The First Vice President of the Government and Minister of Economic Affairs, Nadia Calvinowarned this Monday that the war in Ukraine “totally changes the economic scenario” in Spain and we must “prepare to more persistent inflation. and more “important” than previously thought. He has also ensured that it can be a “slowdown” in the pace of economic growth but he stressed that Spain continues to grow and create jobs. The Government meets this Monday with the social agents to address these effects of inflation and drive a “rent agreement”.
“Hard times are coming”Calviño has admitted in an interview in La Hora de la 1, where he has stressed that “we have to get used to the idea of what is coming”, referring above all to the inflation. And it is that the minister has been asked about the negative economic data of this Monday. Among them, the stock market drop in the morning by more than 5% or the new maximum price of electricity in 442 euros per megawatt hourall influenced by the war in Ukraine.
Calviño has recognized that the increase in energy prices is seeing its reflection in the Spanish economy: “We see the clear trend. We have to prepare for more persistent inflation than we had thought.”
The Government announced a plan of measures to deal with the economic impact of the war in Ukraine. One of them is a “rent agreement”. “We have to see with the social agents how to ensure that the evolution of salaries, but also of business income and dividends is adequate and this negative impact is not triggered”, he explained. “What we have is work with the social agents so that this does not have an inflationary spiral“.
According to the inflationhas asserted that “It will be temporary”, but he has clarified that “the question is how long it lasts”. Therefore, among the short-term measures, the Executive considers “how meet that price of energy” to stop “immediately” that factor that conditions inflation. “We are also taking measures to depend less on Russian energy”he added, including “accelerating” the deployment of renewable energies.
“Algeria has reiterated its guarantee of energy supply”
He has ensured that Spain “is in a position of advantage” compared to other European countries. “We have a third of the European regasification capacity reserves and a significant weight of renewables, we do not depend on russia”.
On energy, he assured that the Government maintains “constant conversations” with the Algerian Executive. Moncloa sources have confirmed that the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, spoke this Sunday with his Algerian counterpart. “The Government of Algeria has reiterated its guarantee of supply and from that point of view we are calm”, Calviño has said about it.
The minister explained that in the Spanish case gas prices are almost automatically transferred to the electricity bill (despite generating barely 10% of all the electricity consumed in Spain) and also the CPI.
For this reason, the Government advocates amend European regulations to “cap the prices” of energy and that “they do not depend on what Putin does”. It is also committed to separating the price of electricity and gas. “We want to update these elements so that we can unhook as soon as possible,” he added. Thus, he has said that he hopes that in the “coming weeks” there will be a “growing number” of European leaders who are committed to these measures.
Calviño has reiterated that, in order to deal with the price of energy, The Executive is already applying a “battery of very powerful measures”. In the Government’s plan, he has recalled, it is the tax reduction and “an exemption of 80% of the charges for the electro-intensive industry”as well as the promotion of renewables “to have the cheapest and cleanest energy and become an energy ‘hub'”.
The minister lamented that the Spanish economy “was already reaching that cruising speed” and had “a strong recovery” and with “very positive” economic prospects. But the war will have an iimpact on different economic activities. “The impact of this war can be a slowdownbut there is no doubt that We are on a path of economic recovery and job creation”has assured.
Still, he noted that “Spain does not depend on Russian gas and depends less on the Russian and Ukrainian economy”. And he has insisted that it is “one of the least exposed countries” economically in this crisis. He has acknowledged, however, that Ukraine is an “important supplier in the agri-food sector”but he has said that the Minister of Agriculture, Luis Planas, confirmed to his colleagues in the Executive that “there is no problem of guarantee of supply and supply”. Still, he does admit that prices may be affected.
Belarra’s criticism of the PSOE is “more party” than government
On the other hand, Calviño has responded to the criticism of the PSOE for its position on the war in Ukraine made by the Minister of Social Rights and General Secretary of Podemos, Ione Belarra, and has insisted on the unity of the Executive. Belarra came to call the PSOE “war party”.
“I don’t know if those statements are more partybecause as a government we are totally unitedwe have it very clear”, said the also Minister of Economic Affairs about Belarra’s words yesterday, who referred to the socialist formation as one of “the parties of the war” for defending the shipment of weapons.
The Minister of Economy has stressed that he is the president, Pedro Sánchez, who “has marked the orientation” and has considered that this position is “the correct one, without any doubt”.
“Spanish citizens know that diplomatic channels are not closedwe will invest everything possible in a diplomatic solution so that this war ends as soon as possible, also with the sanctions (against Moscow)”, he specified. And it is that in United We Can criticize that the diplomatic route has not been sufficiently explored in this conflict .
In addition, he stressed that “at this time the right side of history is to be with the people of Ukrainewho has been attacked”.
In terms of national politics, he has highlighted “the most constructive spirit” of the one who is expected to be named the new president of the PP, Alberto Nunez Feijoo, and has urged him to move away “from the extreme right-wing drift that his party has shown recently”. “What is needed now is the center, balance, moderation and collaboration between the main parties because we are facing a war, there is a need to row in the same direction,” Calviño stressed.