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The president of the CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, warned this Tuesday that bringing the minimum interprofessional salary (SMI) up to 1,000 euros per month this year, as the unions are demanding, could cause a “significant contraction in employment”, as there are still companies that have not recovered from the crisis, especially the smaller ones. “I see the 1,000 euros as complicated (…) There is a problem of solvency in companies, even the smallest companies are quite drowned. We have had two very complicated years”, Garamendi stressed in statements to TVE collected by Europa Press.

The leader of the CEOE has recalled that the SMI has risen 30% in the last three years and that eight autonomous communities already present a minimum salary higher than 60% of the average salary, which is the objective that the Government and unions signed for the end of the legislature in their agreement for the progressive rise of the SMI, of which at the time the CEOE got off the hook.

The Executive has summoned the social agents on February 7 to talk about the rise in the SMI for 2022. The unions are asking that it be raised to 1,000 euros per month, from the current 965, following the recommendations of the committee of experts created by the Ministry of Labor. And they want this increase to be retroactive from January 1.

Yolanda Diaz and Gabriel Rufian

Garamendi has also reiterated his criticism of public administrations for not including the revaluation of the SMI of recent years in public contracts. “It’s an I invite you to dinner but you pay for dinner,” he denounced. With regard to the labor reform, the business leader has defended the text agreed between the Government and the social agents and has underlined that “stability, trust and social peace”.

Garamendi has also denied that he has personally called any political party to vote in favor of the validation of the labor reform in Congress and has explained that he has received some calls, such as the one from the leader of Ciudadanos, Inés Arrimadas, that informed him that his group would vote in favour.

“There are a lot of political tactics” around the rejection of the labor reform

In any case, the president of the CEOE believes that there are “many political tactics” around the rejection of the labor reform and has warned that the stability of labor relations in the coming years “is at stake”. In his opinion, it would be a “cheat” that the Government promised changes in the labor legislation in the coming months in exchange for votes in favor of the reform. “If it is going to be like this, I prefer that they tell me now,” he assured. Likewise, he has affirmed that, within the employers’ association, there was some abstention from the labor reform agreement, but no votes against it. “Once the decision is made, here we all go together,” he said.

European funds

Lastly, in relation to whether European funds are reaching companies, Garamendi acknowledged that “they are not yet capillarizing as they should” and has urged public administrations to “speed up” and demand a lower contribution from SMEs that access the different projects. “Normally you put 70% and you get 30% and the problem is solvency. We would like it to be 50% because SMEs, if not, will not be able to”, has pointed.


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