“Reform agenda should last beyond election cycle”

He Economic circle Holding its annual conference between tomorrow and Wednesday, the influential federation based in Barcelona since 1961 is a manifesto of European will and political and economic modernisation. Ahead, Jaume Guardiola, CEO of Banco Sabadell between 2007 and 2020, and shelled for ABC the economic, political, moment in Spain and Europe.

– A review of the Circulo’s memos before its annual meetings has a common thread: laments about the lack of political consensus during the reforms.

-That’s right. If you look up a little beyond the present moment, you can see how the Spanish economy, especially the Catalan economy, is less evolved than our European context in terms of GDP per capita or productivity. We are stuck. Improving these parameters requires a reform agenda that spans the electoral cycle. It requires a minimum consensus.

-The message is clear, lack of understanding has an economic cost.

-Yes, but it is a collective message, which goes not only to one party, but also to social agents. This is not only a political problem, but a national problem. Investment in R&D, size of our institutions, education, training, transfer of research to industry, without forgetting the necessary reform of inefficient management must be talked about.

“With pension reform, we are creating asymmetry between groups that do not share the adjustment in the same proportion”

– Go through areas. The new housing law is moving forward without consensus, and as happens with education laws, it risks replacing another parliamentary majority.

– This is an example. We need a critical mass of social housing, that’s undeniable, and in Circulo we’re not in favor of leaving everything in the hands of the market. We criticize rent controls and minimum percentages of social housing in new developments. In order for prices not to rise, the key is that the offer is strong, and the new approved law is the opposite, with measures that withdraw the offer: rent ceilings, lack of legal certainty.

See also  Wages from the point of view of a socialist economy

-Regarding pension reform, without consensus, there are doubts about its sustainability, which raise an interesting aspect: the missed opportunity as an act of intergenerational justice.

-We are now reforming with pensions indexed to CPI, not wages instead. What we create in this way is trade-off, asymmetry between groups that do not share the same proportion of adjustment…

– Círculo also analyzes the moment in Europe. Progress has also been made in crisis situations.

We are in a federal moment. It’s good. We raised debt with the next generation, the reaction to Brexit was great, to pandemics, to war… unimaginable things have been done. It’s time to say, let’s move on.

– Faced with US protectionism and Asian competition, Europe seems to be walking with lilies in hand.

-Well, to some extent Europe is responding to that, but the danger is that country by country reaction is using everyone’s financial limits. This is a natural reaction, but our message is that we must continue to carry out European politics. That is why the Spanish Presidency of the European Semester will be interesting and an opportunity.

– Criticizes the Commonwealth Party for lack of leadership on issues such as airport expansion. We are paralyzed. We demand infrastructure, be it transport or energy, but don’t want to take the impact.

-That is why we ask for courage, because sometimes this debate we call the region has been very confusing. That there is a need for an airport with intercontinental flights. If that opportunity is lost, Madrid will logically take it, which is your natural rival. It would be a mistake to frame the airport debate as a dispute between development and environmental protection, when the two issues are related.

See also  They strengthen the development of the knowledge economy in the capital of Neuquen - news

After what they define as a “lost decade,” they credit the “practical turn” in the Generalitat.

-The situation is relaxed, there is a certain return to normalcy.

– Is ‘process’ history?

– A unilaterally understood process, as a shortcut to sovereignty, it has entered a dead end. But beware, a section of society has become independent out of frustration, a movement linked to power-sharing between Barcelona and Madrid or regional funding. Those themes are still there. Madrid, to the extent that it happens so well, ignores Catalonia and Barcelona more than ever. It is a source of instability that will never be resolved unless it is diverted. Ortega’s and curiosity was prescient… it will always be with us, but sometimes this engagement is for better or worse.

Read more

Local News