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Catalonia “has a great opportunity with the transition to the electric car”

The Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, has indicated that this month “probably” both the Silence project for the Nissan facilities in Barcelona and the company’s R&D center will be approved.

Maroto has affirmed that the Nissan case “was dealt with in a sensible way”, because, in his opinion, trust was created between the administrations, the company and the works council. In addition, he has indicated that work is also being done on the ‘hub’ to adapt the Free Trade Zone space to this industrial project.

Regarding the installation of the Volkswagen battery plant in Sagunto (Valencia), he has assured that this announcement has had a “call effect” for other manufacturers to also make “a commitment to Spain” and has foreseen a very important tractor effect for the pymes.

In an interview with ‘La Vanguardia’ collected by Europa Press, the minister explained that the Government’s participation in the announced consortium will be studied once the projects are closed and evaluated: “To avoid a possible relocation in the future, as in the case of Nissan, the Government can have a role of guardianship, never as a manager”.

“Great opportunity” for Catalonia

On the other hand, Maroto has argued that Catalonia “has a great opportunity with the transition to electric cars” and has opted to provide workers in the sector with the skills to make the transition to jobs associated with electric mobility.

“The automobile industry forty years ago was much more intensive in employment than it is now. And that is good news because processes involving occupational hazards and absenteeism have been automated,” he added.

At the same time, he has rejected that the economy is “facing a recession” and has detailed that the war in Ukraine will cause a reduction in growth.

Tourism and Russia

In another order of things, the minister has celebrated the levels of employment in the tourism sector -which she has said are at pre-pandemic levels- and has assured that “the labor reform is going to come in handy” because, in her opinion, it will reduce the precariousness.

He has highlighted that in the years prior to the pandemic, tourism generated “many externalities” and has pointed to a change in the sector towards a model based – he has said – on quality.

Maroto has guaranteed that “all Spanish companies are complying with the sanctions” and, asked by the Maxam company, has stressed that the factory in Russia has its own autonomy, so, according to her, her case is more complicated.

He explained that among the options being considered with respect to Maxam, the main one is “to recover the plant, intervene in it”, and he has also raised the possibility of giving it up; but he has stressed that this is not yet on the table because the Russian government’s countermeasures have been more lukewarm than expected.

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