Sunday, May 28

Sánchez announces the approval of energy saving measures and asks the EU to reform the electricity market

Pedro Sánchez wants to go on vacation with his homework done and he already has plans for the month of September: he will propose to the European Commission a reform of the energy market that involves decoupling the price of gas with which electricity is produced and the establishment of a cap on the price of CO2 emissions. That will be the plan that the Spanish president will take to Brussels after having accepted the obligation to cut gas consumption, which was an initiative that Spain was against given its specificities. The president took advantage of the balance press conference to announce that next Monday the Council of Ministers will approve a package of measures for energy saving, although he has not detailed them, and a decree law to reinforce the fight against fires.

Government and PP are entangled by the fires

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Sánchez recalled that he has been defending measures in Brussels for a long time in the face of the energy crisis and that he has seen how the European Commission finally assumes them, such as the joint purchase of gas, despite the criticism that he has constantly received from the opposition in Spain. . The president has assured that the war in Ukraine has been a “powerful accelerator” of the ecological transition measures, as he has said that the pandemic meant it for the digitization process. “Putin’s threat requires going further,” he said. It was there that Sánchez formulated the two “very important proposals” that he would make to the EU: “The first is the proposal to reform the electricity market to decouple the evolution of the price of gas from the price of electricity and the second is a new intervention in the energy market to put a maximum limit on the price of CO2 emissions”.

No tie to save power

Dressed in a suit without a tie, like all the members of his team who accompanied him in Moncloa, the president made a reference at the end of his speech and requested that whenever possible, men do not use it as an energy saving measure . “I’m not wearing a tie. This means that we can all also save from an energy point of view and I have asked the ministers and ministers, and I would also like all public officials and the private sector, if they have not yet done so, that when it is not necessary, that do not wear a tie, because that way we will also be dealing with energy savings”.

In this sense, the Council of Ministers will approve on Monday “a package of urgent measures for efficiency and energy saving”. Sánchez has not wanted to detail what the proposals will be, but has assured that “they have been discussed” with the private sector and that other public administrations and parliamentary groups have been informed. “It will go in line with other countries”, the president has asserted: “What we will do is reduce our bill”. “You only have to walk through a shopping center to see that the temperature is too low”, he has given as an example.

On the complaints of Botín or Galán: “If they protest, we are going in the right direction”

“Spain has no time to lose”, he said at the end of his speech in which he insisted that, if he had to choose, the coalition “will side with the middle and working class”, even if it annoys the “powerful” . “I am not going to put myself in profile,” said the president, who has insisted on the need for the new tax for banks and energy companies. Sánchez has referred to the complaints made by those affected and has specifically quoted Ana Patricia Botín (Banco Santander) and Ignacio Galán (Iberdrola): “If they protest, we are going in the right direction.” The socialist recalled that “they are the same ones who said that with the labor reform Spain was going to fall”. “The opposite has happened”, added the president, who has arrived at the balance press conference with a record of employment.

“I have always defended that the difficulties of the majority cannot be the joys of a minority. Giving a shoulder is not a slogan, it is an obligation for the sectors and companies that are benefiting from this situation. That is my commitment to the Spanish men and women”, asserted the socialist, who has defended the Government’s management in the fight against the coronavirus and now against the effects of the war and has repeated on several occasions that the measures have not had the support of the “right and the extreme right”.

“We are going to do it despite whoever weighs it”, concluded Sánchez, who has insisted that the Government began to fight against the rise in prices as early as September and that 30,000 million euros have been mobilized since then from the State , which represent 2.3 points of GDP. He has also referred to the Iberian cap on the price of gas with which electricity is produced, which allows Spain and Portugal to have a price nearly three times lower than that of countries such as France, Germany or Italy.

Another of the announcements that it has made is the approval on Monday of a decree law to reinforce the fight against fires, which is an issue that has once again brought the Government into conflict with the PP, due to the accusation launched by the Executive for the lack of prevention in some places. Thus, he has pointed out that there is “a need to establish minimums so that there are no differences between firefighting services of some autonomous communities and others”. The veiled accusation is that in places like Castilla y León, which is being particularly affected, fire prevention plans date back to 1999, as the spokeswoman recalled on Thursday. “Our task of preventing, fighting and extinguishing fires has changed”, explained Sánchez, who has assured that the plans “cannot last five months but will have to last twelve months”. “And that will require increasing capacities, as we are doing,” she said before recalling that state troops have participated in 80% of cases, despite the fact that competence is transferred to the autonomies.

Rule out a change of government

In his response to the media, Sánchez has tiptoed past the profound remodeling that he has once again carried out in the PSOE and which marks the end of a stage with the departure of what was his number two, Adriana Lastra. What she has ruled out is that there will be a new change in the Government in September. “No”, she has answered emphatically: “I am very comfortable, very satisfied, with the work that the Council of Ministers is doing”.

He has also rejected that the elections can be delayed beyond December 2023, which was an issue that had generated doubts in the Executive, but that the legal services have already clarified. “There is no option, they have to be held at the latest in December 2023”, said the president, who is willing to exhaust the legislature, despite the fact that he is aware that the polls unanimously reflect a victory for the PP . “We are going to work to turn those polls around”, the socialist has sentenced, who has assured that he will do it “without catastrophism”, which is what he accuses the opposition of, but also without “falling into euphoria” .