The coincidence in the proposals of the PP and the CEOE have been a constant for decades. Mariano Rajoy carried out his labor reform in 2012 without bringing together the social dialogue, but he did not need it. I knew that the unions would be against it and the bosses would be in favor. So much so that the then Minister of Labour, Fátima Báñez, is today in the pay of employers for an amount of money that is not public.
But the entente has suffered some cracks in these two years of coalition government, especially with the new labor regulations, which has caused a public confrontation that the leaders of both organizations, Pablo Casado and Antonio Garamendi, have tried to settle this Monday with a Photo. Despite the staging of good vibes between the two, to the point of comparing themselves with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Casado and Garamendi once again differed in public about the new Workers' Statute.
Garamendi was a little more diplomatic and showed his disagreements with Casado outside the Eurostars Madrid Tower hotel, a luxury accommodation in one of the five towers built north of the capital on the former grounds of the Real Madrid Sports City. "I have no harshness with Mr. Casado," declared the president of the employer's association upon arrival. "We have done the work we had to do, we have approved the agreement with the unions because it gives stability" and guarantees "social peace," he added. And settled: "Hopefully what we have signed is approved. We do not move a comma from what was agreed."
Inside, Casado was waiting for him, who did not make any statements to the media, to share a colloquium on tourism organized by Hotusa, one of the main conglomerates in the sector. After the hugs of rigor, and in spite of the good tone that both dedicated themselves, the leader of the PP wanted to make his position very clear from the beginning. If Garamendi has the right to validate in Congress the royal decree-law of the labor reform without modifications, this Monday Casado rejected the idea again and attacked the tripartite agreement sealed by the main unions, ratified by the executive of the CEOE and approved by the Council of Ministers. The president of the PP defended more "flexibility" and criticized those who associate "temporary" with "precariousness."
But Garamendi did not want to argue. Each one had already marked their position on one of the many issues that have distanced them in these two years of Government of the PSOE and United We Can. The multiple agreements between the CEOE and the Executive have limited the arguments of the PP when it comes to rejecting some of its policies that did have the support of the employers, such as the increases in the SMI, the ICO credits or the extensions of the ERTE.
The president of the employer's association said that the two speak almost every week, but that they do not call each other to tell each other what the other has to do. It was at that moment that Garamendi launched the strangest proposal that had ever been made to Casado in public. After comparing himself to the couple formed by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, the CEOE leader said that since they were in a hotel they had to go upstairs and share a bed so that the press could see how well they get along.
It is not known if Casado's gestures of rejection were for comparing him to a pacifist with long hair and beard, or to his wife, eternally singled out for being the cause of the Beatles' breakup, or for the possibility of sharing a bed with Garamendi, although be in a five star hotel. The fact is that the rest of the colloquium was a constant of good words between both, and of coincidence in some very favorable economic, labor and fiscal approaches for the tourist employers.
both claimed a specific PERTE for the tourism sector through which to distribute among the companies a good pinch of the funds from the EU that Casado has taken to court. Of course, without giving numbers. The leader of the PP also proposed that, in order to reactivate tourism, a tax reduction be made, with a reduction of VAT for the sector to 4%; and lighten the tourist taxes charged by the autonomous communities and airports. In addition, he proposed that a communication campaign be launched to promote Spain as a safe tourist destination.
On the other hand, he urged to carry out a moratorium on ICO credits in their return, tax exemptions and expand the ERTE, also from travel agencies, which have the highest data in the entire economy. Finally, he spoke of a Tourism Law, which he has not detailed; and to improve labor flexibility in the sector with the figure of the austrian backpack. A model whose implementation was estimated at 8,000 million euros, but whose bill Casado wants to endorse European funds.
However, this Monday is not the first attempt to approach cameras and microphones to stage that there is harmony between the leader of the employers and the president of the PP. At the return of summer, last October, Pablo Casado attended an informative breakfast with Antonio Garamendi as speaker. Both sought the image of cordiality by sitting at the same table and talking in front of the cameras in an apparently friendly way.
Look for the cameras and exalt the friendship. A few months earlier, in July, Garamendi himself in an act that, in theory, was focused on the role of the self-employed, defined Casado as "a good friend." "I tell the president of the PP that he has our collaboration, that we always have a very important attitude and line of trust," Garamendi assured on June 1. "I wish the PP the best, it is the key because the Constitution says that alternation is also good when it touches".
In that same act, Casado pulled Garamendi's ears for following in the wake of a government that makes "toxic use of everyone's communication propaganda the agreements you want to reach". That meeting, also with cameras, took place two weeks after Garamendi's words supporting pardons for those convicted by the procés.
The relationship between the two is far from being the best, and it is far from the harmony that the employers and the PP have maintained since the latter reached the Government, in 1996. And perhaps the reference to the Lennon-Ono couple was not the best that Garamendi could choose . After all, it was legion who pointed out that relationship as being responsible for the breakup of one of the most famous musical groups in history.