Speech by the President of the Government of Spain at the 12th edition of the International Financial Forum Spain Investors Day

13.1.2022

Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid

SPEECH BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE GOVERNMENT OF SPAIN, PEDRO SÁNCHEZ

Good afternoon, Secretary of State for Trade, President of the Spain Investors Day and representatives of the companies and investment funds in attendance.

Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.

Allow me first of all to thank you for the kind invitation to close this latest edition of the Spain Investors Day. As previously mentioned, this Forum is already considered a key milestone to start both the financial year and the investment year in our country, something for which I congratulate all the promoters and organisers of this important event.

I am going to start by sharing with all of you the hope that this year we will continue on the path of overcoming the Covid 19 crisis.

During these two years and more of economic, health and social emergency, the Government of Spain's response has been based on three pillars that I would also like to share with all of you. The first is to support science, to support science. It has always been clear to us that vaccination was and is the cure for the disease. The second is to protect, reactivate and subsequently- which is the stage we are at now- transform our productive fabric not only to consolidate this economic growth, but also to guarantee it in the medium and long terms. And third, to lead together with other nations, both at a European and a multilateral level, a response that must also be multilateral and European to a crisis that is global.

The political decision taken by Spain to vaccinate, vaccinate and vaccinate all the population as a means of protecting and boosting our economy, I believe is a collective success, a success for the country, a success for the whole of Spain.

And to give you some data that show what a completely different playing field we are on now compared to a year ago, I can tell you that the number of people over 12 years of age who are completely vaccinated is now at an extraordinary 92.5%. A year ago we had virtually no one vaccinated. Today, 92.5% of the population over the age of 12 has the full vaccination. And if we look at the booster doses, practically 60% - because we are at 59.9% of those over 40 years of age - have received the third dose, the booster dose. And the percentage of children with at least one dose of the paediatric vaccination, as scientists call it, is at 37%. The goal of the Government of Spain is that in the first week of February 70% of children under 11 years of age will have at least one dose.

And most importantly, and this is a factor that differentiates Spain from many other nations, and not just distant nations but also nations very close to Spain's geographical orbit- In Spain anti-vaccination attitudes are less visible than in other countries.

Spanish citizens have considered vaccination as not only a right, the right to protect their personal health, but also a duty, the duty to protect public health, the health of everyone.

Today we are dealing with the Omicron variant, which is undoubtedly a much more contagious one. Science tells us that it is a less serious variant, and it is especially less serious considering the high percentage of vaccinated population we have in our country.

And recent figures over the last few days are pointing to a certain progressive stabilisation in the number of infections. In this sixth wave, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our health professionals, and especially those who are on the front line in this wave, which are precisely the health professionals in our primary care system, in recognition of all the work they have been doing during these long months of the pandemic.

Precisely to strengthen our country's National Health System, and particularly primary health care, we have recently reached an agreement with the regional governments to reinforce the health service in terms of budgets and human resources to combat the pandemic.

But what I would like to share with all of you is that, first of all, we are not in the same position we were in a year ago in terms of dealing with Covid. With ups and downs we continue to move forward, and we are doing so thanks not only to the vaccine but, without a doubt, to the extraordinary behaviour and commitment of Spanish society as a whole.

Therefore, with the highest scientific rigour, and with maximum cooperation at the European level and the obligatory duty of governments to anticipate the phases of this health emergency, we must begin to design the bridge that will allow us, when it is possible, from a scientific point of view, to move towards the management of the pandemic as an endemic disease. It will not happen overnight, it will not happen immediately, but it will come. And what we, the governments, must do is anticipate that work and design that future.

I believe that the vaccine has been - and you will all agree with me - not only the best economic policy decision, but also, of course, the best health decision.

But as I said before, from the very first moment the virus appeared in our lives, we also innovated with the existing instruments in response to the need to protect not only our human capital but also our productive capital, our productive fabric, against the impact of the crisis, thereby avoiding permanent damage.

You will have heard the First Vice-President of the Government of Spain say that without all this effort made by companies, workers and undoubtedly the public administrations, the Gross Domestic Product in 2020 would have fallen by not 10%, but probably by way over 20%, with all the hysteria effect that a fall of this magnitude would of course have had on the economy.

Just to have some data to refresh your memory, we mobilised in record time a financing amounting to more than 135 billion euros. 135 billion euros. That is the effort that has been made. Providing liquidity to 620,000 companies, many of them small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as self-employed businesses.

