The productive industry wanted to settle this morning the open debate between health protection and economic recovery. Seven employers represented in the Alliance for the Competitiveness of the Spanish Industry have sent a statement this morning in which they consider that their work is essential to fight the pandemic and to recover the economy. “It is necessary to progressively boost the rest of the industrial activities and the construction sector, so that they exercise their fundamental role as the driving force of the economy, adopting urgent measures that simultaneously stimulate the demand and competitiveness of companies. “In this way they reinforce the decision of the Executive to reopen non-essential activities from Monday so as not to force an absolute paralysis of the economy and warn of the negative consequences that it could have backtracking in that decision, although always prioritizing the health of the citizens. “The Spanish industry has been and is an active part of the collective effort that society is making to fight the disease”they assure
The text is signed by the steel industry employers (Unesid), of cement (Oficemen), of the automobile (Anfac), of chemistry (Feique), refining and oil (AOP), of the paper (Aspapel) and food and beverages (FIAB), which add up to 13% of GDP and 12% of employment in Spain, although if the indirect and induced effects are added together, the percentages climb to 43% in the case of GDP and 30% in the jobs created.
The productive industry considers, however, that the reopening of factories is not enough to recover the pre-coronavirus crisis figures and that plans will be necessary to stimulate investment and private spending and at the same time increase the capacity to compete for Spanish companies. Among the priorities, the employers highlight a program with five axes: boost public investment in infrastructure, public housing and rehabilitation; effectively stimulate automobile demand; to reduce in a conjunctural way the tax burdens of the sectors subjected to international competition, to suspend the tax on the generation of energy or to offset the indirect costs of CO2 and to promote measures that boost exports and access to foreign markets.
Some requests, however, clash head-on with the economic deterioration that the Spanish economy will experience this year, whose GDP could fall to 8% at the end of this year. This mismatch between expenses and income will force consolidation plans, which may come through spending (cost reduction) or income (tax increases). Either way seems incompatible with stimulus plans to promote infrastructure or housing (public investment was the most affected item in the previous crisis) or support plans, such as PIVE, to accelerate car sales. In the eight successive editions of the aforementioned plan for the rejuvenation of the car park, the Executive has spent 1,115 million euros