The friendship between Sánchez and Ribera jumps through the air with the energy crisis

The summer of 2021 has been one of the most famous friendships of the Government, the one who maintained the President with the minister for Ecological Transition. According to sources close to the Executive, the energy crisis has fractured the camaraderie of Pedro Sanchez and Teresa Ribera at the same speed that it eroded the image of the Executive itself.

The tension started in the month of May and has materialized in September, with the media anger between the two that advanced Vozpópuli prior to the royal decree-law. “The screams were heard from miles away,” exaggerates a witness of the breakdown of this friendship. “Ribera has gone in a few months from being ‘Pedro Sánchez’s protégé’ to ‘Moncloa’s designated’ due to the electricity crisis”, He points out.

A scenario that neither Ecological Transition nor Moncloa have preferred not to value. Moncloa knowledgeable sources recall that Teresa Ribera and her husband, Mariano Bacigalupo, have attended “several dinners” with Pedro Sánchez and Begoña Gómez since 2018. “It was Bacigalupo himself who introduced them,” they highlight. The president opted for her to lead the Ecological Transition portfolio for being considered “one of the eminences of environmentalism in the country.”

His commitment to environmentalism has led him in these three years to strong clashes with the decisions of ministries such as Finance or Industry and with regional governments, for her role as minister for the Demographic Challenge. Although being the visible head of the ‘green path’, one of the non-negotiable points of the Sánchez Government, and the personal support of the president have given him confidence in these confrontations.

First signs

To understand this erosion you have to go back to the end of April. Spain faced “the summer of the exit of the pandemic” with the advance of vaccination. The alarms begin to turn on with the first data from the increase in the price of electricity. Although with little force. “Activity is recovering,” was assured at the time. A scaremongering that increased with a strong rebound in gas and fuel on the eve of summer. “There is greater mobility due to the decline in the pandemic,” explained market analysts.

The rise in the electricity bill begins to occupy a large media space at the end of May. A concern that was fueled by the imminent entry into force of the new regulated tariff schedules. The expensive light and the joke among the population that ‘you had to get up at six’ to put the washing machine pushed Teresa Ribera to intervene.

Ribera made a move

The first decision to control the electricity tariff was to cut the so-called ‘benefits fallen from the sky’, the retribution that nuclear and hydroelectric plants take for a CO2 emission that they do not carry out. A close chop of € 1 billion a Iberdrola, Endesa, Acciona, Naturgy and EDP. This group of companies, ‘the electricity companies’, which to date were delighted with Ribera. The minister’s decision in January 2021 with the so-called National Fund for the Sustainability of the Electricity System (FNSSE), which transfers the cost of renewables to the pockets of companies such as Repsol or Cepsa, made him an ally within the Government.

The cut to ‘profits from the sky’, which it hoped to cut consumers ‘bill by about 5%, would not have an immediate effect on consumers’ bill. The Ministry for the Ecological Transition refused to process it through a royal decree-law and opted for a draft law to be able to debate it both with the electricity companies and with the rest of the parties in Congress. “It was a key mistake of this crisis that we are experiencing”, Detail the same sources. “That decision caused Ribera to have against him the oil companies for the FNSSE, the electricity companies for the ax blow and Moncloa because it was not possible to lower the electricity bill”, They point out.

The error was reflected in the fact that, before the end of June, the Government had to immediately approve an immediate tax cut in the face of uncontrolled electricity prices. “Another movement that opened a gap with the Treasury and the Economy, without forgetting that the Government partners (Podemos) they demanded greater forcefulness with the companies ”, they recall.

Vacation Discussion

The tension between Sánchez and Ribera broke out in August. With the entire government on vacation, the energy crisis was on the front page of all the media and became the best weapon to throw against the Executive. Moncloa then assumed that the measures led by the Ecological Transition were insufficient. The minister had to go before the media from Menorca, where she has her summer residence. His long-awaited media appearance served to blaming Iberdrola for “emptying reservoirs”, international markets and announce a new renewable energy auction.

The first meeting of the Council of Ministers on the return of holidays put on the table how lack of control of energy prices had unleashed inflation and put growth estimates at risk. Data that torpedoed the good prospects with the return of the political course and it was decided to work on a royal decree-law that would urgently stop this bleeding.

The Minister for Energy Transition, Teresa Ribera, and the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez Europa Press

The last commission to Teresa Ribera despaired Pedro Sánchez. The president pledged in an interview on The country with the Spanish to what “At the end of 2021 they would pay the same electricity as in 2018”And scheduled an emergency interview in prime time on TVE to detail their plans. Ribera’s proposal did not achieve this objective, Sánchez went into a rage and the force against electricity companies increased in just 24 hours with this royal decree-law, which would come into force on September 14.

This last minute change he dynamited the bridges of the electricity companies with Teresa Ribera and condemned him to strong criticism from the European Commission, who was working on a package of proposals while Spain announced its controversial plan. A battle that he will have to fight without the support of Pedro Sánchez.

Source: Vozpópuli by

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