New political friction between the two main economic vice presidents of the Government. The first vice president and Minister of Economy, Nadia Calviño, announced this Friday that it is time to “review” the extraordinary banking tax “taking into account that circumstances have changed” and we are no longer facing the same rate scenario. of interest. At the end of last year, the Government approved two taxes to tax the extraordinary profits of banking and energy companies due to the rise in interest rates and energy prices, which have been providing huge benefits to these sectors. The Ministry of Ecological Transition has already announced that it is studying reformulating the extraordinary tax on energy companies to take into account green investments in the design of the tax. And Calviño now opens the door to also review the banking rate.
“It seems to me that it is time to review and see if we have to adjust some parameters in the new scenario in which we are, in which there is no longer such a rapid rise in interest rates and such a rapid rise in the prices of energy. We have to see if we have to make any adjustments to these two taxes or not,” Calviño pointed out in statements to Antena 3. A few minutes later, the second vice president and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, recalled that both taxes have to be maintained to enforce the Government agreement between the PSOE and Sumar. “I would tell Mrs. Nadia Calviño pacta sunt servanda (what has been agreed is obligatory) and that we have just closed an agreement with the PSOE, which gave the presidency of the Government to Mr. Sánchez, in which, clearly, precisely in times of unprecedented inflation crisis, those who have the most, “They have to contribute more,” he added in statements to the media from Bilbao, where he met with workers’ groups.
Calviño has insisted that the Government “did very well in imposing those taxes at that time, which have also met the collection planned by the Treasury and served as an example for other European countries. “I think it was a good decision. Just as now it seems to me that it is time to review and see if it is necessary to adjust (…) We have always said it, that we were going to analyze these two taxes to see if they should be maintained for the future and with what parameters, so that they continue to have the same positive impact from the point of view of collection and from the economic point of view,” Calviño specified.
Both vice presidents have had several confrontations with more or less silence during the last legislature. At the beginning of the new mandate they have clashed again over the unemployment benefit reform. Calviño defends a design that increases incentives for the unemployed to look for work through a mechanism to combine new employment and public assistance for a time. Díaz, for his part, wants to increase subsidies to better protect the unemployed and proposes formulas to not stigmatize this group. During this debate between the two souls of the coalition Executive, the leader of Sumar recalled a few days ago that the Employment powers are hers, in a clear message to the person in charge of Economy so that she does not interfere in her field.
The first vice president made it clear this Friday that the unemployment benefit reform “is not a question” of the Ministries of Economy or Labor, but rather “very directly affects Social Security and the Treasury.” And he added: “Therefore, we have to coordinate the different points of view so that it is the best possible reform and to me that seems normal,” he told Antena 3. Calviño has stressed that this subsidy reform culminates the labor reforms put in place. underway in the previous legislature and trusts that an agreement on it can be reached as soon as possible. “We are still working on that and I hope that we reach an agreement and that it can be adopted as soon as possible,” she said in this regard.
The pause is “good news”
The first vice president has considered it “good news” that the European Central Bank (ECB) has stopped the rise in interest rates, and has denied that the “rapid and intense” increase that was experienced has slowed down the Spanish economy in an instant. worrying way.
“What we see is a significant slowdown in the European economy and a very rapid drop in inflation. Spain is already at 3.2%, this year’s average will be 3.6% (…) We are seeing a fairly moderate impact, except for those families and companies that have loans with variable interest rates . And that is why we have been working since 2021 with the banks, to be able to provide relief measures to families who have mortgages with interest rates,” he explained.
The vice president has indicated that these relief measures will be maintained and has indicated that next week she will have another meeting with the banking entities to continue advancing on this and other measures related to care for the elderly.
“We are looking at banks to expand the code of good practices for mortgagors to extend to next year the possibility of changing mortgages from variable rate to fixed rate, free of charge, and also the early repayment of loans. This has been a relief measure that is having a great reception and that is very important and as the rate increase will still be noticeable in mortgages next year, we are going to extend this possibility of changing the form to next year. free,” he explained.
Calviño has also pointed out that he will also speak with entities about the extension of ATMs and other cash access systems to all towns in Spain. “We are already above 90%, more than 250 towns have received or already have an ATM or other instrument and I am going to discuss all this with the banks next week and with banking users,” he stated.
Deposits are already being remunerated
Regarding the remuneration of deposits by financial entities, Calviño has indicated that “it is improving and little by little the banks are beginning to remunerate.”
“We also notice it because the participation of retail clients in the purchase of Treasury bills is relatively decreasing, but we have closed the year with an extraordinary public debt campaign. A lower interest rate is being paid on Spanish debt than on German debt in the short term. We have closed a debt campaign in which we have been able to issue 5,000 million euros less, in total 65,000 million euros in net terms,” he highlighted.
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