Calviño will review the anti-crisis measures after knowing the business margins


The set of measures of the social shield have protected the Spanish economy from the attacks of the war in Ukraine, this is the thesis that the Government has defended in recent months, supported by the upward revisions of the economic forecasts for Spain from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the Union European. Some of them are annual, such as discounts for state-owned public transport or VAT reductions applied to gas and electricity bills. However, the measures applied to contain the upward trend in food prices and direct aid such as the 200-euro check They expire June 30. The Ministry of Economic Affairs refuses to anticipate which ones will be extended or if new ones will be chosen, but points out that the decision will not be made until checking the evolution of prices up to that date.

Nadia Calviño’s portfolio has also set the goal of having the business margin observatory ready in June, with the aim of starting it up that same month, as pointed out by the Ministry’s number two, Gonzalo García Andrés. Sources close to the minister maintain that this tool is devised mainly to guide the implementation of public policies, since it will allow to have a more approximate photograph of the economic scenario. Which makes it more than likely that the Government will take the accumulation of data added by the Observatory as support to discern which measures it applies and which it keeps in the drawer.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation has carried out intense work in the development of the organization since the incumbent announced its creation in April from Washington, at a press conference. The business margin observatory will bring together data and statistics from the National Statistics Institute (INE), the Tax Agency and the Bank of Spain with the purpose of “monitoring the competition of the Spanish economy”, as detailed by the Secretary of State for the Economy. Sources from this portfolio confirm that the last steps are being taken for its designbefore involving the social agents in the process, which, they say, they will count on.

The role of employers and unions, in doubt

At the moment, it is not clear what role employers and unions are going to play in the observatory, despite the fact that the Economic Affairs initiative was announced after the CCOO proposed a similar tool that could be used in the Collective negotiation. Portfolio sources confirm that contact with social negotiators is “permanent” and that they are studying the way in which both sides of the table can participate. The environment of Nadia Calviño does not rule out that CEOE, Cepyme, CCOO and UGT can be part of the observatory, although they suggest that their presence could be reduced to holding regular meetings. A scenario that seems more likely given the reluctance shown by the leaders of the business organizations, Antonio Garamendi and Gerardo Cuerva, due to the possible “interventionism” of this instrument.

CEOE and Cepyme completely rejected the possibility that the Government could determine what the margins of the different economic sectors and companies had been when the UGT and CCOO raised it for the first time publicly, within the framework of the negotiation of the Agreement for Employment and Collective Bargaining (AENC), sealed just two weeks ago. The unions stated that they were willing to lower their demands for wage increases in those sectors in which the economic results had not been positive, as a consequence of the generalized rise in costs. However, the employers understood that this proposal was not serious and advocated not to involve the Executive in collective bargaining, which only affects workers and employers.

The reaction of the CCOO and UGT secretaries, Unai Sordo and Pepe Álvarez, was completely opposite, they welcomed this ‘wink’ from the Government with open arms and urged a contact that, for the moment, has not taken place. However, the latest information shared by the Secretary of Economy in the Congress of Deputies, the observatory It will not allow linking the evolution of margins to salary negotiations. At least this is not going to be possible at the specific level of the companies, since their names will not appear, but the Ministry will handle “the aggregated data of the sectors.”

Criticism of Labor and unions

These statements have led the Minister of Labor and Economy to label the design of the observatory as “warm”. Yolanda Díaz has criticized that there are already statistics that show the competition and that the main need is to develop a tool that links the examination of the margins to “the salary revaluations of the workers and workers in our country.” For this reason, she has maintained that her Ministry does not share the approach. The department of Calviño includes among the objectives have an approximation to the distribution of income and wagessomething that from Work they understand insufficient.

The unions gave up having this tool for the AENC negotiations, given the intense refusal of the employers’ representatives, as highlighted by the fact that there is no reference to this issue in the text agreed between the social partners. Nevertheless, 1,300 agreements remain to be updated that they could have used this device to achieve more ambitious increases or moderate their claims depending on the progress of the sector. Therefore, it seems that the bosses’ thesis is gaining ground, despite the fact that the rest of the fronts rule out that it gave rise to any type of interventionism, since these are official data.

From CCOO they show disappointed by the latest statements of Economy who forget the second aspect that the observatory aspired to cover: transferring information to collective bargaining. Specifically, union sources acknowledge their concern that Nadia Calviño’s cabinet has not made any contact, while has set aside the General Treasury of Social Security and the Labor Portfolio, who have the information on the agreements signed. Something that they interpret does not correspond to the harmony shown by the President of the Government when commenting on the measure in March from Lanzarote.

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