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The Government assures that the transporters’ strike is barely having an impact | Economy

Agents of the National Police at the entrance to Mercamadrid this Monday, on the first day of the transporters' strike.
Agents of the National Police at the entrance to Mercamadrid this Monday, on the first day of the transporters’ strike.SERGIO PEREZ (EFE)

The Government and different associations of transporters have assured this Monday that the indefinite national strike called by the Platform for the Defense of the Transport Sector, which mainly groups small companies and self-employed truck drivers, which began at 00:00 today, is barely having incidence. The carrier strike, which is not supported by the associations of large companies, has barely been felt on the A-27 at the height of Tarragona, towards the port, where retentions of one kilometer have been recorded this morning. Also on the A-2 at the height of Torrejón de Ardoz (Madrid), where traffic had been occasionally affected by the movement of successive trucks in a row, slowing down the progress of other vehicles.

Likewise, several pickets have been registered that cut off one of the accesses to the O Ceao de Lugo industrial estate early this morning. These caused important retentions on the National VI highway as it passed through the Galician city. And it has caused partial stoppages throughout the morning at the facilities of the Port of Bilbao. However, in the large markets for the supply of fresh products such as Mercamadrid or Mercabarna, no incident has been detected, and the goods are arriving without problems, according to those responsible for these centers.

The Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Raquel Sánchez, has appealed for “calm and serenity” in the face of the freight carriers’ strike, although she has assured that for now it is not having “too much impact”. The department headed by Sánchez is carrying out an “exhaustive” monitoring, coordinated with the Ministry of the Interior. “The situation is under control”, emphasized the minister.

A version that is not shared by the spokesman for the Platform in Defense of the National and International Road Freight Transport Sector, Manuel Hernández, who has assured that the follow-up of the strike by the carriers is “being very good.” This convening organization does not have representation in the National Committee for Road Transport (CNTC), the only interlocutor that the Government recognizes as valid and with which it already negotiated an agreement in December, from which the royal decree law approved on March 1 by the Council of Ministers, by which the Executive committed to a series of measures such as the right to pass on the impact of the rises in diesel oil in the last 12 months in its rates.

The main claim of the Transport Platform, which says it does not feel represented by the CNTC, in which the large associations of the sector are integrated, is the prohibition of contracting transport services below the operating costs, being the reference the amount of the cost, and officially, the Cost Observatory published by the Ministry of Transport (with monthly update). In addition, it requests that sanctions be included from the National Commission of Markets and Competition in case of non-compliance, limit the intermediation in the Transport contract to a single contractor (establishing direct responsibility to the main shipper in case of non-payment of services to the carrier ) and a maximum payment term of 30 days, also linked to a penalty system for non-compliance.

No supply problems

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Both the Minister of Transport and the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, have indicated that there will be no food shortages in Spain, although the latter has advanced that work is being done to import some raw materials from outside the EU, for the impact of the war in Ukraine, to have a greater supply.

“It is not a situation, much less one of the most serious, we have a very high level of food supply and it is a source of pride. We have a level of food autonomy that allows me to say that there is no problem of shortages, despite the images that are coming out of hoarding products, which makes no sense”, assured Planas during his participation in an informative breakfast organized by Europe Press.

However, the minister has recognized that Spain has “elements of vulnerability” as is the case of corn, where 22% is imported from Ukraine, or the half million tons of sunflower oil that is purchased. “We are trying to respond to these purchases by facilitating imports to the EU”, he assured. In addition, he has detailed that contacts are already being made to bring raw materials from Argentina and the United States, among other markets.

For her part, the Government spokesperson and Minister of Territorial Policy, Isabel Rodríguez, has pointed out, in statements to RNE, that the tax reduction will be applied for now only to the price of energy, although the Executive is studying how they have affected everyone sectors the economic consequences of inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. “What this government does want is for the measures to be adopted at a European level,” emphasized the government spokesperson, who praised Sánchez’s role both at the European Union level and at the national level to “lead change of regulations”.

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