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Vox goes on the hunt for the rural vote to win the ‘third seat’ on 23-J

Date: February 26, 2024 Time: 21:03:29

Vox has asked in all those autonomies, where they have a majority with the PP and will share government after 28-M, the management of all those powers related to the countryside (PAC, hunting, fishing, rural development, etc.). In Extremadura they will be in charge of a newly minted ministry called ‘Forest Management and the Rural World’; while in Valencia, autonomy in which they will hold various portfolios, they will head the Ministry of Agriculture and, in the Consell de Mallorca, they will have the second vice-presidency with powers in Rural Affairs. In this way, a replica of the model tested in the Junta de Castilla y León. In addition, in small constituencies, thanks to the D`Hont Law, the “remains” of votes can be decisive to win the last seat (the third seat). There the party of Santiago Abascal can scratch a decisive deputy.

“They are portfolios that have a lot of relative autonomy, they are distinguishable and small. They don’t make much noise either, because the powers are transferred to the European Union and there is a certain territorial articulation from the Ministry of Agriculture,” the Department professor o of Social Sciences of the Carlos III University, Javier Lorenzo Rodríguez. This expert compares it with the departments of sports and celebrations in the town halls – “the most showy” – and recalls that “in coalition governments, it has been shown that the minority party has a difficult time differentiating itself from the government party.” What he, in his opinion, “usually takes its toll on him in the following elections.” Even, he adds, this type of portfolio allows “pseudo option from within”.

Asked at what point this competition is between the three big parties (PSOE, PP and Vox), Rodríguez (Carlos III University) is cautious and points out “that my feeling is that it is mobilizing more Vox”, although he acknowledges the difficulty for “unravel” this electorate. “In any case, it is not a vote won. It is borrowed,” qualifies this professor who mentions “the communicating vessels” between PP and Vox. For this expert, Vox “still needs one or two electoral cycles to configure a certain electoral base.”

“In the coalition executives it has been shown that the minority party has a difficult time differentiating from the government party”, Javier Lorenzo Rodríguez (Univ. Carlos III)

Marcos Garcés, who is a pig farmer and cereal producer in Bañon (Teruel) associated with COAG (he was national head of its youth branch between 2016 and 2021), expresses himself in a similar vein, who agree that “whoever earns the most percentage of others is Vox” and believes that this attention to the rural can be useful when it comes to winning the ‘last’ seat in a small constituency, with an important rural vote.

And what is Vox’s ‘competition’ doing?

All of the above has not gone unnoticed by the PP, PSOE and Sumar, who are also playing their cards in this ‘battle’ for the rural vote. The Socialists, with the Ministry of Agriculture of Luis Planas at the helm, have accumulated several royal decree-laws, approved during this legislature of direct aid and other measures such as the reinforcement of public subsidies for agricultural insurance and ICO-SAECA financing lines . The latest data from May 11, with direct subsidies amounting to 712.7 million euros for farmers and ranchers affected by the drought (355 million for livestock and 357.7 million, co-financed by the EU, for agriculture).

For her part, the popular Milagros Marcos, spokesperson for the Agriculture Commission of the Congress of Deputies in this legislature and head of the list for Palencia, claims that “the PP is the country party” and argues that it is “the only one that has presented a serious program or decalogue” with proposals such as the elaboration of strategic plans for the main sectors, the revision of the agricultural insurance system and the CAP Strategic Plan. “Rallying is not the same as governing,” warns the popular who considers that “noise does not solve problems, but rigor” and concludes that “Sánchez’s problem is that he has abandoned the field.”

And add? The coalition for which the Second Vice President and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, is presenting, presented a program with different winks for the agricultural sector such as the proposal for a friendlier taxation for healthy food, paving the way for future tax reductions, the promotion of Limitations for the purchase of agricultural land by non-EU investors that already contemplate European legislation and the creation of a Food Chain Ombudsman (a kind of Ombudsman).

“The Spanish countryside is something indecipherable. It is deeply heterogeneous in economic structure, social regulation and territorial reference”, Fernando Moraleda (LLYC)

The director of LLYC’s Next GenAgro, Fernando Moraleda, argues that the reason why farming is one of the priorities of the different parties, left and right, resides in “the environmental dimension in relation to agricultural activity.” What he attributes to several factors: European environmental regulation (the ‘Green Deal’), the war in Ukraine (destabilization of the cereal and fertilizer markets) and the pandemic. “That is where the agri-food sector appears as a food and strategic guarantee,” points out Moraleda, who acknowledges that there is “resistance” to structural changes such as those mentioned. In this sense, he believes that “we are facing a question of rhythms, not of foundations” and regrets that these “adaptive difficulties of the agri-food sector” are used as a political weapon. “The Spanish countryside is something indecipherable. It is deeply heterogeneous in economic structure, social regulation and territorial reference,” he concludes.

Asaja and COAG, skeptical

The main agrarian organizations (Asaja, COAG and UPA) share a certain skepticism towards all the ritual of these days. Juan José Álvarez, general director of Asaja, speaks directly about the “process of promises” and acknowledges that “sometimes we feel used. Then they do nothing.” In this sense, without mentioning any political party, he asks that “the countryside not be a bargaining chip.” From COAG, Marcos Garcés, points out: “From my experience, I believe that agriculture matters little in Spain: more than 7,000 million euros come annually from the CAP and nobody says anything.” In his triple capacity as farmer, rancher and sociologist, he also uses the term “anger” to define the state of mind of many of his colleagues. “People are burned out and feel attacked when they come from the city to tell you how things are done,” says Garcés, who calls the reform of the CAP in Spain “horrible”.

“I think that agriculture matters little: more than 7,000 million euros a year come from the CAP and nobody says anything”, Marcos Garcés (farmer)

UPA: “You don’t play with things to eat”

From UPA they demand “from the political forces the utmost respect towards agrarian policies, because you don’t play with things to eat.” Sources from this agrarian organization regret recent controversies such as those that occurred around bovine tuberculosis in Salamanca and the strawberry in Huelva. “All the attention of the parties will be welcome but, be careful, responsibility in the face of cases like those mentioned,” they conclude. UPA has put on the table proposals such as the approval of a Law on Family Farming “that protects the people who live in the villages from the point of view of progress.”

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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