The family business demanded this Monday from the Government “moderation and dialogue to build a framework of stable relations.” It was during the opening speech of the XXVI National Congress of Family Business given in Bilbao by the president of the IEF, Andrés Sendagorta. At the annual meeting of the Family Business Institute (IEF), for the fifth consecutive year, the President of the Government Pedro Sánchez did not participate. The last time he did it was in 2018.
The businessman also wanted to issue a warning in the midst of the investiture negotiations about the need to use the “constitutional framework” as a reference to act. The president of the business lobby demanded in his speech to avoid “polarization.” In recent years, the family business has felt attacked by comments from members of the Sánchez Government in which they criticized different Spanish businessmen and, in addition, there is discomfort due to the increase in taxation with, for example, the new tax on great fortunes or the increase in social contributions.
“It is necessary to encourage employment, and taxing it does not seem like the best way to achieve it,” reflected the president of the institute in relation to the aforementioned increase in contributions. On the other hand, Sendagorta asked on this issue to review “taxation to ensure, together, that the net salary that reaches the workers’ pockets is as close as possible to the gross cost assumed by the companies.”
Sendagorta, who also presides over his family business Sener, criticized the Government’s educational policy. In his opinion, “more time is spent in our public debate highlighting ideological features than supporting the real objectives that our educational programs should pursue.”
The businessman regretted that there are different profiles that are not found in the market such as engineers, but also personnel for the hospitality sector.
The Family Business Institute, through its president who ends his term next year, also claimed its role in society, which he believed is not always shared by everyone. “This legitimate pride that business families have for the work done must be shared by society and, specifically, by our leaders,” he said.
Minister Escrivá praises the role of family businesses in job creation
Regarding the economic situation, Sendagorta assured that the main imbalance is unemployment, which is also the main cause of inequality in Spain.
On the opening day, the Minister of Social Security, José Luis Escrivá, in a brief welcome speech praised the role of family businesses in job creation and the application of corporate social responsibility measures. He also recalled that the largest companies in the world have family roots.
The inauguration ceremony was closed by King Felipe, who asked to facilitate development in the territories “more isolated or far from urban centers.” In his opinion, “quality services, education, health and infrastructure” must be improved.
Yesterday, the president of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, also participated in Congress, who repeated the scheme that he used last year in Cáceres and opted for lower taxes. The politician insisted that we should opt for “contained taxes” because – in his opinion – reducing taxation ends up increasing revenue. “In Spain 40 tax figures have increased,” he said. In his speech, Feijóo recalled that the communities governed by the PP have reduced taxes worth 2,000 million euros. An amount that comes from the reduction of Personal Income Tax, Inheritance and Assets. Regarding the Next Generation European funds, the president of the PP was very critical of the Government because he considered that the distribution of resources is not publicized. Feijóo agreed with Lehendakari Iñigo Urkullu on the need to territorialize the management of European funds.
The day closed with a round table on the business perspective. In that debate, the president of the Cercle d’Economia, Jaume Guardiola, warned of the loss of GDP per capita in recent years. Íñigo Fernándes de Mesa, from the CEOE, warned of the high tax rates for businessmen.
Urkullu’s discomfort over the treatment of Basque
During yesterday’s opening session of the Congress in Bilbao there was a moment of some tension when Lehendakari Iñigo Urkullu had to pause his brief speech in Basque for a few seconds due to the sound of throat clearing and murmuring that was heard in the plenary hall of the Euskaduna palace. Only when he became silent again did he recover his speech. Sources consulted by the Lehendakaritza confirmed Urkullu’s discomfort with what happened during the welcome. Some attendees said that the situation was somewhat tense and attributed the lack of silence to the fact that the speech was in Basque, a perception shared by the Lehendakari, according to the sources consulted. From the organization, the IEF downplayed the incident and valued and appreciated the effort that the Lehendakari had made to participate in the formal event. It is common for congresses to be inaugurated by the president of the autonomous community where they are held.