Energy prices push Spanish inflation to 37-year high

(EurActiv, 31 Mar 2022) Spanish inflation hit a 37-year high in March over soaring energy costs following Russia’s Ukraine invasion, official data showed Wednesday (30 March), amid a wave of social unrest over spiralling prices that has spawned protests, strikes and production stoppages.

The rate jumped from 7.6% in February to 9.8% in March, its highest level since May 1985, according to a preliminary estimate from national statistics institute INE.

“It is a bad figure which affects our economy, especially more vulnerable groups,” Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told parliament.

Like the rest of Europe, Spain has been struggling since last year with soaring energy prices, with households and businesses struggling to pay electricity bills.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, food and oil prices have spiked, and Spain’s transport and farm sectors have staged noisy protests to demand help with crippling gasoline prices.

Self-employed truckers have since March 14 been on strike, and have blocked roads to protest rising fuel prices, causing sporadic shortages of perishable foodstuffs such as eggs and dairy products.

Sanchez said 73% of the price increases were due to the disruptions to the energy and agriculture markets caused by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.

“Putin’s ammunition does not reach us but the impact of the war does,” he added.

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EurActiv, 31 Mar 2022: Energy prices push Spanish inflation to 37-year high