- Only 30,000 jobs were created, and they were mainly public jobs.
- "The economic slowdown is right in front of us and we do not have the political conditions to face it"
- "No serious economic reform has been made in Spain since 2014"
The former president of the Government and president of the FAES Foundation, José María Aznar, affirmed earlier today that the employment data of the last quarter evidences the deceleration of the Spanish economy. “During the last quarter of 2018 only 30,000 jobs were created, and these were mainly public jobs, while the service sector and the industrial sector have lost jobs”. He made this statement in Tenerife during his speech at the business forum 'The evolution of the economy and the financial markets', organized by JH Asesores Financieros & Bancarios (JH Financial & Banking Advisors).
Aznar has lamented that the State Budget once again relied on the culture of public deficit as an element that generates growth and employment. Aznar assured that if there is one thing clear in our recent history, it is that the public deficit does not create jobs: all new jobs that are not supported by economic reforms will disappear with the economic cycle.
For the former President, "the deceleration is in front of us, and we do not have the political conditions to face it". In his opinion, we will not enter into a recession, however, the Spanish economy will grow less in 2019 showing that "the economic cycle is coming to an end. Picking up a still incomplete reformist agenda and send credible messages to the financial markets is required.
"There has been no serious economic reform in Spain since 2014", recalled Aznar, who pointed out that despite the reorganisation of the financial system and a more flexible labour market thanks to the 2012 reform, the Spanish economy continues to show high levels of vulnerability. There are structural problems that are not being tackled as well, such as the 2.7% public deficit, the largest in the eurozone in 2018. He has also opted for a comprehensive fiscal reform and a return to a demanding fiscal policy discipline.
In his speech, where he addressed nearly a hundred businessmen, Aznar also warned about the risks and uncertainties that the technological revolution might bring, not only in the economic and communication fields but also in terms of political participation. "Intermediation has disappeared," he said, pointing out that political parties are being questioned and that algorithms entail risks for electoral processes. He also added that nowadays there are isolated elements that go beyond states, such as terrorism or hybrid wars, that have enough power to control and influence processes.
In another order of matters, when asked about the role of Spain and the European Union with regard to Juan Guaidó’s proclamation as interim president of Venezuela, Aznar declared that “free elections cannot be called if there is no regime change. It is aurora borealis", he said and rhetorically asked "how is it possible to say that you do not want a regime change in Venezuela and entrust free elections to a president that you do not recognize and consider that came to power because of electoral fraud?
In his opinion "what needs to be done is to take the necessary measures to recognize the new democratic authority and let it be the one calling for election". In this sense, he stated that “European policy towards Venezuela has been complete nonsense and a real mistake. The EU, including the Spanish government and because of the Spanish government, has made a fool of itself, and has done the Venezuelan democrats a disservice".