labour reform


What the City of London reads is the Telegraph, not the FT!

A shocking fact, from the revolving door here at via Spain’s business paper Expansión, and a worth-noting point for readers tired of stereotypes: former Financial Times correspondent in Madrid Tom Burns has news for the pink’un-obsessed continental Europeans. What’s the dead-tree media brand of preference in the City of London? Not that one. Burns says City types love the finance pages of The Daily Telegraph, instead. “[In Europe] those in…

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Italian prime minister praises Spanish labour reform

MADRID | Mario Monti explained in an interview to the daily newspaper El Mundo that the Spanish labour reform ‘goes in the direction’ of the one he wishes to implement in his country. The Italian prime minister also comments on the reforms his government has carried out in Italy, such as the pension reform and he praises the Italian people’s ‘mature attitude’ when “it came time to accepting the sacrifices that…

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Untimely circumstances for undertaking reform plans

By Juan Pedro Marín Arrese, in Madrid | You don’t usually pick up the most suitable moment to undertake a widespread reshuffle of ill-functioning markets. Stiff political and social resistance leads to abandon any plan or hope to do it. As shelving problems don’t settle them, reforms are only accepted under the pressing need to redress a desperate situation. As a result, measures tend to inflict more damage and reap fewer…


When president Rajoy makes decisions

By Joan Tàpia | At the end of 2011 and after taking office, Mariano Rajoy’s government made its first decision: a €15 billion budget adjustment which implied that increasing taxes, especially personal income taxes, was essential –something he said he would never do. During the election campaign, the PP also assured that it would not lower the cost of dismissal. Now, the law-decree of February 11 does precisely this and takes…

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Friday’s graphic: let’s compare unit labour costs between us

A working paper by professor José Luis Mechea on possible exit scenarios from the current international economic crisis brings this already known but not fully appreciated picture. Here you are how unit labour costs have evolved since 1999 in a few euro zone countries, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain, in comparison to Germany. Obviously, there must be some link with this other graphic… Yes. Unemployment.


Spain’s reforms face lacklustre delivery

By Juan Pedro Marín Arrese, in Madrid | For all the efforts to revamp a sluggish economy by bold reforms, Spain is failing to impress investors. They have the feeling that cleaning up the massive stock of repossessed property and bad loans in banking balance sheets will amount to a much higher bill than the one announced by government. Double the €50 billion figure at the very best. No wonder…


Special Labour Reform | Spain will need a lot of social workers

By Juan Pedro Marín Arrese, in Madrid | The labour reform approved in Spain on Friday, opens the door for massive lay-offs. A drop in sales for three quarters in a row will trigger the possibility of firing workers with a maximum indemnity of one-year salary. It will foster switching to younger/cheaper manpower, at a relatively moderate cost. Average indemnities before would usually run at threefold that amount. Bad luck for…

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Special Labour Reform | The US, UK media (almost) muted response

NEW YORK, LONDON | If one of the intentions of the Spanish labour reform announced this Friday was to create headlines –like Mario Monti’s Salva Italia plan did– and calm the international money markets assuring that Spain was on the right track to make labour market more flexible, it miserably failed. Last Friday, when the ‘very aggressive’ labour revamp was announced, the major business networks, the ones that money makers…


Special Labour Reform | Low-cost dismissal and new single contract

MADRID | The minister of Economy Luis De Guindos had already warned that the labour reform was going to be extremely aggressive. He also commented that the reform would do away with collective labour agreements that he considered to be influenced by the Franco regime. The cabinet meeting in which new labour framework for all the Spanish workers was approved ended on Friday at about 2:30 pm. Right afterwards, the…


When it comes to reforms, Spain’s labour market is a must

By Juan Pedro Marín Arrese, in Madrid | Use of emergency doors being forbidden by Germany, except in cases of force majeure, trouble-ridden Southern Europe is to expect a painful and slow real adjustment. This process will allow its current competitive gap to phase out little by little. In other words, less pay for the same job. Refusal by workers to grasp the inner benefits derived from lower wages tackling imbalances inevitably…