The idea was continuity. Extend what is established. But the socio-economic context has changed: the crisis, the prices and the war in Ukraine are not letting up. The context of the Government and the PSOE has also changed after the setback suffered in the elections in Andalusia. All this forces the Government to retract. What was not possible or was not contemplated, is now viable. The response to the blow suffered in the Andalusian polls is woven in the form of a new anti-crisis plan that, among other measures, will include a reduction in VAT on electricity from 10% to 5%. It was the ace up his sleeve that Pedro Sánchez kept to offer it in his first appearance after the setback at the polls.

La Moncloa has decided to respond to the defeat in Andalusia with the implementation of new measures aimed at combating the social, economic and energy crisis. “The Government governs” is the maxim in the presidential complex, where they try to remain oblivious. Measures now possible that were not before or, at least, they were said not to be.

The reduction of VAT to 5% is undertaken after only two weeks ago the third vice president, Teresa Ribera, considered the initiative in the Senate as a “cosmetic measure” that would be “insufficient” in the medium and long term. Or that the first vice president, Nadia Calviño, stated in Congress that there was no room to lower the rate.

“Last year we capped the price of gas, we extended bonuses for the most vulnerable families, we lowered VAT and electricity taxes, which are already among the lowest in Europe and we have no room to reduce them,” was the position that Calviño defended questions from the opposition in a government control session.

The truth is that the Andalusian elections, despite the fact that the contrary is publicly defended, represented a click in the Government. If the crisis horizon almost forced, especially when the gas cap put in place by the Government has not had the expected effect in these first days, the electoral blow confirmed, according to government sources, the need to make an ambitious anti-crisis royal decree, that it not be a mere extension of what was already there but should include ambitious, striking and effective measures.

Hence the announcement of the reduction of VAT on electricity to 5% or the fact that the socialist sector of the Government is already contemplating a reduction on the transport bonus. It would not be as United We can propose a universal reduction to 10 euros, but it would establish a reduction that supposes half the price. It remains to be seen if the 300-euro check for low incomes will materialize in some way, a measure that Ione Belarra proposed in its day and rejected by the PSOE and that would now enter the study table.

This Tuesday there were meetings and negotiations in La Moncloa, as far as they went, for example, Nacho Álvarez, Secretary of State for Social Rights, number 2 of Ione Belarra in the Ministry and the man of the economy in Podemos, or Josep Vendrell, head of Yolanda Díaz’s cabinet, and Joaquín Pérez Rey, secretary of State for employment and number two of Díaz in the Ministry of Labor.

The contacts are permanent and the negotiations take place on various sides. This Wednesday, in Congress, taking advantage of the government control session, the Minister of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, held a brief fifteen-hour meeting with the Podemos ministers Ione Belarra and Irene Montero. “We continue negotiating”, summarize all the government sources consulted. “We are going to reach an agreement,” they add.

“We are negotiating within the coalition. We are two different spaces, with different views. We are proposing measures that have to do with offsetting inflation. Although we have little time, I am sure that we will reach an agreement, ”Vice President Yolanda Díaz already anticipated this Tuesday after the Council of Ministers. Little time because although the Government had until the 30th to approve the new plan, it has been decided to hold an extraordinary Council of Ministers on Saturday to promote it.

Another decision that the Government has taken is to “tax or avoid the extraordinary benefits of electricity companies.” From United We Can ask that the plan that is approved on Saturday collect a rise of 10 points in the Corporation Tax. The socialist sector refuses to do so. Work is being accelerated to “find the legal, fiscal or financial instrument to achieve that objective,” Nadia Calviño said on Wednesday, but it will not be in the plan that is now under negotiation.

The purpose of the Government is to articulate a mechanism, endowed with legal certainty that avoids complaints before the courts, that avoids the great current benefits that the energy and oil companies present.

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