CRISTINA FARRÉS / ALEIX MERCADER, 30 November 2021
King Felipe VI, the president of the Fundació Bancària La Caixa, Isidre Fainé, and the president of Foment del Treball, Josep Sánchez Llibre / EP
The celebration of the 250th anniversary of main employers’ association Foment del Treball has been marked by the demand for stability, which clashes with the secessionist demands of the Government
Felipe VI came to the celebration of the 250th anniversary of main employers’ association Foment del Treball after being applauded at the delivery of the new judges’ offices at the Barcelona Auditorium. And, again, he was received by a devoted audience to which he corresponded. In fact, he was one of those who took the longest to leave the event and chatted with everyone who approached him. The representatives of the Catalan business representatives surrendered to the monarch after the umpteenth speech of independence profile of Catalan government .
The president of Catalonia, Pere Aragonès , tried to send a message of optimism after the coronavirus crisis and make it clear that the economic fabric of the territory has the necessary ingredients to overcome the threat of the reinforced pandemic. However, his words fell on deaf ears by the need to raise the star flag (independentist flag) again before the monarch , whom he had stood up again at the official reception to later share a table at the same dinner.
Wear of the nationalist discourse
This part of his speech was not exactly met with enthusiasm by those present. In fact, it was received with some dismay from the rest of the tables that were arranged in the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC), the scene of the business meeting. Despite this, it is recognized that he has supported the employers’ along with the Minister of Business and Labor, Roger Torrent , although the head of Economy, Jaume Giró , was missing , who, like the rest of the JxCat elected, gave in to the Republicans the institutional representation in another self – exclusion of an institutional event.
Outside the gallery, the ANC again claimed that it had succeeded by projecting a message against the monarchy on the Venetian towers that receive those who try to reach the MNAC from Avenida María Cristina. Inside, the erosion of the nationalist discourse has been notorious.
Felipe VI spoke of the fruits of stability and legal security in a bilingual speech in which he used Catalan proverbs, in addition to claiming the figure of the businessman , a nod to the president of Foment del Treball, Josep Sánchez Llibre . The employer took the stage and pretended to improvise his speech, something that he managed to redirect thanks to his collaborators in one of the moments in which the failures of the organization of the event made those present smile.
The emotional speech of the president of the La Caixa Banking Foundation, Isidro Fainé , was also commented on , whose voice broke when he remembered the support he has received throughout his life from his wife, “Montserrat”. That intimate moment was reciprocated with applause from those present.
Colau and the rest of the presidential table
The mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau , did not play in her own field either , and her speech passed without further ado despite claiming public-private collaboration. The business community does not forget the decisions of her mandate, which have pointed to the opposite. Like Aragonès, she also stood up Felipe VI , with whom he shared a table and exchanged several words in a cordial way.
The presidential table was the largest in the business event. In addition to Felipe VI, Aragonès, Colau and Sánchez Llibre, the former presidents of Foment del Treball Joaquim Gay de Montellà and Juan Rosell sat there . His predecessor at CEOE, Antonio Garamendi , also had a chair in it along with Cepyme’s leader, Gerardo Cuerda , and three executives from the La Caixa group. The Presidents of Repsol, Antoni Brufau ; Naturgy, Francisco Reynés ; and Grupo Agbar, Àngel Simón . The table was completed by the president of AITPA, another of the winners, Josep Sauleda , and the head of the Royal Household, Jaime Alfonsín .
The great act of the Catalan employers’ association brought together two ministers, that of Transport, Raquel Sánchez , and that of Inclusion and Social Security, José Luís Escrivá ; and the presidents of the Valencian Community, Ximo Puig , and Aragón, Javier Lambán – whom Aragonès recognized as the leader of a territory “with a common language” -. The leader of the Balearic Executive, Francina Armengol , was also invited , but a scheduling problem has prevented her trip to Barcelona at the last minute.
Eight award-winning companies
The eight companies that have also been winners on the night of the XVI Carles Ferrer Salat Awards all agree to stand out in key areas of economic transformation . After the forced stoppage by the pandemic, Foment wanted the winners to represent values such as sustainability , equality, innovation and internationalization, business challenges that have become more important after the impact of the Covid.
Among the winners of the fourteenth edition are companies in full expansion, such as Fluidra and Wallbox , which have consolidated their international business throughout 2021. On the other hand, Hercal Diggers , specialized in the demolition of buildings, has been distinguished for its environmental projects, while the Carrefour distribution chain has obtained an award for its equality policies.
Eulen , a business services company, and the Cugat Foundation , dedicated to biomedical research, have also been recognized for their technological commitment to innovation. For its part, the Sorigué engineering group has deserved another award for its social initiatives, while the family-owned glass company Bellapart has been recognized as SME of the year.