The Valencian campaign tiptoes through the economic model and is fierce with housing

More than a month ago, no one would have said that the Seat-Volkswagen gigafactory would appear so little on the scene in this campaign.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
26 May 2023 Friday 22:41
28 Reads
The Valencian campaign tiptoes through the economic model and is fierce with housing

More than a month ago, no one would have said that the Seat-Volkswagen gigafactory would appear so little on the scene in this campaign. As a success achieved by the current regional government, the candidate Ximo Puig has used it in the "Volkswagen or Gürtel" confrontation, but the Bildu lists ended up absorbing everything and few flags have been raised by the PSPV or its Botànic partners with the logo of the German multinational.

In general, if analysts complain about how little the candidates have developed local ideas, economists should put their hands up when they see that little or nothing has been heard about the economic model in the campaign. What Valencian Community do the candidates want to project? Where is the country project that is being presented headed?

This week a giant urn has presided over different points of Valencia, Alicante and Castelló. At the initiative of the LAB Foundation and the Valencian Association of Entrepreneurs, "the visibility and awareness of the importance" of the Valencian Community having a strategy and orientation to position itself as a national and European benchmark in terms of entrepreneurship, innovation, technology and research.

But little has been said about I D i in the campaign. Yes, tax reform, investment attraction, the energy challenge and the installation of renewables, a problem that was addressed in Castelló by a crowded demonstration called by La Unió to demand a rural world without the threat of macro-plants. And it is that the field, beyond the open war of water, also needs answers.

Also tourist tax or Airbnb and adjacent. And housing, because both ideas go together. With skyrocketing rental prices, there are those who attribute the boom in unregulated tourist housing to the rise in rents, through the roof in cities such as Valencia or Alicante. Without waiting a day, the still Minister of Housing and candidate Hèctor Illueca yesterday signed the resolution for the declaration of stressed residential market areas in the Valencian Community. Housing has earned the label of the star issue of the campaign in its own right, claimed by unions such as CCOO-PV, which has called for its social role to be strengthened.

The unemployment or hiring figures are still on the table after a pandemic from which it was expected to come out better and it came out, surely, only differently. But beyond the debates, the challenge that lies ahead for the Valencian Community is huge. This semester the last ERE of the company is being dealt with at the Ford factory in Almussafes. A process that will leave out 1,124 employees and that anticipates a paradigm shift, in this economic sector and many others, key to the Valencian economy. The automotive industry turns to be mobility, with the adjective "sustainable" always present. Because of Ford, and of the electrical allocation made to it by the management of the multinational, it eats up an entire sector that employs some 24,500 people directly in the Valencian Community.

Mobility will be key to the Valencian economy, according to the production that will come out of the Sagunt battery gigafactory, the milestone that is already being built among orange trees condemned to say goodbye. The next president or president of the Generalitat Valenciana will inaugurate a factory in 2026 that will shake up employment in the area, since it will not only need 3,000 workers, but its activity will also have an impact on suppliers and auxiliary industry. In the Camp de Morvedre there is concern to see how the arrival of the recruiters from Seat-Volkswagen will affect it, because although many of the specialists come by plane from Germany, they will need local labor. And it's hard to find her today well prepared.

The campaign leaves economic proposals, but reflections on development, innovation, economic model are missing. In their programs, the parties have given an important space to economic measures: they talk about the "vanguard production model" (Compromís), the "Valencian way" for digital transformation (PSPV) or "promoting industry 4.0 of the Valencian Community” (PP).

They are committed to a sustainable tourism model, but no one renounces the revenue from the sun and the beach anymore, since that idea of ​​changing the productive model that resonated so much years ago has now become "transformation". And it is not the same. it works, there is no reason to throw it away, they would come to say, although the tourist tax is against each other.

However, in the business sector they are aware of the deficiencies and the proposal to increase the productivity of the Valencian economy is unanimous, a mantra repeated in all economic forums. Even with that, the workers and workers ask to end precariousness and new opportunities in the next four years in which, perhaps if, the next head or head of the Consell can celebrate a new regional financing.