We approved, as you know, the ERTEs, the Covid ERTEs, which protected almost 3.6 million workers in the most difficult times. Ninety-five per cent of them are back in their jobs right now. And we approved an extraordinary benefit for the self-employed that prevented the bankruptcy of 1.5 million self-employed workers. Just to give us an idea, right now in the RETA, which is the Special Regime for Self-Employed Workers, we have 3 million contributors, or in other words half of the contributors we were protecting in the most difficult moments, the most difficult moments of the confinements. And we approved direct aid lines for companies amounting to 11 billion euros, 11 billion euros that served above all to support small businesses in the hotel and catering industry, in tourism and in sectors that were severely affected as a result of the restrictions that were put in place during the most difficult moments of the successive waves.

In short, what this all means is that the public authorities and the leadership of the Government of Spain implemented an economic policy that I would describe as innovative and effective. First, to cope with the onslaught of Covid; second, to revive our economy; and third, to consolidate a path of economic growth and employment.

The sheer will was resounding. We used the full force of the Spanish State to protect our companies and our workers. And I think we can conclude today that the result has been more than reasonably positive.

The third pillar, together with vaccination and the protection we provided through the ERTEs, the self-employed benefits and the ICOS credits, is the European Union.

Benito commented earlier that the response to this crisis has been completely different from the 2008 financial crisis. I believe that the Union has indeed responded in a radically different way, stemming from the European Central Bank's response to the centralised purchase of vaccines by the European Commission on behalf of the 27 Member States, making resources available to the pharmaceutical companies to speed up the research and manufacturing processes and, consequently, the delivery of these doses to the Member States. But also the momentous approval, and I believe this is one of the main achievements of European construction, as time will tell, of this great Marshal plan which represents the European funds, the NextGenerationEU funds.

European funds are a great opportunity. I would say this is a decisive opportunity for the modernisation of Europe and Spain. 750 billion euros earmarked for investment, reforms and policies that Europe has understood are going to be the vectors that will define the competitiveness of economies in this new green and digital economy that we are entering at an accelerated pace.

I believe that the NextGenerationEU Fund is the biggest step forward in European integration this century, not only in terms of the amount mobilised, but also in terms of the objectives. And undoubtedly also for setting in motion a new paradigm in European construction, which is the mutualisation, in this case, of the debts of the different Member States and, on their behalf, of the European Commission.

The results of these measures- the vaccines, the monetary policy promoted by the European Central Bank, the European funds and the centralised purchase of the vaccines confirm, I believe, the remarkable effectiveness and, why not say it, the fairness of the European response.

As you know, all Eurozone economies are expected to have recovered their employment and Gross Domestic Product levels by 2022, and many of them have done so by 2021. And as you know, our Spanish economy and its companies are experiencing a vigorous, vigorous recovery. As recently published by INE, GDP growth accelerated to 2.6% in the third quarter of 2021. The forecasts for the period 10th October to December are that the Spanish economy will have grown by around 2.5% in the last quarter of the year. Consequently, it is clear that we are looking at year-on-year growth rates for 2021 of more than 5%. And as for the year 2022, the forecasts for Spain are most organisations will offer a growth rate of over 5% which is the third highest in the European Union, according to the forecasts being handled by the European Commission.

These are the forecasts. They are clearly positive. We shall see how the global economy, the European economy and, no doubt, the Spanish economy will evolve over the coming months.

What does reflect well, better than any other indicator of the robustness of the economic recovery in our country is the very positive, very formidably positive evolution of employment. This is an unprecedented development.

In just a year and a half we have managed to recover pre-pandemic employment levels, compared to the 12 years it took to recover pre-2008 financial crisis employment levels.

The data speaks for itself. In the last 10 months, no less than 2 million people have joined the labour market in our country. Never in the history of our country have there been so many people national insurance contributors, especially women, which shows the collective success we have achieved in such a short space of time.

Moreover, these 10 months have been the longest period of reduction in unemployment since data has been available. 900,000 people have left the unemployment rolls since last February.

In short, what I want to say with this is that the data are extraordinary, that they have been made possible, without any doubt, thanks to the support measures implemented by workers, companies and also the public institutions, the Government of Spain, during the pandemic.

And, therefore, I believe we can conclude that the Spanish economy is on a path of solid economic growth. Economic growth will help us to further intensify our reform agenda and also the public investment of European funds.

