The PSOE leaves Garzón alone and increases the tension between the Government partners

It is no longer an isolated disavowal. The PSOE has shown this Tuesday that the decision to leave Alberto Garzón completely alone and distance himself from his line against intensive livestock and macro-farms is a fundamental question and a strategy directed from La Moncloa. The Minister of Agriculture, Luis Planas, has granted this Tuesday up to four interviews to disavow Garzón and make it very clear that the PSOE does not share his words and above all that the Socialists want to appear in the controversy as the defenders of livestock, also the intensive. From the press conference of the Council of Ministers, the spokeswoman, Isabel Rodríguez, also avoided at all times supporting Garzón in the face of the six questions that were posed about the controversy. Planas has described Garzón’s statements as “unfortunate”. And Rodríguez has followed the same line. “The minister [Garzón] You may have your ideas, but we have been eloquent in defending livestock. The Government reiterates its unequivocal commitment to the livestock sector, which it specifies in laws such as that of the food chain ”.

After some conversations within the coalition, Planas softened the tone during the day, and late at night, on 13TV, he described Garzón’s statements as “very confusing” but conceded that they could be due to the interview It was done in Spanish and then translated into English. “I want to be thoughtful, there may be some misunderstanding”, concluded Planas to try to soften a controversy that started very hard in the morning, when the Minister of Agriculture was silent for several seconds in Onda Cero when they asked him if Garzón was the right person to be Minister of Consumption. “No comment,” he closed in the midst of obvious tension.

That is, if on Monday the crossing already reached Pedro Sánchez and Yolanda Díaz, who asked him to “take care” of the coalition while he “regretted” Garzón’s statements, on Tuesday the controversy has continued because the two sectors of the Executive have decided keep it up. In fact, Planas admitted in interviews that he has not spoken with Garzón all week. They only did so briefly today at the end of the Council of Ministers but without reaching any point of agreement.

Even so, several sources consulted indicate that the Council of Ministers was very calm. It is therefore a rather media dispute in which the Socialists want to get away from Garzón in the middle of the campaign in Castilla y León (a community where Unidos Podemos has very little weight) while the minister maintains his position and his group supports him.

The Socialists thus make it very clear that the minister only has the support of United We Can, a group that is outraged by the reaction of the PSOE, which they attribute to the pre-electoral environment in Castilla y León and the fear of losing the rural vote in this and other communities . The national spokesman for Podemos, Pablo Fernández, called it “worrying” and “serious” that PSOE officials, including the Minister of Agriculture, give “fuel to the hoaxes of the right and the far right” about the statements of the Minister of Consumption.

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Garzón has no intention of resigning, on the contrary, he keeps his words and also has scheduled interviews to reaffirm his criticism of intensive livestock compared to extensive, traditional, in his opinion much more ecologically sustainable and that generates more employment. And Pedro Sánchez also does not seem to have any intention of forcing Garzón’s departure, something that would imply an unpredictable crisis in the coalition.

But the president and the socialist sector of the Government have wanted to make it very clear this Tuesday, more than in the entire week that the controversy lasts, that they do not intend to support Garzón and they intend that the ranchers and in general the rural world clearly see that there is two positions, that of the Socialists and that of United We Can.

Although in reality no one has just explained where the underlying discrepancy is, because when it comes down to the field the positions are not so far apart, since the Government is promoting decrees to limit the size of intensive livestock production -Agriculture finalizes a decree with a limit of 850 heads for beef farms-, communities governed by the PSOE such as Castilla-La Mancha are going to approve this Thursday a moratorium to prevent the installation of macro farms for at least two years, and even the PP rejects them.

In fact, in the afternoon a video of October 30, 2019, when the PSOE was still ruling alone, circulated on social networks, in which Sánchez himself pointed out, before a question from a Canarian citizen about meat production, as one of the causes of climate change and deforestation, agreed with him and pointed out: “we must reflect on the reduction of meat consumption, bet on ecological livestock, on a smaller scale, and that generates employment in rural areas. Safe, better, healthier, more environmentally friendly food. That is our proposal ”.

The situation produces several paradoxes. While the popular demand the disapproval of Garzón in Congress, the City Council of Daimiel (Ciudad Real), governed by the PP, has approved this Tuesday a change in the municipal management plan to prevent the installation of a macro-farm that had been requested by the permission and that has provoked a great popular reaction against it. The PP of Castilla-La Mancha has launched several messages against the macro-farms in its official account, but it also demands the resignation of Garzón. Cuca Gamarra, PP spokesman in Congress, explained that they are against macro-farms, but in favor of intensive livestock, while the president of Castilla y León, Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, even denied that macro-farms exist in Spain. “It is a smokescreen,” he said.

That is, nobody seems to want macro farms, but everyone is against Garzón. Planas explained that the problem is that Garzón did not distinguish between macro farms and controlled intensive livestock in which Spain is a power, and that according to the socialist minister it produces high quality meat that has made this country the fourth largest exporter in the EU and the eighth in the world. Planas also ensures that large productions in Spain are much smaller than in other neighboring countries. “I do not think that in this case my colleague has attacked the livestock sector, what happens is that some errors are deduced from his words, I believe, of appreciation, of concept, which is what leads me to make this assessment, especially in relationship of what is extensive and intensive livestock, are two realities that coexist in Spain and that will coexist for many years, “said Planas.

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