Barcelona “There is bewilderment, disbelief and denial”. “They are upset, disappointed and very quiet; few jokes, these days”. “They are in a state of shock, they don’t understand anything.” “A nuclear bomb has fallen”. “They are freaking out and very fucked up”. “They are under attack, they had their necks down that they would score or that they would be missing very little”. “They have a big disappointment and, on top of that, depending on Puigdemont is killing them.”
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It is a collection of sentences from senior managers in Barcelona and Madrid about the atmosphere that has been felt this week in the Íbex-35 following the failure of the PP in its assault on power. The electoral defeat of the Popular Party, the party preferred by the majority of the major Spanish companies, is difficult to bear. A handful of managers have explained it this way to the ARA.
The PP went so far as to poll Sánchez Llibre as minister days before an election that he saw won
“They had their necks down that they would add up or that they would lack very little, that they would have the moral strength to collar Pedro Sánchez with the help of the living forces of the PSOE and the baron”, says a manager. “If expectations had been managed, the results are not bad”, adds another voice, who admits that “a PP and Vox government was taken for granted, with the only doubt as to whether the populars would depend a lot or a little on the ultra-right”. These frustrated expectations have meant that the bewilderment has been directed at very specific environments. “There is a lot of anger against opinion multipliers and specifically against Grupo Planeta”, explains an important manager. “The demonization of Sánchez in the Salamanca neighborhood and the Íbex had come to finance a communication model that feeds back on itself”, criticizes another voice.
The clubs of the ministers
The certainty of a Conservative victory had been felt in the weeks leading up to the election. The clubs of the future ministers of Feijóo were reproduced in Madrid and Catalonia. In the capital of the State, for example, it was taken for granted that the governor of the Bank of Spain, Pablo Hernández de Cos, would be Minister of Economy if Vox did not enter the government. It was also certain that Cuca Gamarra would be Minister of the Presidency.
In the Catalan capital, the same thing happened with the search for the Catalan minister. The name of businessman Xavier Faus was heard in Genoa, headquarters of the PP in Madrid, but there the profile was discarded, according to sources familiar with the meeting. The name that did have consensus and strength, according to ARA, was that of Josep Sánchez Llibre, president of Foment del Treball, to whom the possibility was raised. But the ex-deputy of Union declined the proposal. A third name was that of Josep Ramon Bosch, founder of Societat Civil Catalana.
The Economic Circle did not publish an opinion note that it had already written to request a major PP-PSOE agreement
Another proof that the businessmen were very clear about who would win were the events where they let themselves be seen. “I went to Equestrian [entitat barcelonina de signe conservador] to see Nacho Martín Blanco and it was very full; then I went back to see Meritxell Batet (PSC) and there were, counted, thirteen people”. The president of a large listed company explains the same. “Historically, when there is an event and the president of the government goes, the whole Ibex goes; lately no one has been there”, he adds, giving as an example an act ofElDiario.es before the municipal meetings in which no senior manager attended, despite the presence of Pedro Sánchez. “I think it’s a beginner’s mistake: if you’re against someone, don’t show it.”
Astonishment and great coalition
Monday was the day when the stupefied state was most visible in this economic environment. Different business organizations (such as the CEOE and Foment) were asking for big deals, a way to push towards the longed-for Ibex dream of a PP-PSOE government. “It’s what we all want”, admitted the manager of a listed company that same day. The surprise also reached the Cercle d’Economia catalan: as this newspaper has learned, he had prepared a note in the sense of asking for a major government agreement which, logically, he did not publish.
“They don’t know Spain or Madrid: Vox won five deputies and Sumar six”
“This very wrong view is due to the fact that they do not understand their country, because Spain is not Madrid, and they do not even know Madrid: here Vox obtained five deputies and Sumar six”, laments a manager of the Spanish capital.
With the passing of the days, the main offices in Madrid have begun to wear it. “They have gone from being angry to a pragmatism very typical of the sector: after trying to put pressure on the PNB, which has had enough with Bildu, they have turned the page”, says an important businessman. According to his point of view, this implies understanding that the president will be Sánchez. “Now everyone repeats this guy [Pedro Sánchez] it’s the wafer’, which is worthy of a case of Iese, and they only ask that he doesn’t make any more animals than necessary”, he says crudely. “What we don’t want, neither Brussels, nor us, nor anyone else, are new elections”, he adds.
“Now they have gone from anger to pragmatism and are asking that Sánchez not make any more animating than necessary,” says a manager
Regarding the possibility of putting pressure on Junts, some point out that the most pragmatic figures of the Convergència heirs (Artur Mas, Xavier Trias or Jaume Giró) could serve as intermediaries in a negotiation. But a recent president of the Íbex clearly shows his pessimism and makes a reading of the situation that does not hide an anti-system attitude: “The best thing that can happen to us is to be without a government for a couple of years: the country has already shown that it works much better that way. Because all the current pact options are equally bad”.
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