As you know, in the first half of 2021, our country, Spain, together with Portugal, during Portugal's pro tempore presidency of the European Union, were the first two countries of the European Union to present plans to the European Commission. One of the plans, ours, has already been approved as the first to submit the application and the first to receive the disbursement.

To date, Spain has received a total of 19 billion euros. As you know, the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience plan has 70 billion euros of transfers for the period 2021-2026, 70 billion euros for investments and reforms focused on four main areas, the ones that the European Union set out for us in the European funds agreement, and also in the strategy that was approved for this mandate that will end in 2024, in European terms. These are the ecological transition, digital transformation, social cohesion, territorial cohesion and gender equality, as horizontal cross-cutting policies that could explain the transformations of each and every one of our country's sectors.

And to this amount the government is going to add approximately 70 billion euros more, not from transfers but from loans that the Spanish government is going to request before June 2023.

We are therefore talking about 140 billion euros of public investment, an amount which, in current terms, and to give us an idea of the challenge of the volume of investment that Spain is going to receive in the coming years, represents 93% of the structural and cohesion funds that Spain received between 1986 and 2020. We are therefore talking about extraordinary amounts that represent a great opportunity. In six years, Spain will invest in the modernisation of its productive fabric an amount similar to what it has invested in 34 years of cohesion funds. That success will now come back to us in an accelerated manner.

Just to give us an idea of what these funds represented, they made a decisive contribution to the modernisation of our country, as above all the most senior people who have experience in Spain know. For example, they contributed to the fact that today we have one of the best high-speed networks of motorways and airports.

Today, European funds are the basis for a new major modernisation of our country, which will no longer be so much about infrastructures, although there are some very important infrastructures for our country's competitiveness, as about modernising our productive fabric and also everything that represents human capital. This will be a great opportunity for Spain, as the Government of this country sees it, to promote the green and digital reindustrialisation of our country, to change the production model, to make it much more balanced and, without a doubt, to improve our human capital.

The implementation of European funds is now a reality. We have to bear in mind that we started working on these European funds in June last year. In other words, it has been just over six months. Throughout the year 2021, 91% of the more than 24 billion euros of the plan incorporated in the General State Budget, which we already anticipated, have been authorised, and payments of more than 11 billion euros are being made. In other words, the effort being made by all the administrations, especially the General State Administration, is extraordinary, formidable. Of the total budget, 45.5% has already been executed and for the first half of this year, no less than 150 calls for proposals are expected to be opened, which will make more than 17 billion euros available to the productive fabric of our country. This is the effort that the Government of Spain is making, not only to consolidate this economic growth, but undoubtedly to modernise our productive fabric and reindustrialise our country.

And in this context, as the organiser said, as we did in our response to Covid, we want to encourage and facilitate public-private collaboration in the implementation of these funds. And a fundamental instrument for this policy are the so-called strategic projects, the acronym PERTE, which you already know. These are, in short, tractor programmes for strategic sectors with an enormous potential to drag our economy forward. We are talking about the automotive sector, health, science, renewable energies - the commitment that the Government of Spain is making, as the Secretary of State said earlier - the aerospace sector, the naval sector, and also the primary sector, the agri-food chain and even the Spanish language as one of the main languages on the planet.

And in the conversations we have had with the different administrations and also with the private sector, to these initial strategic projects we are adding new public-private collaboration projects, for example, in the care economy, which is one of the great lessons we must also learn from this crisis regarding the management of care homes. Right now we have a very costly system that is not sufficiently protective of the welfare of our elderly, and here we also intend to open up a whole host of public-private collaboration.

There is also a strategic project concerning water, one of the main challenges facing humanity and countries like ours. And another on the circular economy, on which the government is already working.

In this context, I would like to say to investors and to all of you, that the Government of Spain's commitment to the ecological transition and to the energy transition is unquestionable.

The commitment of European funds to renewable energies is consistent with all the action that the Government of Spain has taken from day one, not only by approving the Law on Climate Change and Energy Transition after ten years of demand from companies and civil society to provide a sufficiently predictable regulatory framework for investors, but also with a Comprehensive National Energy and Climate Plan, which has been highly valued by EU institutions, in this case the European Commission.

And there are also the new pivots of the whole energy transition that the Government of Spain is putting in place in practically every Council of Ministers. One example is the green hydrogen roadmap, which we approved a few weeks ago in the Council of Ministers; the facilitation of self-consumption in our country, and the renewable auctions that we are promoting to continue increasing the entry of renewable energies in our energy system.

