regarding inflation, Sánchez has also assured that the future is "plagued with uncertainties". “Everything will depend on issues that are beyond the control of the government”, he continued, citing, for example, “how long the war will last, or if Putin will decide to cut off the gas”. But, in his opinion, the calculations of the main international organizations "invite moderate optimism" and "that inflation is going to fall", ending this year at 8% and standing at 3% in 2023. The president, not However, he acknowledged that the scenario is "very volatile and these forecasts have been wrong before and have had to be updated".
For this reason, from a “position of prudence”, Sánchez has assured that the Government will do “everything in its power and more to bend the inflation curve and protect the working middle classes”. As long as he is president, all the resources of the State will be at the service of the citizens”, he remarked.
After Feijóo's intervention, Sánchez has used his turn to reply to accuse the top leader of the opposition of "intimidating the Spanish" and of not providing "any solution" to the energy crisis in his speech before the Upper House. Moreover, Sánchez has accused Feijóo of using the pandemic or the economic consequences of the war in Ukraine to "undermine" the Executive.
However, although the President of the Government has assured that he is not "in favor of concentration governments because it is a dangerous formula, it nullifies the dialectic, and pushes discontent outside the limits of the system", he has called for a "fluid dialogue between the Government and the opposition ”. At this point, he has recalled that the PSOE, being in opposition, agreed with the PP on different initiatives. "In 45 years of democracy, the PSOE has never breached its constitutional obligations to renew constitutional institutions", recalled the head of the Executive, thus urging Feijóo to unblock the renewal of the Judiciary, blocked by the PP since 2018.
Sánchez to Feijóo: "Is it insolvency or is it bad faith?"
Next, Sánchez has gone on the attack, assuring that "most of the proposals" by Feijóo "lack technical rigor". “You present yourself as a great manager because you have been at the head of the Xunta for thirteen years. But the months have passed and the things he says do not support that image of a good manager that you claim to have for the last thirteen years, ”he told the PP leader. The head of the Executive then dedicated his speech to "give some examples".
“In March you said that the Spanish government was making a fortune. The bulk of the proceeds goes to the autonomous communities, something you should know. Is that accusation insolvency or is it bad faith? ”, Sánchez asked himself, in a formula that he has repeated, immediately after, a dozen times. “In April he proposed to create a deduction in the IRPF for energy efficiency, a deduction already created since October. Is it insolvency or bad faith? Also in April he said that in rural Galicia taxes are not paid, a lack of respect. It is clear that his knowledge of taxes is fair”, he ironized.
“If you want to lower taxes, you have to tell us what public services you want to cut, as you did when you were in Galicia. It is a big lie that the PP lowers taxes when it governs. It is not that they do not lower them, it is that they are raised to the middle classes”, Sánchez told Feijóo, to continue: “In August he returned to the charge and said that Spain was looking into recession. It is a scenario that FUNCAS rules out. Is it insolvency or is it bad faith? I think there is a bit of both. His accusation that this Government is putting a pufo to the Spaniards, is it insolvency or bad faith? ”, He has insisted.