The Government is evaluating the “evolution” of the consequences of the war in Ukraine to extend the anti-crisis plan beyond June 30. This has been assured by Pedro Sánchez in the press conference after the European Council: “We are open to the possibility of extending that decree beyond June 30”. The president has not gone into what measures he intends to extend, but he has defended the package that was approved last April to deal with the increase in prices and that includes the 20-cent discount on fuel, the reduction in taxes on the electricity or the increase in the provision of the Minimum Vital Income.
That plan meant an injection of public money that the Government then placed at 16,000 million euros. “The nature and purpose of that royal decree to put it into force every three months also responded to seeing the evolution,” he has pointed out. “The evaluation is already being done by the Ministry of Finance and there will be a response before the end of the term on June 30”, he explained in Brussels on the same day that the Bank of Spain has calculated that the oil embargo at Russia will have an impact of 1.4% of GDP in Spain.
“We are already noticing it”, admitted the president, who has assured that “no economy is safe from the impact that this cut in supplies may have in the EU”. Sánchez has emphasized, however, that the “cost” of “doing nothing” against Vladimir Putin “would be even greater.” The last time Sánchez appeared in Brussels, he announced, together with the Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa, the agreement for the “Iberian exceptionality” that will allow putting a cap on the price of gas that produces electricity. Sánchez has been convinced that “soon” the agreement will definitely see the light, although the Government has recognized that the impact on the price reduction will be less than what it had initially foreseen.
When four years have passed since the motion of censure, the socialist has vindicated the “exemplary government” that is now in power in Spain and has downplayed the discrepancies within the coalition before the NATO summit is held of Madrid after the second vice president, Yolanda Díaz, did not attend the act of the 40th anniversary of Spain’s accession to the Atlantic alliance and that Podemos pointed out that 37 million euros have been handed over “by hand” for the organization “.
“I respect the testimonial positions”, said the president in reference to the differences in the Government: “I respect them because, in addition, some come from a position regarding NATO that comes from afar, when those of us who were here were little. In 1982 I was 10 years old, and there were parties demonstrating against NATO. Many years have passed, the geopolitical context is different, and my responsibility is to guarantee the defense and security of my country. And it is based and consolidated with its membership of the EU and NATO. And this is known from Finland and Sweden, which are knocking on the door of NATO, and even Spain and Portugal”, pointed out Sánchez, who believes that it is a “right move” for Spain to form part of the alliance.
He has also denied that the discrepancies may have a cost in the relationship with the allies: “No one has raised anything with me in relation to what he questions. Just yesterday, Stoltenberg [el secretario general de la OTAN] he praised the work of the Government of Spain and I understand the debate, but it has no bearing on the holding of the summit and the degree of commitment of Spain”. Sánchez recalled that “the host is the Presidency of the Government” given the possibility that United We Can not participate in the summit.
In addition, Sánchez has spoken for the first time about the visit of Juan Carlos I to Spain and the discomfort it generated in the Government, although he has avoided entering into reproaches. “Throughout all these years that I have had to manage this situation, I have always vindicated the role of the Crown, of Felipe VI and I want to recognize the transparency effort that the Royal House is making and I want to recognize myself in it.” “At this time when citizens want exemplary, transparency, accountability from institutions, Felipe VI is responding at the level of what is required of him,” he has settled.
In relation to the conclusions on energy, the President of the Government stated: “If we are an energy island with very few interconnections, and if it has been the taxpayers who have paid for the adaptation to liquefied natural gas, I think it is up to the EU pay for those interconnections. And this is what the European Commission has proposed in the REPowerEU plan. We are talking about capacities financed by Spanish taxpayers for everyone”.