From pardons to pensions and then to steaks. The government has gotten into a twisted circuit in the beginning of the summer that, while it gives a lot of show, is unlikely to be profitable. With so many curves taken at high speed, the same thing ends up hitting one of those who require hospitalization. It seems that he wants to live up to the political cycle that began with the victory of the PP in the Madrid elections. It’s time to make it easy for the opposition to make the second half of the legislature more exciting. For now, total success in the fight for audiences.
The virulent reaction of the PSOE to an initiative on the consumption of meat promoted by the Ministry of Consumption led by Alberto Garzón reveals high doses of nervousness over an issue in which the Socialists have decided that they do not have much to gain. It is not that there are strong substantive discrepancies with United We Can in this matter, as there are, for example, with the minimum wage or rents, but that there are no advantages in raising an issue now that a sharp and immediate decision is not sought. Parliament already approved the Law on Climate Change and Ecological Transition in May and the issue should not be removed. That is, it is not good to assume more wear for nothing.
Garzón had other ideas about it and thought he was walking on solid ground. Nothing he said contradicts the recommendations of science and medicine on the consumption of meat and its effect on health and climate change. “This video is not meant to scold anyone”he said in his speech. It is also true that he warned against the “excessive consumption of meat”, which is what any doctor will tell you, not to mention a nutrition expert.
Everything changed when Pedro Sánchez decided to open the ban to shake Garzón. “Where they put me a steak to the point … it is unbeatable,” he limited himself to saying Thursday in a show of disdain for a member of his Government who has never been seen in public. He did not want to put the issue in the proper context or refer to climate change or the 2050 Agenda which says exactly that and of which he is so proud. He stopped being the president to become Pedro, the pissed off who wants to eat Garzón alive, in this case, very, very done.
The Socialists had the open track, starting with the ministers –Luis Planas and Reyes Maroto– who have already had it with the Minister of Consumption. “I think we’re a little tired of being told what not to do,” Maroto complained with the tone of someone whose patience has run out. Minister María Jesús Montero dedicated a tribute to the agricultural and livestock industry at a press conference on Friday with such passion that it seemed she owed her life.
There were also the regional presidents who have never been comfortable with the national pact with United We Can and who also lead communities with an important presence of the agricultural sector. Javier Lambán described as “erratic and perverse nonsense” Garzón’s words and he did not stop there. “For thousands of years man has been eating meat products,” he said. Of course, the cavemen spent more calories in their daily activity than a president of Aragon. And also if you go to the UN to talk about food and climate change and tell that about the thousands of years of meat consumption, you will see how they face you.
Emiliano García-Page was another president who wanted to be contemptuous of Garzón – “in Madrid they say many ‘stupid'” – ignoring that the recommendations of his own government for climate change also refer to the problem in the same terms.
Like all topics of daily life that reach politics, controversy is a bottomless well from which water always flows for the media and the origin of comic statements by politicians, who compete on social networks to see who it is. loose more fat. Juan Ignacio Zoido, former Minister of the Interior, won the grand prize for involuntary humor with a message in favor of the Mediterranean diet and healthy food that included a photo of a breaded steak accompanied by an army of fries. You could almost hear Zoido’s arteries screaming for help.
Who did not speak on Twitter was Teresa Ribera, vice president and minister of Ecological Transition, who chose to remain silent. In 2018 it was clear to him: “Among the most inefficient things energetically and climatic is the production of grain for animal feed. “A year earlier, he gave advice similar to those offered by Garzón: “Substituting Legumes for Meat we can go very far !! “. He also recommended reading from an article that carried an unmistakable message: “The carbon footprint makes world consumption of meat products unsustainable at the current rate.”
Obviously, Ribera is very interested in those topics, but on Friday she decided that it was much more politically sustainable to tweet about the increase in temperatures expected for this weekend.
A possible question with good or bad intention would be to think if this socialist reaction against Garzón had occurred with Pablo Iglesias in the Government. Surely, the then vice president would have responded in public to defend the leader of IU, with what the meat skirmish could have turned into the war of the ribeye. A few days ago, Yolanda Díaz decided not to delve into the wound when José Luis Escrivá got into a hole with personal opinions about pensions and solidarity between generations. To the disappointment of journalists, the vice president stayed out of the controversy at a joint press conference. There was no fratricidal show. Now the Socialists have not had the same consideration with Garzón.
The Government – at least, the socialist part with Sánchez at the head – seems to think that it is not the time to open new fronts that fill headlines loaded with gunpowder and that it is better to cool down the controversies so that the idea, defended by the PP, does not stall insistently, that from the power there is a special effort to prohibit even the most common customs. On the other hand, there is no doubt that it was the president’s comments that placed Garzón on the grill with the fire to the maximum.
A press conference on Friday by the Health Minister and the European Health Commissioner ended up confirming that the Government cannot boast of a position consistent with what is said in the EU either. Carolina Darias tried to stop Stella Kyriakides from answering a question about meat consumption. The trick did not work. Kyriakides intervened to recall that the European plan to fight cancer highlights the importance of “a balanced and healthy diet”, which forces us to eat less meat and more vegetables, and hence is in favor of “end progressively” to campaigns that promote the consumption of red and processed meat.
If there is a meat war, the carnivorous side of the Government will not have the support of the European Commission. But in exchange for some good steaks you can recruit Zoido into your ranks.