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CEOE and Foment only represent the views of 1% of Catalan economy, according to business association

The business owners’ association Cercle Català de Negocis (CCN) insisted that neither Spain’s confederation of employer associations, CEOE, nor its Catalan member, Foment del Treball “represent anything other than themselves and the interests of large corporations linked to the Spanish Government”. After the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, asked employers to participate in the political debate, these two main employers’ associations have rejected getting involved in the self-determination process. However the CCN recalled that these large corporations only represent a tiny part of Catalonia’s business sector. The CCN stressed that SMEs account for 99% of all Catalan production and many of their owners “have mostly positioned themselves in favour of exercising the right to self-determination”. During a luncheon on Tuesday, Mas nuanced his previous statement, saying that he was “not asking for explicit statements” but “to be within” the political debate. 

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18 February 2014 08:36 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The business owners’ association Cercle Català de Negocis (CCN) insisted that neither Spain’s confederation of employer associations, CEOE, nor its Catalan member, Foment del Treball “represent anything other than themselves and the interests of large corporations linked to the Spanish Government”. After the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, asked employers to participate in all three of Catalonia’s main objectives on Friday: fostering the economic recovery, maintaining social cohesion through the Welfare State and enabling Catalonia’s self-determination, the CEOE and Foment rejected “getting involved” in any political issues. On previous occasions, they had voiced their opposition to independence. However, the CCN recalled that these large corporations only represent a tiny part of Catalonia’s business sector. The CCN stressed that small and medium sized enterprises (SME) account for 99% of all Catalan production and many of their owners “have mostly positioned themselves in favour of exercising the right to self determination in surveys conducted by PIMEC, CECOT and even by Barcelona’s Chamber of Commerce”. Last year, a survey issued by the main SME owners’ association in Catalonia, PIMEC, had notably revealed that 66.8% would support an independent Catalonia within the EU. Besides, this Tuesday, during a luncheon, Artur Mas nuanced his previous statement, saying that he was “not asking for explicit statements” but “to be within” the political debate. , He also added that business owners cannot openly position themselves regarding Catalonia’s self-determination due to “the daily interests” of their companies and their sales. Mas added he understood their situation, as he has been “on both [the Government and the companies’] side”.


“No employer association has given reasons based on rigor and numbers that can refute the numerous studies – of the Cercle Català de Negocis and others – which demonstrate that the Catalan economy needs its own state” stated the Cercle Català de Negocis. They thus emphasised the need to meet face to face “with those who advocate that employers must be involved in achieving the creation of a separate State to debate on the pros and cons”.

The employer’s association CCN, which has almost 8,000 members (with more than 1,100 of them being full-right members) also called for the resignation of the President of the CEOE, Juan Rosell. They were reacting to Rosell’s argument, who stated that companies were not meant to get involved in politics but to be devoted to creating jobs. The CCN stated that Spanish employers “haven’t done anything” to create jobs, and the “only” things to have risen are the unemployment figures. Since Spanish employers have not met their main goal, Rosell should resign, according to them.

Artur Mas: there is no need to make public stances, only “the need to be present”

During a luncheon on Tuesday, Artur Mas, nuanced his initial statements. He explained that he had never asked for employers and businesses to explicitly defend the self-determination process, but only “to be by the side of” the majority of Catalans. He went on by saying that economy being inseparable from politics did not mean that organisations had to make public stances: “there is no need to commit with a stance in public, simply the need to be present” he argued. The Catalan President also added that he fully understood that certain statements “could harm specific daily interests and that the economy had to protect itself”. Mas insisted he has been “on both sides”, referring both the Government and the private sector, and therefore he can fully understand the businesspeople’s concerns, he said.  

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  • The President of the CCN, Albert Pont, in a recent interview (by X. Alsinet)

  • Artur Mas (centre) met with a group of businesspeople on Tuesday (by P. Mateos)

  • The President of the CCN, Albert Pont, in a recent interview (by X. Alsinet)
  • Artur Mas (centre) met with a group of businesspeople on Tuesday (by P. Mateos)