The next March 24 and 25 are decisive in defining the economic impact of the war in Ukraine. The European Council is meeting at a key moment in which the Government of Spain, together with other countries, will demand the modification of the system for setting energy prices, now skyrocketing and leaving inflation unleashed. The majority unions, CCOO and UGT, have joined several groups to take to the streets the day before, on March 23, in mobilizations that demand this measure and other complementary ones to alleviate the negative consequences of the European conflict in the pockets of ” those below.”
Five more hidden keys that hinder the ‘rent agreement’
With the motto ‘Contain prices, protect employment’, CCOO and UGT have presented this morning together with neighborhood associations (CEAV), consumers (Facua) and the self-employed (UATAE and UPTA) the actions for next Wednesday 23. With mobilizations in the morning in the companies and in the afternoon with demonstrations in several cities, yet to be determined, the groups focus on one measure above all others: the need to control energy prices through a reform of the price system .
The convening organizations have highlighted the need to reform the energy market itself, beyond other measures to alleviate the current skyrocketing energy and fuel prices. For example, the Government has announced extensions of the tax reductions approved in the case of energy, but President Sánchez has insisted today that “the fiscal effort” will be “insufficient” to lower prices if the energy market is not reformed .
Insufficient and “cheating” has crossed out Unai Sordo, leader of the CCOO, who has warned about the calls to lower taxes in a generalized way from parties such as the PP, which has also claimed to remove funds from equality policies to face the effects of the skyrocketing cost of energy. This speech has also been rejected by the leader of the UGT, Pepe Álvarez, who has warned that the measure would reduce income to the public coffers for public services while not attacking the root of the problem, “speculation” in energy prices. As well as “the heavenly profits” of the energy companies, in the words of Unai Sordo.
Other measures to protect the most vulnerable
Pepe Álvarez has highlighted that the mobilizations “do not intend to wear anyone down”, in reference to the Government, as is the case with other marches called, such as those of Vox. Of course, the convening groups support the Government in its claim in the EU to reform the energy market, but they also demand more measures to protect “the workers, self-employed and companies” most affected by the economic turmoil that is already emerging from the war.
For example, measures have been mentioned such as promoting public transport to allow less use of private vehicles, preventing rentals from being linked to inflation, with large increases in monthly payments, as well as support for the most affected and vulnerable groups in the energy boom with targeted measures.
The general secretaries of the CCOO and UGT, Unai Sordo and Pepe Álvarez, attended the joint press conference; Ignacio Tudela, from the consumer organization FACUA; Julio Molina, from CEAV (State Confederation of Neighborhood Associations); and also representatives of the self-employed associations linked to the unions: Mª José Landaburu, general secretary of UATAE, and Eduardo Abad, president of UPTA.