By Álvaro Peñas
Interview with VOX MEP Mazaly Aguilar in Decisión Radio. Graduate in Economics and postgraduate degree in Corporate and Institutional Communication from the Complutense University of Madrid, she also studied Law at the UNED and Civil Engineering at the Polytechnic. Her professional career has been developed in the field of banking and external relations in companies such as Trasmediterránea, where he was Head of Institutional Relations, or Airtel-Vodafone, where he was Head of the Chief Executive’s Office. Mazaly Aguilar is the third Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee. She is also a substitute member of the Committee on International Trade, the Subcommittee on Security and Defence, the Delegation for relations with the United States and the Delegation for relations with the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.
What problem does the European Union have with national sovereignty?
I think there are two types of Europe that are confronting each other there. One is the one we defend, in which national sovereignty is not touched. And the other, which aims to create a confederal Europe in which all decisions are taken by the European Commission and the Council of Europe, which are not elected by Europeans. This model aims to undermine national sovereignty and there are groups like ours that are very clear that national sovereignty is not to be touched.
You mentioned something very important, that the Commissioners and the members of the Council are not elected by Europeans.
There is a meeting called the trilogues in which the Commission, the Council and representatives of the European Parliament are present. At that meeting, a man called Timmermans, who is the one who says that “Europe will be green or it won’t be”, bangs his fist on the table and says what has to be done. The Commission says yes, the Council says yes, and those representing the European Parliament get up and leave. Timmermans is a petty dictator.
And then these same dictators tell the Prime Minister of a country, Poland, elected by the Polish people, in a bad way, what is or is not a democracy. And all political groups, except ID and ECR, do the same.
One of the things that surprised me when I came to the European Parliament was that MEPs do not vote in the interest of their country, but in the interest of their political group. That is why in this case they all went against Poland. Let us also remember what happened with the Euro warrant. Our supreme court issues a warrant for the arrest of a man who has carried out a coup d’état and who in the USA would already be wearing orange pyjamas in Guantanamo Bay. But in Europe they ignore this order and, by contrast, the Poles cannot do as they see fit in their own nation with their own courts. This is the particular European Union that we have and this has only just begun.
They are speeding up because there is an agenda to be met.
Yes, of course, Agenda 2030.
With regard to agriculture, what agricultural policy is the European Union proposing?
Very recently an initiative was voted on, with more than 400 votes in favour, called “from farm to table”. What the EU is aiming for is the “New Green Deal”, the “Europe will be green or it won’t be”. I can sum it up in two sentences: “back to the Middle Ages” and “a Museum of Agriculture”. On top of that, there are reports from the Commission itself which indicate that it will have the following effects on our agriculture: an increase in imports from third countries, such as tomatoes from Morocco which are destroying the economy of Almeria and the Canary Islands and which are entering the EU without any kind of control, an increase in the cost of the food we are going to consume, and a decrease in productivity, not to mention the fact that our farmers are barely covering their production costs.
For a business to be sustainable it has to be profitable, but in the EU this is not the case, it does not matter that it is not profitable or sustainable, only the green pact and climate change matter. By the way, the environmental lobbies have incredible power.
The idea is to wipe out agriculture and import everything from other countries?
They don’t tell you that they are going to do away with agriculture, they always talk about eco-schemes, about organic farming. There can be ecological agriculture, but because it cannot go hand in hand with traditional agriculture. And the same goes for livestock farming. But they don’t understand this, they only have one thought: environmentalism, climate change. That’s why they want to destroy little by little this agriculture that they consider harmful to their plans.
But this organic agriculture is very minority and expensive and cannot replace traditional agriculture.
Of course, that’s why we import from third countries. And that is why a lot of money is being invested in creating a green corridor in Morocco or, for example, that the amount of money that Moroccan products are not paying in customs duties amounts to 53 million euros. So much so that, in response to our complaint, a European body is investigating why these compulsory taxes have not been paid.
What about the attacks on meat consumption?
It is a frontal attack against farmers based on nonsense like the carbon dioxide problem is caused by the flatulence of cows. It is one nonsense after another that they repeat every day.
Environmentalism is becoming more and more like a religious sect.
Absolutely, but in the end the question is, who benefits? Here there are lobbies and large amounts of money that want to impose environmentalism at the expense of agriculture and livestock farming and promote products that are very expensive but are no better. And I am not prepared to allow our farmers and stockbreeders, who were our heroes in the pandemic, to be sacrificed for this fashion that is going to cost us a lot.
And how is the fight going in this respect within the European Parliament? Are groups like ID and ECR alone against the tide or are there people in other groups who are also opposed to this drift?
The problem with the EU is that it is very heterogeneous. Norway, Poland or Germany have nothing to do with the wonderful agriculture we have in Spain. Here we have everything and, logically, the rules cannot be the same for everyone. We have been the market garden of Europe and they want to cut us off little by little. How can we make a common front? With oil, for example, we are joining forces with the Italians. Portugal, Spain, France, Greece and Italy often form a common front with people from different groups, even socialist or popular ones, because it is about wine, oil, etc.
But these popular and socialist politicians then firmly believe in the green agenda, how do they overcome this contradiction?
What matters here is what you intend to do with your nation. For example, the Spanish Popular Party voted against the “farm to table” strategy, as did Ciudadanos (RENEW). However, the socialists and the left all voted for it. However, this was the first battle and we will continue to insist against this strategy because the reality is what it is.
And the farmers’ associations, do they cooperate at European level or do they wage war on their own in each country?
There is COPA-COGECA, which brings together the rest of the associations at European level. There are Spaniards in this association in positions of responsibility and I think they are doing a great job. But of course, many people say yes to everything when they meet with them and then abstain or vote against. It’s politics, it’s hard for me to get used to because I come from the business world.
Especially when there are such absurd political proposals.
In the end, it’s all about interests. The usual question: who benefits? And here there is an agenda and many lobbies and politicians repeating the mantra “Europe will be green or it won’t be”, but we still have two years ahead of us and there is still a lot to fight for.