The proposal headed by the second vice president and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Diaz, to contain the prices of basic food products has once again stirred up the Government internally. The initiative, launched at the beginning of the week, is gaining ground, especially after a meeting with the Carrefour company held this Thursday and the announcement of another meeting with the distributors for next Monday. The PSOE He has not welcomed the measure and frames it in an attempt by Galician politics to set its own profile for the start of the electoral cycle.
There have been several public statements by socialist members of the government in reaction to Díaz’s intentions. One of the most forceful, as is usual in these dialectical disputes, has been the Defense Minister. Margaret Oaks criticized, in an interview with Antena 3, that “someone wants to patrimonialize that he is with the most vulnerable”.
He also highlighted the issue of competencies. “When one is in a collegiate body, well, he can have particular opinions, but there are ministers who are the competent ones, who are the ones who technically know everything and are the ones who have to make the decisions,” he said. Executive sources have slipped this week also to Public that this matter is the responsibility of the Minister of Agriculture, louis planeswhich also questioned the measure this week.
The Ministry of Economy does not share the proposal either. Cabinet sources he leads Nadia Calvino they consider that what is necessary is that “the market works and competition prevails”. The PSOE spokesman in Congress, Patxi López, also referred to the proposal as “dubious legality”.
In Moncloa, however, they try to reduce the differences and refer to the words of the minister spokesperson, Elizabeth Rodriguez, in a tone and sense very different from those mentioned above. “The government complies with the rules and all ideas, proposals and initiatives are welcome to be analyzed in the corresponding forums,” he said Thursday.
The spokeswoman pointed out that she has explained that if it is proposed a distributor agreement to contribute to social responsibility by adjusting prices is “undoubtedly a welcome measure”.
“The pocket of the Spaniards is the responsibility of the entire Government”
Sources from the socialist leadership acknowledge that Díaz wants “gain space” and that “you have to take the initiative” while continuing to build his ‘Sumar’ project. “It is legitimate, we are all thinking about elections now and she is too,” they point out from Ferraz. “We are two different political forces and it is natural that different proposals be made,” they add.
In this sense they also remember that last week he also tried to mark his position with the issue of increased military spending. His statements about employers regarding the rise in wages were also nuanced from Moncloa, who did not want to criticize the CEOE and praised his role throughout the legislature.
The high price of food and the difficulties of many families in accessing certain products such as fish or seasonal fruit It is an element that has been present in the speech of the second vice president for months, they remember from their team. In this sense, it was hoped that the socialist part of the Government, especially the Ministry of Agriculture, could respond to this situation, but there has been no specific proposal or debate.
Díaz would have transferred his bet both to the leader of the Executive, Pedro Sánchez, and to Planas himself, and would not have received any clear answer either for or against it. In Work they remember that the invasion of competences that the PSOE points to cannot take place, since It is not a law or an initiative that part of the Governmentbut the proposal is based on an agreement between the large food distributors and consumer organizations to limit the prices of some basic products.
This is why they reject any argument that has to do with the market intervention or the powers of each ministrysince the Executive would not have to take any action, but has simply put a plan on the table for business and consumer representatives to discuss.
In this sense, they insist that it is not a plan of the Department of Labor or the Second Vice Presidency, but that it is deployed on behalf of the entire Government, and that this is how they have framed it in the meeting held this Thursday by Díaz and the Minister of Consumption, Alberto Garzón, with the CEO of Carrefour, Alexandre de Palmas.
The vice president was asked about the invasion of powers that Robles pointed to, and replied that “the pocket of the Spaniards is the responsibility of the entire Government“. On Monday, Díaz and Garzón will meet with the main food distributors in Spain and they are optimistic that this dialogue will help reach an agreement between the parties involved.
“Right now there are companies that want to put their shoulders to the wheel, for image and responsibility, as happened when the banks advanced the money from the ERTE for workers in the worst months of the coronavirus pandemic,” they comment from United We Can. Díaz launched his proposal on Monday, and on Tuesday Carrefour requested a meeting with the head of Labor to explore the alternatives.