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Andalusia seeks his model to close the economic gap

Behind the counter of a small tobacconist in the seville barrio of Triana, Blanca Warden reviews the years in which he worked in the catering industry. “I've n

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Andalusia seeks his model to close the economic gap

Behind the counter of a small tobacconist in the seville barrio of Triana, Blanca Warden reviews the years in which he worked in the catering industry. “I've never seen a pay extra on my payroll. Never have given me a roster with what collection really is.” Andalusia takes 30 years wrong, he thinks, “the topics still exist. The weather makes sure you stay in relatively well, you get right to the end of the month but you have to remove many things”. It could be said that the andalusian economy as a whole, reaches the end of the month, but it costs. The GDP needed 40 quarters to return to the levels of 2008, which occurred last march, almost a year after the recovery of the Spanish economy, that in order to achieve pre-crisis levels took 35 quarters.

In the past two decades, the gap in per capita income has not declined: the GDP per capita is 25,000 euros on average, and drops to 18.470 euros in the region. With 8.4 million inhabitants, 18% of the population, the andalusian economy has reached a size of 155,000 million euros, but only represents 13.3% of the national GDP. Little weight for so much potential, so say the economists. Andalusia, that the next Sunday, held elections to the Parliament, tries to shake off the topics, but dragging slabs of heavy, such as an unemployment rate of 22.8% (eight points higher than average), or a female unemployment of 27%. There are 898.000 unemployed and more than 300,000 households with all their members in unemployment.

Clear that there has been progress —the economy has almost doubled its size since the year 2000; there are leading sectors such as aeronautics— but the convergence with the rest of the country not reached, showing that in the last few decades or european funding, or the regional levels, through leveling mechanisms, have achieved the region to overcome the barriers that separate it from the rest, according to a new study of International Financial Analysts. That, in spite of having received about 100,000 million of european funds.

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“does Not converge because we have a structural difference of unemployment that we don't get cut,” keeps Manuel Hidalgo, professor of the public university Pablo de Olavide. It is the tail of the whiting. The campus where she works Hidalgo is populated by about 11,000 students and is relatively young (it was founded in 1997 as an alternative to the University of Seville), but its walls bear the imprint of time and lack of maintenance. About to go to eat (they are almost three in the afternoon of Monday 12 November) marks the last data of the Observatory of Economic Andalusia in his modest office. “Productivity has improved, but we specialize in sectors of low added value. A considerable part of the economy is in the agri-food and services. Tourism, although it is not the main activity, is very important. Are sectors very intensive in terms of labor and low added value, that reduces the productivity. How do we change this? Here is that talk about everything, education, infrastructure, incentives for R & D... For many reforms, we need to have with Madrid.”

The minister of Economy of the Board, Antonio Ramírez, the focus of the shot to the capital of the country. “The convergence is an issue, 40 years ago there were some very significant differences in levels of income and development. We have more than doubled the GDP per capita, and we have cut distances with Europe”. To reduce the gap economies have two tools in the long term: the human factor and infrastructure. “On the hypothesis that the human factor is very similar, it is detected that in decades of history in Andalusia has invested 20% less. It is a deficit of secular, it is not historic debt, but a lack of investment that will translate into infrastructure. Vectors-economic of Spain have looked to Europe and the investments have been made in the north, the market potential, and in the surroundings of Madrid. The entry of Spain into the EU has done no more than reinforce the dynamics,” he thinks Ramirez.

A waiter in a restaurant in the paseo de los Tristes in Granada. Fermín Rodríguez

There are other positions that suggest that the first great black hole, source of many evils, is in the classroom. A report by the BBVA stands at 23% the number of young people who have dropped out of school last year after completing compulsory education. It is the worst percentage in Spain after the balearic islands, another community very touristy. In the last PISA report, assessment of competencies, situated in Andalusia in the last few posts. The president of the Observatory of Economic Andalusia, Curro Ferraro, we take the hands to the head. “The time for formal training is one of the smaller of Spain. Entrepreneurs do not find adequate people with a certain qualification. Spending on education is the lowest. I don't want to say that it is much more low, here, there is no black or white, but they are things that add up”. The same thing repeats Manuel Alejandro Cardenete, professor of Economics, Loyola University. “When we have cuts, the education sector is the weakest, because it tends to keep before the social spending and the health”.

