Garamendi boasts of an “excellent” relationship with Casado: “We would have to do like Lennon and Yoko: go up to a room [de hotel] and receive the press so that they could see that it is so” | Spain


The leader of the PP, Pablo Casado, and the CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, eased this Monday some months of tensions, which have increased in recent weeks due to the agreement between the Government, employers and unions for the modification of some aspects of the approved labor reform by the Executive of Mariano Rajoy in 2012. In a round table in an innovation forum in Madrid, both have thrown humor to staunch a relationship that, judging by the harsh statements of Casado in support or the lack of opposition by Garamendi to some decisions of the Executive, it has seemed very difficult.

Garamendi has assured that his relationship with Casado is “excellent” and that he has “no harshness with Mr. Casado.” “We talk almost every week, about everything and with a lot of confidence,” he said, to immediately joke comparing the political leader and himself with the couple formed by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. “We would still have to end up doing like John Lennon and Yoko Ono, I don’t know who John Lennon and Yoko Ono would be, if we went up to a room and stayed for a week and received the press so that they could see that this relationship is indeed like that”, he joked Garamendi, referring to the historic press conference that the British musician and the Japanese conceptual artist gave at the Hilton hotel in Amsterdam in 1969. More precisely, in his bed and in his pajamas, and to utter pacifist slogans.

For Casado, the participation of the CEOE in social dialogue is “perfectly compatible” with what the PP and the rest of the political parties do. And he has specified that both organizations, employers’ associations and the party, do not give each other slogans. “The CEOE has never given us any indication about what we should do and the Popular Party has never contacted the CEOE just to thank the work it is doing for all Spaniards,” he said.

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The good words and humor of this Monday, heard at the VIII Hotusa Explota Tourism Innovation Forum and before the former popular minister Josep Piqué, who has acted as moderator, contrast with the broadsides that Casado has dedicated to the business organization since last summer .

In June, Garamendi thus responded to the granting of pardons by the Executive to those convicted of process: “Within the rule of law is the power of the Government to grant these pardons and we are not going to enter there. The rule of law works, pardons are within it, there may be different opinions, but if this somehow ends up in things returning to normal, then welcome”. Those words earned him a barrage of criticism from the president of the PP, who described the businessmen as “accomplices”, but also as members of the CEOE, which led Garamendi to qualify the use he had given to the word “normalize” and ensure that with it he was referring to the situation of the companies that had moved their registered office outside of Catalonia after the unilateral declaration of independence in 2017. A few days later, between some tears and before the General Assembly of the CEOE, he recognized that lived in the last days, “bad, very bad”, it seemed to him “an injustice”.

In recent weeks, the PP’s speech has become more acrimonious. After knowing the agreement of December 23 between the Government, employers and unions, Pablo Casado assured that he would abolish the new norm signed if it reached La Moncloa: “We reject Sánchez’s labor counter-reform and we will recover our model,” he said. Before, in October, he assured that his party would go “to the end in the European institutions” to bring down the modification. Months before, then about the pension reform, Casado dedicated a few words to the business organization, which was accused of endorsing “the toxic agenda” for subscribing to a part of it.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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