Spanish political tensions put pressure on business to act

Spain’s businesses and the country’s government are getting on badly — just when they need to work together on a once-in-a-generation opportunity.

The prize is an epic one: €140bn of grants and loans that the EU’s coronavirus recovery fund has allotted Spain over six years — and potentially even more important accompanying reforms required by Brussels in areas such as government finance, pensions and labour rules. On both the spending and reform fronts, business-government co-operation is a must.

But tensions are high. Many companies, particularly in the hard-hit hospitality sector, are fuming at a recent decision to increase the minimum wage — albeit by only €15 a month — as they struggle to recover from the pandemic.

Then there’s the Socialist-led government’s €3bn raid on energy companies’ supposed windfall profits, part of the Spanish response to soaring electricity and gas prices.

Shares in two of the Spanish…

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