Okay.” With this phrase, Antonio Garamendi, president of CEOE, summarized this Thursday his deep discomfort with the economic proposals included in the government agreement reached between PSOE and Sumar, which were described as “populist” and “anti-corporate” and wanting to “destroy” social peace.
During his speech at the XXII Congress of the Spanish Confederation of Directors (CEDE), Garamendi emphasized that the set of initiatives presented by PSOE and Sumar, which he remembers are not proposals of a government but of two parties that want to manageit absolutely hinders growth,” and they harm companies “in a very significant way.”
The CEOE president emphasized that it is not only about doing what can be done to support Spanish companies but also about “not doing bad things so that things get worse.” “We are asking the public for governance, and what we are not asking for is populism,she underlined.
In this sense, Garamendi asked the politicians to allow the companies to work “and not to put obstacles” in their activity, which produces a large part of the work in the country, as shown by the data from the Active Population Survey (EPA) that was published this Thursday. “Things are complicated enough for them to put obstacles in our way, he protested.
“This is done by people who have never seen a company in their lives and have to pay every now and then to find out what it means,” continued Garamendi, who reiterated that in CEOE they are “flatly against in a populism that what it is can be achieved so that we are at the bottom. “Sometimes in life, you have to say okay. And in this case, I think I should say okay, he added.
On the other hand, the manager emphasized that in these proposals, it seems that PSOE and Sumar want to “destroy social peace” in Spain if, precisely, something works in our country through these social agreements, and it is shown in those “very dangerous” moments.
In fact, he defended that social dialogue is “the best infrastructure a country has,” and Spain is a “European example” in this regard.
Because of this, he criticized measures such as testing that impose by law the 37.5-hour day, which is “pure interventionism and pure populism” and affects the countryside, the hospitality industry, or commerce.
The CEOE president recalled that only three months ago an agreement was signed with the unions for the next three years that now “has become invalid” and that the signed agreements “were only valid until the regulator decided to change it without criteria and to brutally lower the social dialogue.”.
In this sense, he emphasized that it is not only about reducing working hours. In fact, he pointed out that “more serious” is that the economic proposal of both parties includes the word “codetermination” of the company.
In this context, Garamendi emphasized his readiness to sit down to talk and talk “as often as needed” and criticized proposals like those made by PSOE and Sumar, like “if they invite you to a soccer game and they tell you that you will lose 4-0.”
Garamendi’s words were supported by other business leaders during the CEDE Congress, such as Gerardo Cuerva, president of Cepyme. “This is a complete persecution of companies for all people who do private activities,”, he emphasized.
Along these lines, Cuerva emphasizes that the proposals represent “interventionism in the economic system” and a brake on self-government, self-management, and the free market, at the same time that he regrets that “social dialogue is instrumentalized” and the space that unions and companies have gained “with all loyalty and honesty—anon” is “seized”.”
José Luis Bonet, president of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, at the CEDE CEDE Congress
Along these lines, Josep Sánchez Llibre, president of Fomento de Trabajo Nacional, thinks of the methods of PSOE and Sumar as a “lack of respect” for employers, workers, and social dialogue. In their view, they are “electoral announcements” and “fireworks” that probably won’t go ahead because they suspect that many parties in Congress will support them.
For his part, José Luis Bonet, president of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, defended that if Spain has made a “giant step” since the transition, it is thanks to the company, understood as entrepreneurs, managers, and workers. So, he requested that the public policies of the new government be “pro-business and compatible with the system”. “We need to encourage and help companies,” he added.