When Sánchez and the PP defended the same as Garzón on macro-farms

The archive reveals that the Spanish president also advocated "smaller-scale livestock farming"

2 min
The Minister of Consumer Affairs, Alberto Garzón.

MadridThe controversy over the words of the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Alberto Garzón, on macro-farms is set to continue until the elections in Castilla y León. In Madrid there is no minister or party spokesperson who is not asked by journalists for their opinion on the debate. It is also present on social media, and the archive has revealed that the president of the Spanish government, Pedro Sánchez, defended in a message recorded a few days before the elections of 10 November 2019 the same theses as the minister whom he criticised on Monday. "We have to reflect on the reduction of meat consumption, bet on sustainable, smaller-scale farming of greater environmental and social value, which generates jobs in rural areas," he said.

This issue has been the latest clash between the coalition government partners. United Podemos backs what the minister said in an interview with British newspaper The Guardian, which they consider to be in tune with the Spanish government's and the European Union's roadmap. This same Wednesday the second vice president, Yolanda Diaz, has stressed in an interview on TVE that Garzón has defended what the government "in its public documents exposes to the public": the commitment to an "extensive and sustainable" model of farming.

Meanwhile, in the Socialist Party the reproaches continue. The most belligerent in recent hours has been the president of Castilla-La Mancha, Emiliano García-Page, who yesterday criticised Garzón for criticising the meat industry lobby. "It is not worth inventing lobbyist conspiracies. When you put your foot in your mouth, you have to take it out," he said. However, on Thursday, an initiative with the rank of law to apply a moratorium on the proliferation of the so-called macro-farms, promoted by the Socialists, will be debated in the autonomous Parliament of Castilla-La Mancha. It will affect new applications and will not be retroactive.

Beyond the differences between the coalition partners, the right wing is the one that wants to exploit the controversy to the maximum. The PP has promoted motions in city councils defending the sector and demanding Garzón's resignation, and criticises Sánchez for not dismissing him. The archive, however, has also turned against the formation of Pablo Casado: eldiario.es has recovered several statements by Castilla-La Mancha's PP from 2018 on Twitter in which they supported a newly created platform named Stop Megafarms. A few days ago the PP's spokeswoman for Agriculture, Milagros Marcos, assured that megafarms "do not exist".

Castilla-La Mancha PP had also made a tweet in 2018 in which it echoed a medical report that warned about the consequences that megafarms could have for public health and another about mobilisations that had occurred in the region against this type of livestock exploitation. These tweets have been deleted. The PSOE, which is showing divergent opinions in its own ranks, has wanted to point out the PP's contradictions. The party's secretary of organisation in Castilla-La Mancha, Sergio Gutiérrez, has recovered a video in which PP mayors are seen expressing themselves against megafarms.