Pedro Sánchez, faced with the challenge of consolidating the social turn with the third package of anti-crisis measures

It has been a sensation in Moncloa for the last few weeks. The effects of the measures that the coalition government has taken to alleviate the economic effects of the war in Ukraine they are already working. With nothing less than an addition: citizens positively value “recognizable measures” and with direct effects. But there is still time for the elections. And the Executive does not want to lower its guard.

In this context, PSOE and Unidas Podemos (UP) are going to start negotiating the third package of anti-crisis measures. With a particularly key point to help families with food prices. The president of the Government, Pedro Sanchez, He wants to consolidate with this new decree the social turn of the last year that in his opinion, also shared by UP, has given such good results.

The economic battle posed by the PP of Alberto Núñez Feijóo They consider that for the moment it is won. The good inflation data compared to the rest of the European countries are indisputable, according to Moncloa. Same as employment data. The polls reflect the recovery of the Socialists and the decline of the PP even still in clear first position. But the trend has changed. Sánchez already has the third General State Budget (PGE). It all sounds like good news for the coalition despite some key UP laws still to be resolved.

What remains of December, three business weeks, promises to be hectic. The icing on the cake is expected for the last days of the year. Everything indicates that, as happened in the month of June, Sánchez himself may be in charge of presenting it to the media personally. He himself also took advantage of the usual huddle in Congress with journalists to point out the main key that they want to introduce as a novelty. That is, the feed prices.

How to do it is still unknown. And there will be the main core of always intense negotiations with its partners. The purple part, with Yolanda Díaz and Ione Belarra in the lead, is already pressing for the decree to be “ambitious”. A word that is also picked up in Moncloa. Everything will depend on the scale and the expectations generated by each other to see if that result matches the concept of ambition that both parties have. Here, from UP they also have other priorities beyond food: freezing rents and limiting mortgages.

“Everything is open and all possibilities will be studied,” state government sources. On the table, to alleviate the prices of the shopping cart, UP is considering formulas such as a check for families or an extraordinary tax for large distribution chains. In the socialist wing they insist that “the measures have to be studied.” But they are not closed to anything.

The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food himself, Luis Planas, was clear this week in this regard, noting that they had received the mandate from Sánchez to seek measures in this regard. The First Vice President and Minister of Economy, Nadia Calvino, He stressed this Friday that they are working “on different measures in the field of food.”

Apart from ending the year with important announcements, something symbolic, the need to take new measures is mandatory. The previous decree expires on December 31. Some measures in that package have already been announced to continue. For example, the extension of the free rail transport as it is currently in force.

Another of the star measures is the 20% discount on fuel. There are more doubts about its continuity. From the Ministry of Transport directed by Raquel Sánchez, it has slipped that it only applies to professional transport. But everything is still up in the air.

The 2% cap on the increase in rental prices over the CPI and the 15% increase for non-contributory pensions will also be in force until December 31, 2023. The reduction of VAT on electricity and gas at 5% must also be renewed.

“Protect, protect and protect.” It is one of the mottos of Sánchez’s team. From Moncloa they have promoted the discourse of “giving some kind of certainty in the face of uncertainty”. A way of saying that although it is not known with certainty what will happen in the European and economic context, “the Government will do everything necessary so that it does not affect the public”, especially the “middle and working classes”. .

What is clear is that “there will be new measures.” The only thing, in fact, today. In parallel, Congress will also be the scene of intense negotiations to unblock, if possible, some pending laws. Especially, the trans law or the animal welfare law. With the anti-crisis decree, Moncloa also hopes to set the agenda after a few days that were particularly troubled both internally due to the differences between partners and the reaction of the right to the amendments introduced in the reform of the Penal Code.

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