“We are facing an unforeseen crisis”

Publication: Friday, March 5, 2021 1:14 PM

King Felipe VI is back in Catalonia. And with him was the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, who accompanied the monarch in his visit to the Seat factory facilities in Martorell (Barcelona) as part of the company’s 70th anniversary. One act they did not attend are the representatives of the Generalitat, who maintain their boycott of the events in which the king participates.

The two leaders were also accompanied by the Minister of Industry, Tourism and Trade, Reyes Maroto. Precisely, the industry was one of the main topics of the day, when King Felipe wanted to focus on the “extremely hard blow” that the pandemic has caused, in particular in the automotive sector.

“Spain was the fourth EU country to have recorded the biggest drop in passenger car registrations in 2020. This worrying figure should not make us forget that we are facing an unforeseen crisis, with totally causes independent of a solid, vast and full of future as it is ours ”, expressed.

In this sense, the king assured that the support of the institutions of motor racing “will be absolute”, and defended the aid that the State has provided in recent months to face the economic crisis: “The whole of automotive sector. The automotive industry has benefited from the line of government guaranteed loans. At the same time, nearly 170,000 workers have benefited from the flexibility granted under ERTES, with savings in social security contributions estimated at over of 350 million euros “, conviction.

New plans to boost the sector

Regarding the aforementioned aids, Felipe VI also insisted on a series of plans supported by the Head of State. For example, he recalled the “Plan to promote the value chain of the automotive industry”, launched last July and endowed with 3,750 million euros.

He also underlined the nearly 2 billion euros that the new budgetary framework allocates to the Mediterranean corridor. Nevertheless, one of the points on which the monarch insisted the most was the Next Generation EU plan, in which the government will allocate nearly 10 billion euros to create “more sustainable, intelligent, carbon-free and connected mobility”.

In this sense, Felipe alluded to the announcement of the executive of that same Thursday, in which the creation of a public-private consortium was confirmed to install in Barcelona the first battery factory in Spain, which, according to the monarch, represents “an irreversible bet of Spain in favor of the development of the electric vehicle”.

“A battery factory in Spain is a sign of unbeatable commitment not only to the sector’s value chain, but to the aspects that should define us as a country in the global market: innovation, inalienable territorial cohesion and public-private participation through the most appropriate formulas in pioneer projects ”, he added.

The importance of ecological transition

At the same time, in line with the above, Felipe stressed the need to develop electric vehicles: “I know that we are ready. I am also aware that this alliance of companies and institutions for the ecological transition and for sustainable development counts with the indisputable support of Spanish society ”, he indicates.

“In our recent history, Spain has given many examples of its great capacity for transformation. Therefore, aware of the difficulties that the whole world is going through at this time, I would like to once again reaffirm my confidence in the path we are taking today. travel towards the future, a future of greater progress and well-being to which we are already devoting our best efforts, ”he concludes.

This visit of the king with Sánchez was marked in its beginnings by some small mobilizations, called by separatist entities in the vicinity of the industrial zone, which showed their rejection of the monarch.

Despite this, thanks to an extended security device from the Mossos d’Esquadra, the king and Sánchez arrived at the factory as normal.

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