Following his meeting and lunch with King Felipe in Palma on Tuesday, Pedro Sanchez told the media that a year ago Spain resisted the onslaught of Covid, but that the scenario was now different. “We cannot lower our guard. We must remain prudent. But this is a completely different situation.” The time of “resistance” to Covid has been replaced by the “stage of economic recovery“.
The prime minister referred to the “good” GDP data, there having been growth of 2.8% in the second quarter compared to the fall of 20% a year ago. “Spain is heading directly towards economic recovery, which will be significant throughout 2021 and 2022.” This recovery, he noted, had led to a fall in unemployment in July of 197,841 and to a record number of people signed on for work with social security – 19.6 million.
Sánchez highlighted the degree to which young people and women have been “protagonists” in the recovery of employment, they have been the groups most affected by the economic downturn as a result of the confinement. There had been a shift from “dramatic” data to very optimistic economic forecasts as well as an “extraordinary” improvement in unemployment data.
He called on opposition parties to put aside tensions caused by the distribution of European funds to Spain’s regions. There is an “objective” criterion for this distribution, while the funds represent an opportunity to change the productive model and “do things better than before Covid”. “Thanks to the agreement reached with Brussels a year ago on European funds, we today have more than 19.5 billion euros, of which 55% will be managed directly by the regions.”