Agustí Sala, Saturday 01/08/20
At stake is 140 billion euros over the next six years, of which more than half will not have to be returned. A succulent loot to not only rebuild, but especially to transform the country. These resources from the European Union (EU), for which for the first time even the most reluctant countries to get into joint debt, will not be easy to obtain. Clear, precise and millimeter projects will be necessary to obtain financing. The intention to spend will not suffice.
Aware of this, a group of 12 distinguished economists, businessmen and jurists have decided to join forces, in the most transversal way possible, and approach, if necessary, projects promoted by France and Germany, which is the way to win whole. And they do it hand in hand with Basque colleagues, accustomed to coming out of the negotiations well. They already have an appointment soon with the third vice president and economy minister, Nadia Calviño; and the head of Industry, Reyes Maroto.
In fact, Raúl Blanco, the Secretary General for Industry, is part of this select group and has also had some contact with the ‘number two’ of the Vice-Presidency of the Generalitat and the Ministry of Economy, Albert Castellanos. The objective is to seek complicity and defend public-private management of good projects for Catalonia, the Basque Country and Spain. There are those who consider that raising, as the Generalitat has done, its own plan of 32,000 million as opposed to the central Executive, is not the most pragmatic way of acting. It is better to suggest and collaborate through experts, universities, without confrontations between governments.
On the Basque side, the ex-CEO of the BBV and former Minister of Economy of the Basque Government, Pedro Luis Uriarte; and the president of Petronor, Emiliano López Atxurra. There are also the ‘ex-counselors’ Andreu Mas-Colell, Antoni Castells and economists and businessmen such as Joaquim Coello, who is credited with the paternity of this initiative, Antón Costas, Alfred Pastor, Guillem López Casasnovas, Josep Maria Vallès, Miquel Puig, Josep Oliver and the notary Juan José López Burniol.
In the focus of this group, which has tried to make it as broad an ideological spectrum as possible, are very specific initiatives that have to do, for example, with defending the weight of sectors such as health and life sciences. Or to make a strong commitment to the new industry, the one in which 3-D printing, robotization, artificial intelligence and technology predominate. Their endeavor is that we, as a country, can board a wagon on this unusual train. Good luck.