José Luis Bonet, full academician elect of the RAED, reflects on the problems of the Spanish Executive

Dr. José Luis Bonet

Dr. José Luis Bonet

José Luis Bonet, renowned business manager as head of the Freixenet Group, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Spain and elected academician of the Royal European Academy of Doctors-Barcelona 1914 (RAED), urges Pedro Sánchez, president of the Spanish Government, to call early elections if he is unable to carry out the General Budgets of the State. Bonet makes this and other reflections in an extensive interview published by the Spanish newspaper “Expansión” on January 18. The academician doesn’t elude positioning himself on what he considers the main challenges for the Spanish economy: the economic slowdown and the crisis in Catalonia. He also addresses the lack of public financing of chambers of commerce.

For Bonet, the budgetary proposal of the Executive of Sanchez is “excessively optimistic in the tax revenue section”. The president of the Chamber of Commerce believes that fiscal policy must be consistent with the social market economy, in which the company is the key driver. “Therefore -he argues- it may not be good to overload the business world, this is the weak point of the Budget project”.

Bonet is especially critical in the management that the Government is doing on the public pension system and suggests a voluntary retirement, without the current age limits. “It’s evident that pensions are a problem, but the rise in the maximum contribution bases doesn’t stop being a patch, and the responsibility of the political forces of the Toledo Pact is to reach an agreement that addresses the problem. It means, for example, that people who are fully empowered are not allowed to work. Life expectancy and the capacity of people have improved; it is an embezzlement of human resources”.

On the Catalan conflict, Bonet insists on the dialogue to different bands, although always within the current legal framework that protect international institutions. “In Catalonia we must make an effort for harmony, the problem exists and we have to work in this direction, through dialogue, but the red lines set out in the Spanish Constitution cannot be crossed: democracy, rule of law, state of the welfare, social market economy and, if I hurry, market unity, parliamentary monarchy and something that isn’t in the Constitution as the European Union and NATO“, he says.