Within the “shock plan of light”, the President of the Government, Pedro Sanchez, has commissioned the design of a development to the energy bonus that includes the concept of “minimum vital consumption”. Unidos Podemos proposed this measure to the socialist sector of the Executive as one of the improvements of the current Minimum Income system. But the idea was rejected last March. Now, the president wants to include it in the package of urgent measures that was still being negotiated on Monday night between the coalition partners.
Sánchez understands that this plan must go within the social agenda of the Executive, with which Moncloa wants to face the second part of the legislature. Covered in European funds and in the economic rebound after the collapse of 2020, the president wants to present a measure against “energy poverty” that diverts the public debate from the “war with electricity.”
Precisely because that is the framework in which the purple sector is moving, and the one that the Socialists want to avoid.
It is the best news that our partner in the Government has accepted some of our proposals to regulate the electricity market and lower the electricity bill.
Against the electricity companies that profit at the cost of a basic right, the Government must protect the people.
– Ione Belarra (@ionebelarra) September 13, 2021
The original plan of the “vital minimum consumption”, inherited from the stage of Pablo Iglesias as the leader of United We Can, he established the “right of everyone to have basic supplies in their usual home” and turned into “multi-energetic the social bond, to be applicable to electricity and gas supplies “.
But it is also that it established a “right of access to a minimum vital consumption of drinking water that will be, at least, of 100 liters per person per day“, on behalf of the City Councils. And it established that” the accumulated debts by people affected by default situations […] they will also be assumed by all companies or group of companies that participate in some segment of the electricity or gas sectors “.
The negotiation of this and the other measures of the “light shock plan”, as a spokesman for the Executive baptized it, in conversation with EL ESPAÑOL, went on until late at night, a few hours after being drafted to be approved in the Council of Ministers this Tuesday.
While it was still being discussed at the Ecological Transition headquarters, the president announced on TVE that the Government will approve “put a cap on gas prices to detract the extraordinary profits of the companies “, something that until two weeks ago was rejected as” contrary to European regulations “, but which is now explained “because energy companies can afford it”…
Sources familiar with these conversations between PSOE and United We Can explained to this newspaper that the measures they arrived “very green”, and without specifying, to the table where Ribera summoned them this Monday.
And among some of the measures, surprisingly, there were those despised by Podemos 15 days ago by the third vice president in her appearance in Congress. The two teams discussed the intervention of the nuclear energy markets and the possibility of putting a cap on the price of electricity from hydroelectric production.
The idea of entering into direct confrontation with the profit margin of large companies had been vehemently rejected on the part of the person in charge of Ecological Transition: “This Government will never promote the adoption of measures that we know in advance that are frontally contrary to community law,” snapped the third vice president.
“That is the worst thing to do”He added, because there is an “express prohibition” in Community law to set prices in wholesale markets, establish maximum or minimum prices and also the obligation to apply marginal prices. “However, his department was, last night, ready to do so. .
Concern in Moncloa
What happens is that Moncloa is more than worried, anguished, by the unstoppable and unbridled growth of the price of electricity. Sources close to the president acknowledge that, in addition to the emergency measures applied so far have not achieved the objective -lower the bill paid by consumers-, they have not been able to explain themselves to the voters either.
And that is, perhaps, even more dangerous. Because in the environment of the Government impotence is admitted in the first: neither the reduction of the VAT from 21% to 10%, nor the suspension of the tax on electricity generation of 7%, nor the requests to Brussels to change the way of calculating wholesale prices, nor the two laws that are in parliamentary proceedings… none of this has been able to do with wholesale speculation in the CO2 emissions market or with the global rise in demand for natural gas.
But the worst thing is that the incompetence in the latter is recognized, albeit implicitly. Teresa Ribera, the vice president of Ecological Transition came to argue in the parliamentary commission, two weeks ago, admitting that “An average consumer will pay 25% more on their electricity bill at the end of 2021”.
The criticism -very veiled, out of sheer corporatism- went directly to Ribera, who was standing out more for entering the rag of the United We Can proposals, despising them in public, than for making himself understood or in blame the “ten years of mismanagement of the PP”.
So it was immediately after that Moncloa began to filter that he would take the reins of the matter, “better explaining the situation” and promoting, one Sunday in which the president was interviewed in the press, a commitment: that that 25% would be wiped out with “the package of “emergency measures that were being prepared within the Government.” Some of them are approved this Tuesday, already, in the Council of Ministers.
However, now the president has dusted off that call “minimum vital consumption”, as part of the measures provided for in its “social agenda” against “energy poverty” and to achieve “a fair recovery”.
… a string of messages with concepts in quotation marks that are part of Moncloa’s new dialectic, that of Oscar Lopez, the chief of staff who arrived to lower Sánchez to the ground from the “Olympus” where his predecessor kept him, Ivan Redondo, according to newcomers (and some of those who follow).
Make the measures profitable
But this measure is not from the original harvest of the Presidency, nor of the PSOE, nor even of any of the think tanks close to socialism. It is an idea of Podemos de Iglesias, presented in March to the socialist team, and rejected outright when the Kw / h price was 60 euros.
This Monday, it already touched 153.43 euros – the historical record – and the leaders of United We Can, glued to social movements, consider that this is one of those issues that can end a government. He already said it last Sunday Ione Belarra, before the State Citizen Council of Podemos: “The coalition executive is at stake for his re-election.”
And not only that, it is that the purple ones could not withstand the pressure in the streets if they do not start measures from the PSOE right now.
The “minimum vital consumption” was as despised at the time as the VAT reduction, which was later applied; the intervention of some energy market -gas, nuclear …-, which is now being studied; or the creation of a public company, turned into the only element with which the purple partner is already despised from the PSOE band.
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