The elections of May 28 are the prelude to the general comedians who still do not have their date marked on the calendar. At this moment of maximum tension, each party advocates defending its interests, although sometimes these clash with those of its own partners. This situation is not the first time that it has happened within the coalition government and I am sure it will not be the last in these very intense months. The leader of Podemos and Minister of Social Rights, Ione Belarra, has redoubled her commitment to cap the price of the basic shopping basket, given the current upward trend in prices, and has accused the presidents of the large distribution chains of being “ruthless capitalists”. For his part, and in light of these words, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, has called to prevent food from being used as an instrument of political or economic pressure.
Belarra has participated in an act of his party in Zaragoza to support the 28M candidates in Aragon and commemorate the ninth anniversary of Podemos, and has taken the opportunity to dismiss as “indecent” that the large supermarkets “are making gold as a result of the consequences of the Ukrainian war”.
“It is indecent that Mr. Juan Roig (Mercadona) is filling his pockets by being a ruthless capitalist. It must be said clearly, they are ruthless capitalists and we have to stop their feet,” he snapped during his speech.
Now, the minister has defended that in the face of this and with the presence of Podemos in the Executive, she has shown that the “visible hand of the State” has created a social shield, for which reason they are going to insist on demanding a “great public intervention” in the food distribution sector to cap prices. Podemos recently proposed to the socialist wing of the Executive to set maximum prices for basic foods at the level they were in February of last year, before the war in Ukraine began.
“Recipes from Podemos” are the ones that lower inflation
In the event that the PSOE rejected it, the party was open to studying direct discounts on the price of food (as was done in the case of fuel), but together with the use of a tax on large distribution companies to compensate for the use of public funds and sanctions on companies that take advantage of this aid to continue raising the cost of products.
On the other hand, the minister stressed that it was Podemos who first cleared up the price of gas, something that now “everyone sticks out their chests” but that in their day they were branded as “demagogues” and that they should not get involved in this matter because it was “too technical”. Now, Belarra has presumed that Spain has the lowest inflation in the euro zone, thanks precisely to the “recipes of Podemos”.
Planas asks to avoid food as a weapon
At the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA, for its name in English), which was held in Berlin this Saturday and attended by Minister Planas and dedicated to the transformation of food systems and the response world to multiple crises, the head of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has asked to prevent food from being used as an instrument of political or economic pressure.
While Belarra advocates lowering food prices, Planas considers it necessary to strengthen the governance instruments of food systems “to mitigate destabilizing factors and guarantee that they fulfill their function, which is none other than to ensure affordable availability to all the population”.
Thus, he has ensured that in a scenario like the current one, with the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, the effects of climate change and the ravages of the war in Ukraine, “the right to healthy food and the fight against Hunger and malnutrition are more relevant than ever”.
fair housing law
Ione Belarra has also stressed that if her party were the majority force in the Executive branch “a long time ago” Spain already has a “decent” state housing law, whose processing in Congress has been frozen for months, given that one of the causes of the inequality is precisely the difficulty of accessing housing.
And it is that he has lectured that Spain has gone from being a country of owners to one of tenants who “cannot make it to the end of the month”, for which reason it is necessary to approve this regulation that uses price controls in areas with a stressed market.
Meanwhile, the spokesman for Unidas Podemos in Congress, Pablo Echenique, also participated in the event and stressed that Podemos asks to set maximum prices for the shopping cart even if the large supermarkets get “angry” and that the president of the CEOE , Antonio Garamendi, accuse them of being “populists”. “Populists… a classic”, he has ironized him.