This vision is not only thanks to the commitment of the Government of Spain and EU institutions to climate change adaptation and mitigation, but also because Spain can become an exporter of clean energy.

It is true that we will have interconnections and we will have to talk to our esteemed colleagues and European partners in France, but, whatever the outcome, the Government of Spain also sees this energy transition to clean energy as a way for Spain, for the first time in its history, to stop being an energy importer and become a major exporter of clean energy.

I also believe that these European funds will help us to promote the reindustrialisation and digitalisation of our economy, with a clear commitment to sectors to which we are already allocating resources and for which we are also going to pass laws in the coming months. The latest Council of Ministers have already announced the regulatory plan, the legislative calendar that we are going to have for this year. Among them, for example, we plan to pass a 5G law. The boost that is also being given to artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and the deployment of 5G, is going to be very forceful, resounding, over the coming months in our country. And for this, we also have a competitive advantage in that we have the most extensive fibre optic network in Europe and, therefore, a solid foundations to make that leap.

And I would also like to tell you that, together with the European funds, what the Government of Spain has wanted to do since two years ago and during the remaining two years of the legislature, is to promote and continue our reformist agenda. I always define the Spanish government as a reformist government and also a pro-European government. And the two things go hand in hand, because in my inaugural speech in the Lower House of Parliament two years ago- this week we are celebrating two years of legislature- I announced an ambitious programme of structural reforms to modernise our country. A reform programme fully aligned with the multilateral agenda, with the Sustainable Development Goals and with the strategic agenda adopted by the EU institutions at the beginning of their mandate. In other words, the entire reform agenda that the government is implementing is deeply and very closely aligned with the reform agenda set by the European Union. This is what we have been pushing for over the last two years.

We are clear that the way out of the crisis cannot be the same way we came in, that we have to move forward, that we have to transform our productive model, that we have to reindustrialise our country and we aim to do so, unlike what happened after the financial crisis, with public resources and with public investment, and what we want is precisely to leverage private investment.

What do we want to do? Well, we have to improve our human capital, and that is where this new Organic Law on Education comes in, which, beyond the partisan debate, is a law that is going to change the curriculum for our children, is also going to improve teacher training, and is going to give a decisive boost to the digitalisation of the educational classrooms where teachers do their work and where our children are educated. Along with this, I believe that the structural reform that has been proposed over the last two years is very important, the culmination of which is the Vocational Training Act, which has the broad support of the social agents and a large majority of the parliamentary groups, both in Congress and in the Upper House of Parliament. We will soon bring in a new university law and most certainly a renewal of the Science Act. And as you will no doubt be aware, we are immersed in this reform of active employment policies, which will also be addressed by the social partners.

Along with human capital, we need to green industrialise our country. As I pointed out before, Spain has all the conditions to become a leader in present and future renewable energies, such as green hydrogen. The Government of Spain will be there supporting the sector, collaborating with the sector. From the legislative point of view, I believe that the important progress we have made in this sphere with the Climate Change Act has already been mentioned. On a more regulatory level, the National Energy and Climate Plan has been approved by the European Commission.

I take this very seriously and I think it is also important from a political point of view to convey these messages to investors about what the government's priorities are, and, without a doubt, the main priority or one of the main priorities of the Government of Spain is mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

Two days ago, an important report was published by the World Economic Forum which, not on the part of public institutions, but on your part, on the part of governments, placed climate change among the main challenges for the economy over the next ten years. Indeed, the report mentioned that without action on climate change, global GDP could be reduced by one-sixth. We are therefore talking about a challenge of extraordinary gravity that also affects, of course, the economic performance of countries, and we have to speed up the energy transition and the transformation of our economy.

From the point of view of digitalisation, and as the Secretary of State and Benito commented on earlier, I think it is important that we consider the need to scale up the size of our companies, of our business fabric. This is one of the main handicaps our country faces when it comes to internationalising much more intensively.

You know that we are in the midst of a new insolvency law. This is one of the challenges we have always had, when talking precisely about the modernisation of our justice system. This law is going to provide all the ingredients to make this second chance a reality for many entrepreneurs. The law on the creation and growth of companies, which the First Vice-President of the Government must have explained more eloquently than I did, and the first Law on Startups, which is one of the most ambitious laws at the European level, and aims precisely, as the Secretary of State mentioned in her speech, at attracting a lot of investment for the digital entrepreneurial economy.

