When the fifth anniversary of the massive escape from corporate headquarters in Catalonia is about to pass, hardly any have returned. The change in the situation experienced in the community with the abandonment of unilateralism for now has not been enough. For this reason, yesterday, the Catalan employers' association Foment del Treball placed the return of registered offices as a priority for the new Government of Spain. Several thousand companies left, including many of the largest, in October 2017, after the referendum, due to the legal risks of a hypothetical departure of Catalonia from the EU.
The request is that the new government “provide the stability necessary for the return of companies.” The first priority that the employers' association highlights in its statement is to favor “the creation of a climate of security and certainty so that the country has social and economic stability.” In the opinion of the employers' association, “it is necessary to have a solid government that guarantees firmness and credibility. Achieving this stability is desirable for social cohesion and also to achieve the return of Catalan companies that changed their headquarters in 2017.”
Although on other occasions the employers' association chaired by Josep Sánchez Llibre had been in favor of facilitating the return of companies, this had never been considered the main demand for the government.
The Catalan employers' association also demands that the next president undertake the necessary economic reforms to improve employment and stop the fall in family incomes. “The priority must be to weave broad agreements that seek to improve employment, calm the fall in family incomes and guarantee sustained growth in the immediate future and based on improved productivity,” the statement reads.
Among the rest of the requests, the defense of “the figure of the entrepreneur” or “competitive taxation at the service of productive investment” stands out. In this regard, Foment specifies that "taxes such as wealth taxes or taxes on large fortunes do not help make us competitive, and we must become homogenized with the EU, where these taxes do not exist."
Regarding infrastructure, the employers consider “a major agreement in the Cortes Generales that defines a plan” that “generates certainties and sets priorities” is essential. In education they focus on "vocational training", while in housing the new law is criticized and it is asked that "a responsibility that belongs to the public sector not be transferred to the private sector."
At the level of Government policies, Foment believes that “the modernization of the public sector cannot be postponed” as well as the energy transition. In pensions, it is considered “unfeasible to maintain the increase in spending.”
The last point of the decalogue is “industrial policy in capital letters.” The express request is “to facilitate the installation, creation and development of industrial activity.” The ultimate objective is to increase the weight of the industry in the overall activity: “We will not have a solid economy without a powerful industrial sector.”