Juan Rosell underlined that when legal certainty is one of the main requirements sought by Spanish businessmen to invest in other countries, the Spanish government should not change the rules of the game halfway through the match or, even, close to the end.
During his speech, the President of CEOE shared his global vision for 2016 and referred to the expected outlook for 2017 and the following years, saying that, in a near future, issues as crucial as the energy change, the aging population, the need for reforms or the inequality problems will have to be addressed.
For this, he said, the key is to open the debate and put the issues on the table in an era of Big Data and the reality of numbers, we must leave aside the weekend clichés and other simplicities and open debates without ideological labels. He said that, in the Spanish case, we need a new agenda in political, economic and social affairs.
He emphasized that there are still three major problems in the Spanish economy: the deficit, the high debt and, above all, the unemployment rate, despite the fact that Spain is in a new economic situation, very different to when in was in the midst of the crisis and it has the possibility of reaching the best GDP figures again in the next year or two, and the unemployment ones in 2 or 3 years.
When he spoke of Public Spending, he said to be in favour of a reform of the Administration rather than in reducing expenses through a decrease in investment. He asked for better management and constant assessment and for the existence of fewer laws - he said that there were more than a million pages in the official bulletins - but for them to be better, more thought out, understandable and not subject to interpretation.
With regard to wage increases, he said that they should be in line with the average increases of what is currently being signed, i.e. around 1.1 or 1.2%, which is the reality, and for those companies that can afford it to be able to increase a little more. He recalled, however, that 42% of Spanish companies are operating at a loss and that a set of labour issues that are very important for companies and workers need to be laid on the table and negotiated with the trade unions.
He highlighted the importance of Collective Bargaining which, understood as it has been approached up until now, is getting to the end of the road and changes are necessary. Among them, to train negotiators and consider how the costs generated by said negotiations are met.
Finally, he pointed out that we must prioritize when it comes to approaching fundamental issues, emphasizing education, talent and innovation in a first group; technology would be in a second group and the ambition to create and move forward in a third. In this area, he said that companies must be trusted, because they are ultimately the ones that can generate growth and combat unemployment.
The meeting was attended by Fatima Bañez, Ignacio Toxo, Pepe Álvarez, Antonio Garamendi, Juan Pablo Lázaro and the Secretaries of State for the Social Security, Tomas Burgos; for Trade, María Luisa Poncela; for Tourism, Matilde Asian González and for Research, Development and Innovation, Carmen Vela, among many other personalities from the political and economic fields.