And we have approved the Telecommunications Law which, as you know, is going to contribute to something very important in our country, which is territorial cohesion, facing the demographic challenge and, therefore, achieving the objective of high-speed connectivity for one hundred percent of the population, wherever they live in our country, by the year 2025.

In short, what I want to convey with this is that this reformist agenda - and these are some of the fundamental areas of this reformist agenda - has been extended to all sectoral areas of our economy. In a few days we are going to formally approve the draft Housing Bill, which is the greatest commitment from the public authorities to promote the Housing Law in our country. Improving the competitiveness and sustainability of the tourism sector in our country. The Food Chain Law to improve the sustainability of a very important, very competitive sector in our country, which is the primary sector, and, what's more, and also from a much more social point of view, the structural reform that the Minimum Basic Income has brought about to reduce the worst of the inequalities in a country like ours, which has 2.5 million children suffering from poverty.

The bulk of all these reforms, and I would also like to share this with investors, have been carried out in agreement with and without impositions on the sectors affected, and I believe that this is also very important to highlight. As the chairman of this forum reminded us, anything that gives the economy elements of a pact and makes the future much more predictable is good for our economy. And in my opinion, if we transfer this to the social sphere, to social dialogue, I believe that this is not only a means but an end in itself, because to dialogue, negotiate and agree is to do politics in the right way. In a way that places the majority over and above ideologies, one that achieves much more inclusive policies, and one that endures over time and guarantees stability and social peace, which I believe is fundamental and which the citizens are demanding of us in these complex times of transitions and accelerated changes that we are experiencing.

And the spirit of reform cannot be based on the unilateral imposition of one party over another, of some interests over others. State policies, such as, for example, pension policy or the labour market, require stability, continuity, legal certainty and predictability, and this can only be achieved through national agreements.

This is what we have achieved with the agreement between social partners, and between social partners and the Government of Spain, in the labour field. In this regard, I would like to thank the employers' and workers' commitment and sense of State. An agreement of which we should be proud as a country - I certainly am - because it takes our labour model to a framework of dialogue, strength and dignity.

And it does so, moreover, by acting on the imbalances that we have had to resolve and which have also been the subject of numerous recommendations and guidelines by the European Commission. It has addressed, for example, the high rates of precariousness in our country; with one third of employment contracts of less than five days.

We have to move towards a growth model based on productivity, training and competitiveness, and this also requires training and job stability. We must therefore encourage permanent contracts and training contracts to combat the high levels of youth unemployment that our country suffers; promoting, for example, internal flexibility mechanisms which, notably, have not only been effective, but have also been highly valued by employers and companies - as the chairman of this event mentioned earlier.

With internal flexibility mechanisms that have been a different response, a radically different response, to other crises where dismissal has taken precedence; through, for example, in this labour reform agreed between the social partners and the Government of Spain, this new network mechanism that will undoubtedly perfect the ERTE mechanism. Through regulating subcontracting to prevent it from becoming a vehicle for the casualisation and wage devaluation of the working conditions of our workers. And through placing collective bargaining in different areas, such as wages, at the heart of the new industrial relations model, as is the case in the main countries around us.

I believe that it is a reform that directly addresses the main weaknesses, burdens, of our labour market, that reinforces legal certainty for companies - this is very important - and that achieves a good balance, the right balance between the visibility of companies and the protection, stability and training of our human capital. And, above all, it is a good reform because it has social agreement. An agreement in which everyone has given up something so that Spanish society as a whole can gain. It is not the reform that the Government of Spain would have carried out, nor is it the one that the employers' or the trade unions would have carried out; but, precisely because of this, it is a good reform, one which incorporates the wide range of interests that the world of work and socio-economic relations have; and, without a doubt, it also incorporates a fundamental element, which is that of legal security and predictability in such an important area as the labour model's horizon.

I am sure that the political actors will show the same sense of state that the social partners have shown in agreeing this important labour reform.

Undoubtedly, ladies and gentlemen, we are living in times that could be described in many ways, I am going to say complex, and of accelerated change. There are many lessons to be learned. This subject probably deserves more than a conference of this type, an exchange of views, a conversation - and we are going to do this next year, hopefully, in a much more multitudinous way than this one, dear Benito - but I would like to say that one of the main lessons that I have drawn from this crisis and that I share with all of you, is that there will be no individual progress if there is no collective progress.

