The Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, today highlighted the “rapid recovery” of the economy in Spain, despite the “complex and highly uncertain” scenario. He did so during the international Expansion forum, where he highlighted that Spain is one of the countries that will grow the most in 2022 and 2023, “driven by the recovery of tourism, the intense creation of employment” and the acceleration of the execution of the Plan of Recovery.

Maroto recalled that the number of ERTE workers is already less than 30,000, “which means that the labor market has absorbed practically all the workers whose working hours were reduced or suspended during the pandemic.”

He has also stressed that “the recovery of tourism is being very intense. It is a sector that has shown its effort and resistance after having to face an unprecedented pandemic.”

He recalled that in April 85% of the tourists who were before Covid and almost all of the spending were recovered. Maroto has reviewed the Strategic Projects for Economic Recovery and Transformation, the PERTE, approved by the Government. He highlighted the plan for tourism (with 3,400 million), the PERTE for electric and connected vehicles, with a total investment of 11,855 million euros. Also Vanguard Health, which will have a total investment of 1,469 million euros, or agri-food, with 1,800 million.

“This government has responded effectively to alleviate the effects of the war and we are vigilant in adopting the urgent measures necessary to guarantee the path of economic and social recovery, as we did during the pandemic,” said Maroto.

Luis Gallego, CEO of IAG and one of the highest-ranking Spanish executives in the airline sector, has also participated in the Expansion forum. The manager has talked about the recovery and has indicated that IAG plans to fly 85% of the capacity they had in 2019 this summer.

He has assured that companies are already returning to business trips and long-distance travel is also recovering. According to Gallego, the North Atlantic area will already be flown at 2019 capacity while Asian routes “recover more slowly.”

He has insisted on the importance of Iberia’s purchase of Air Europa for Spain, because it will allow “having an important hub in Madrid”. “Asia will be one of the regions that is going to have the most development. We have been trying to buy Air Europea for some time, because we believe it is important to boost this traffic,” he said.

He explained that with the merger they could have a long-haul fleet of 70 aircraft, like that of the Dutch KLM in Amsterdam, which “would allow them to have a greater vision towards Asia.” IAG has bought 20% of Air Europa, and “the next step is to get 100%. If the competition recommendations are acceptable, we can do it”.

Regarding the air collapse in recent weeks at some European airports, Gallego recalled that the ERTE in Spain has been well designed and “has allowed us to maintain the templates.” “In British we did not have such a complete program and we had to reduce the workforce”

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