General strike announced in Spain against rising prices

This is one of the consequences of the war in Ukraine: inflation and, above all, the rise in fuel prices. In Spain, dissatisfaction with the issue is growing. With a call for a demonstration and a general strike, a call from the main unions in the country for this Wednesday, March 23rd.

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Almost all unions in Spain are calling for a stoppage on Wednesday March 23, especially the big headquarters (General Workers’ Union, CCOO Workers’ Commissions). A large demonstration has been announced in the streets of Madrid. The central theme of the protest is the rise in prices, especially for everyday consumer goods. In Spain, inflation is approaching 8% in a year and continues to rise. The 10% could be reached in the coming weeks. This is a record for 35 years. Energy prices increase: +70%. Electricity or gas bills and fuel prices at the pump are the hardest hit. To a lesser extent, food is also affected: flour, milk, mineral water. Almost 5% increase. Sunflower oil, widely available in Spain, is running out in some supermarkets. And there is also the explanation: 70% of the sunflower oil consumed in Spain comes from the Ukraine! All deliveries are on hold.

Farmers and truck drivers are particularly upset. Farmers have already demonstrated in Madrid on Sunday March 20th. They were 150,000 in the streets to call an organization called the Rural Alliance. The requirements were diverse. It was also about protesting against land degradation or restrictions on the breeding of hunting dogs. But the main topic was already rising prices, fuels and also fertilizers. Road hauliers initiated a strike movement on Monday March 14th. At first it was just a few hundred, but the mobilization has spread and is now affecting thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of truckers. Here, too, the fuel price is at the center of the dispute. And this movement has chain effects on the supply of supermarkets and large areas that are no longer supplied. Therefore, there are empty stands here and there in the fruit and vegetable or fresh produce departments.

For Pedro Sánchez’s socialist government, the situation is beginning to become embarrassing; it is obviously singled out, especially since the price increase began in Ukraine before the war. The conflict has only accelerated the phenomenon. The opposition, especially the extreme right, is trying to take advantage of the situation: they too marched into the streets on Saturday, March 19. The Sanchez government is due to present an aid plan on March 29. It could be inspired by the decision taken in France to offer a discount of 15 centimes per liter of fuel from April 1st. Above all, however, the Spanish government wants to convince its European partners of the need to decouple electricity prices from those for gas. To curb these rising energy costs. This will be one of the topics of the European summit scheduled for Thursday 24th and Friday 25th in Brussels.

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