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Pedro Sánchez calls for more egalitarian and sustainable economic growth

Ministry of Economy and Digital Transformation, Madrid, Monday 25 October 2021

The head of the Executive stressed the importance of variables that are not reflected in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but which determine a country's well-being, such as social equity and environmental sustainability. While the world economy has grown by 194% since 1980, environmental degradation has worsened in this period as carbon dioxide emissions have doubled, raising the global temperature by 0.7 degrees Celsius.

He also called for tackling rising inequality in the face of the uneven concentration of economic growth among the richest over the last thirty years. Sánchez recalled that the top 1% of income earners accounted for 17% of economic growth in Europe from 1980 to 2017, according to some estimates. "It is, therefore, an objective fact confirmed by data that economic growth is not distributed equally and that these trends, if they continue, will only aggravate the issue", he asserted.

Sánchez underlined the virtues of consensus in adopting measures to ensure a fairer distribution of economic growth. In this sense, he has guaranteed that the Executive will approve the reform of the labour market favouring agreement. "The whole Government is committed to tackling the modernisation of labour legislation to remove precariousness, boost competitiveness and re-establish a balance in bargaining between employers and workers. Such legislation, with a vocation to last, will be done in Spain as it is done in Europe: with social dialogue and with a vocation for consensus", he stressed.

Greater gender equality

The head of the Executive has also defended measures to promote gender equality, at a time when the wage gap is estimated at 14% in the European Union, while in Spain it is 11.9%. "It is estimated that the full incorporation of women into the labour market in our country would increase potential growth by 15%", she stressed.

In view of this, Sánchez has called for combining progress in activities with greater social cohesion. "The future of our democracies lies in ensuring more equitable and sustainable growth. Unequal societies are also an ideal breeding ground for anti-democratic drifts", said Sánchez at the closing of a seminar attended by the First Vice-President of the Government of Spain and Minister for the Economy and Digital Transformation, Nadia Calviño, and the Ministers for Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, José Luis Escrivá, and for Universities, Manuel Castells.

Social inclusion

In this way, the President of the Government of Spain has opted for more inclusive growth. "Far from there being antagonism, therefore, between growth and equality, there is a positive correlation between the two goals," he said. As an example, Sánchez recalled that the Executive has already approved, among other measures, the Law on Climate Change and Energy Transition, the Minimum Basic Income, has reformed pensions by revaluing them in line with the CPI, has raised the Minimum Salary (SMI) by 31% and has extended paternity leave to 16 weeks. The aim, he stressed, is a fair recovery but one that also achieves a sustainable, hopeful, democratic, prosperous and secure future.

Non official translation