Closing ceremony of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Cercle d'Economia

Pedro Sánchez: "We are not only creating more jobs, we are creating better jobs"

President's News - 6.5.2022

Sánchez pointed out that thanks to the labour reform almost one in two contracts signed in April was permanent, all in a month in which Spain exceeded 20 million registered workers for the first time, with an annual growth rate in employment of more than 5%. "We are determined to create more decent jobs and strengthen our welfare state," he said. The President of the Government of Spain is confident that labour market data will continue to be positive in the second quarter of the year, following the excellent enrolment figures for April.

"The Spanish economy is responding robustly. We are responding robustly despite the war in Ukraine and also the still adverse and permanent effects of the pandemic on our economy," he remarked.

The Chief Executive has spoken at a ceremony where the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, was presented with the 2nd European Construction Prize.

"Ursula is an ally of Spain because she is an ally of Europe. In the years I have been working with her, I have seen how Ursula adds her own to the solid technical capacity of the European Executive, in addition to her political vision, her formidable capacity to work day and night, and her tenacity to unite wills, break blocks and build bridges between different people and thus achieve the common good", said Sánchez.

The closing ceremony was also attended by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares; the Minister for Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, Raquel Sánchez, and the Minister for Culture and Sports, Miquel Iceta.

Foto: Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la Bellacasa"The turbulence will pass and what will still be here will be Europe. What will endure is that Spain will have reached its highest ever level of employment. The turbulence will be overcome and what will persist is that our country, Spain, for the first time is overcoming the scourge of job insecurity that hurts people, reduces the efficiency of companies and undermines the pillars of coexistence and cohesion", Sánchez stressed, recalling the importance of the Minimum Basic Income, the creation of the minimum living income and the need for pensions to be revalued by law. "That and no other is our plan: to move forward. To overcome obstacles, whether they are called pandemics or war. To continue to move forward above and despite this turbulence," he said.

One of the driving forces behind Spain's economic improvement is tourism, which is showing "a vigorous recovery that is neither temporary nor fleeting". Sánchez detailed that Easter Week recorded 85% of the pre-pandemic hotel occupancy, adding that in March 84% of the tourist expenditure recorded in the same month in 2019 has already been reached.

Electricity price cap soon to be approved

In view of the economic impact of the war in Ukraine, the President of the Government of Spain stressed that the Executive has approved a package of measures with €10,000 million in guarantees, aid to affected sectors, a subsidy of at least 20 cents per litre of fuel, a reduction in taxes on electricity and the extension of the social bonus. These measures are complemented by the agreement reached by Spain and Portugal with the European Union to lower electricity prices, after both countries sent their joint proposal yesterday.

"After weeks of arduous technical negotiations, Spain and Portugal have sent Brussels the joint proposal for the electricity price cap mechanism, which we are confident will be the final one. We hope to have the preliminary go-ahead from the European Commission soon so that we can launch it in the next few days," he said.

To advance in energy autonomy, the President of the Government has defended the reform of the market and has opted for renewable energy. "Spain can and wants to be a hub for green hydrogen production throughout Europe, but what we need is to speed up the interconnections between the Iberian Peninsula and Europe as a whole", he urged.

The Government's economic plan

Foto: Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la BellacasaThe National Response Plan to the Economic and Social Impact of the War follows other economic measures approved by the government during the pandemic, such as ICO credits, ERTE, aid to affected sectors and deferrals of tax obligations. "We will again do everything in our power to protect economic growth, to cushion the economic effects of the war and also to spread the economic and social costs of this war fairly across the population," he said.

The President of the Government has stressed that the Executive has approved an "ambitious agenda of 102 structural reforms", included in the Recovery Plan. In his words, these measures, together with the European funds, will lead to the modernisation of the country, with projects such as the PERTE of the electric and connected vehicle. In this transformation, Sánchez highlighted the importance of Catalonia, as it has the talent, social capital, infrastructures and history necessary to become one of the territories leading Spain's progress.

"The dialogue, the coexistence, the policy of reunion that we have been promoting between the Government of Spain and the Government of the Generalitat of Catalonia is bearing fruit, and is demonstrating its virtues in enabling Catalonia and all Catalans to overcome the terrible effects of the pandemic, consolidate its economic recovery and create jobs and businesses," he concluded.

Non official translation