The Second Vice-President and Minister of Employment and Social Economy, Yolanda Díaz. | JUAN CARLOS HIDALGO

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The Second Vice-President and Minister of Employment and Social Economy, Yolanda Díaz, has advocated reaching an agreement with large retailers and consumers to cap the prices of basic foodstuffs.

In an interview with eldiario.es, the Minister of Employment has advocated reaching an agreement with large-scale distribution and consumers to cap the prices of a basket of basic products such as bread, milk, eggs and fruit.

“There is nothing that puts more stress on people’s lives than not being able to buy their basic food items, and this is happening in our country”, said the Vice-President of the Government, who blames “business margins” for part of the price rises.

She said that “someone” is getting rich along the way and is cashing in on the war.

“The state of limited competition in our country are not only in the banking or energy sectors, we have five large food distributors that account for 50%”, said the second vice-president, who added that the government has not yet met with these large distributors, but has assured that it will do so.

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Facing the threat of prolonged price rises, Díaz pointed out that “wages are victims of inflation, they are not the cause of it”.

The Second Vice-President reiterated that the unions “are right” in terms of their wage demands and are defending the general interest.

“When Spanish employers are right, I have given it to them. And when the unions have good ideas, I also give it to them”, she said.

Spanish employers have to be up to the task: they have to revalue wages. Only 450 collective agreements were registered in July, which indicates that the negotiation of these agreements is being blocked, and this is bad for our country.”

The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, has ruled out imposing a tax on the distribution sector, but asked for responsibility so that the rise in prices is “as limited as possible”, while he considered that setting a minimum price on essential goods and food products is not legally possible, nor is it “desirable”.