Hence the importance of working from the private and public sectors to dignify the living conditions of our societies. The dignity granted, for example, by the right to quality education, which guarantees the employability of our young people when they enter the labour market, job stability, fair wages, decent pensions and the legal security that companies also need to be able to see through their life projects, which are ultimately those that are visualised in companies. And the right to personal and collective fulfilment through entrepreneurship, to an environment of opportunities for all people, to social mobility which, unfortunately, during these long years after the financial crisis has been stifled as a result of the high rates of social inequality and, the truth is, of social exclusion that our world and, in particular, our country, has been and is experiencing.

In short, ladies and gentlemen, I believe that we must say thank you to science and, therefore, to vaccination, which is, I would say, the key political decision Europe has taken to deal with this Covid 19 emergency. Together with this vaccination, we can highlight the management of European funds as a great opportunity, as a great tool to grow and modernise our economy, and agreement, not only as a method of government but also as a way to achieve structural reforms that unite and do not further fracture a society that was already very divided in the wake of the financial crisis, as some of the tools, the instruments, the way in which we face this decisive legislature for the present and the future of our country and also of Europe.

Our project for Spain is for Spain to grow, for its economy to grow, for its employment to grow, for our industry to grow, for our country to grow in competitiveness.

Consolidating this growth requires a pact, and it requires a lot of dialogue in an increasingly complex society, where governing complexity has also become a necessary asset for politicians. And, no doubt, along with all this, institutional political stability. I believe that it is decisive, decisive, that Spain consolidates a path of institutional political stability to consolidate this economic growth and be able to tackle all these reforms.

This is a government which, throughout these two very difficult and complex years, has approved a huge agenda of reforms with agreements both inside and outside the General Courts, with the social agents, with the regional governments, with two important State Budgets that have been approved in time and form, and with the support of more than 15 parliamentary groups, both in Congress and in the Upper House of Parliament. And they are important, not because they have been approved in time and form, but because they have been able to convey the response to the country's economic and social challenges at each moment.

And in this progress, ladies and gentlemen, as the Secretary of State said and, I am convinced, as many ministers and vice-presidents who have had the honour of addressing you all have said, I believe that foreign direct investment plays a fundamental key role. Spain is and will continue to be an attractive location for international investment. Note that according to the OECD's Foreign Direct Investment Regulatory Restrictiveness Index, Spain is the ninth most open country for foreign investment.

The data speaks for itself. I will be very quick because you know them: In 2019, the stock of productive investments in our country amounted to more than 480 billion euros, equivalent to 40 percent of annual GDP; Spain is the twelfth economy in the world in terms of stock of capital received and the fourteenth in terms of stock of capital issued. I would like to highlight a very relevant fact, in my opinion, and that is that in 2020 - a very complicated year, as we all have in our memories and in our hearts - the global flow of foreign direct investment suffered a drop of 42 per cent, reaching 71 per cent in the case of the European Union; while foreign direct investment in Spain rose by 4.9 per cent. This is a fact that illustrates many things, but above all it shows that foreign investors have been able to appreciate the enormous potential of the Spanish economy, placing this value above the adverse situation, so unprecedented at the time, and the promising future that lies ahead of us. And this vision, I am sure, will be strengthened within the economic horizon towards which we are moving.

I would like to conclude by reaffirming my conviction that the hardest and most difficult part of this health emergency is probably behind us. We are therefore heading towards complex times, but with robust growth and with a mandate and a firm will on the part of the Government of Spain to take advantage of these opportunities and to promote this reformist agenda to modernise our country.

I believe that because of our geopolitical position open to three continents and because of the solidity of our institutional framework, that despite our shortcomings; we undoubtedly have a robust democracy, with solid institutions; and also because of the quality of our infrastructure networks, both transport and digital, our country, Spain, has been a consolidated investment destination for years.

And now, thanks to the economic strategy adopted during the pandemic, the response of a different Europe - of all its institutions - to this unprecedented Covid-19 crisis, and the European funds and the far-reaching reforms we are undertaking, I am convinced that everything, this entire reality, is going to take on a new dimension.

We have embarked, ladies and gentlemen, on a historic process of transformation to righten our imbalances and to strengthen our opportunities. To this end, I invite you to join in this journey, to actively participate in this journey, because never before has it been more worthwhile to invest in Spain than today.

Thank you.

(Transcript edited by the State Secretariat for Communication)

Non official translation