Raymond Torres, director of Juncture of Funcas, how difficult it is to break that circle. “The dropout rate has a cascading effect, is a negative element important. There are others that have to do with the structure of the economy. It is a community that suffers some volatility for the weight of tourism and the agri-food industry. Has a structure less diversified and more volatile.” Cardenete speaks of this second weakness. “To my students I explain to them, provided that the value added of a cup of coffee is infinitely smaller than any other financial service, for example.” In exchange the industry, with their well-paid jobs, have a low weight in the economy.

Low private investment and a contested public role

The convergence will not take place without investment. And there it is necessary to separate the role of the public and private actors. According to a study by Funcas, the weight of the public sector of andalusia in the Added Value of the autonomous communities is the third most important in the country, after the of Extremadura and Castile and León.

The economist Francisco Ferraro rejects that the public investment is hampering the growth. “Some believe that it is very low, but that depends on public resources is only slightly lower than the Spanish average”. Part of the problem, in his opinion, is in private hands. “Lack of productive capital, factories, digital instruments, there is a low investment business”. But the economist also criticizes the role of the institutions. “We have policies that we did 40 years ago and we demonstrate that do not serve absolutely nothing. The attitudes and codes of conduct prevailing in the society can be more or less prone to economic progress. These things were elemmany qualitative and little precisables, but started to have more data. We have indicators that are highlighted here are not very favorable for growth.” Believe it has been used “more intensively the european funding to boost the endowments of the welfare State and strengthen the institutions of regional policies to enhance the productive capacity”. One option, he says, that is legitimately defensible, but “that has its consequences in the differentials of income, employment and unemployment”.

Cardenete explains it in the key of stability. “One prefers the tranquility that it gives a government that does not do strange things, which gets funds, which assembles plans rural”, but believes that there are many shortcomings in this model that, he says, do not Betlike bet by industrial policies, in spite of having sufficient resources and are not going hand-in-hand with the entrepreneurs.

The chemical pole

At least in Huelva, Rafael Eugenio Romero, manager of the powerful employers ' chemistry AIQBE acknowledge that you do not have a problem getting contracts because they have developed a centre of professional training specific to the sector, turnover in the region 11.150 million euros and provides employment for 10,000 people. It takes away importance to the fact that only two of his 13 companies have headquarters in the city. “Last year, invested 250 million and this year that figure is going to be higher, that means that you have made a bet on the territory. More than 92% of the template is with open-ended contracts”. But until Rosemary recognizes that it costs them to form an auxiliary industry competitive and dense around these powerful arrays (Atlantic Cooper, Cepsa, Ence, Fertiberia or Repsol). “I see it as an orchestra: we have good professionals in the clarinet, the piano, but we lack a director. There are withs, but we have to make the basket.”

Airopolis is for many entrepreneurs andalusian that basket. The pole aerospace linked to Airbus concentrated in a square kilometre on the outskirts of Seville, and 46% of turnover and 38% of the employment aviation community. The productivity in its 84 companies is than 278,000 euros per employee, and in the last five years the turnover has grown by 81% to 1.551 million. Figures very high that few companies aspire to achieve. Your way try to do so in the Technological Park of Andalusia (PTA), which has approximately 630 companies established in Malaga. Felipe Romera, the director, does not want to assess the weaknesses of the andalusian economy, prefers to talk of the ecosystem of the park, where there are close to 20,000 people in disruptive technologies, big data, artificial intelligence, cyber-security, blockchain. “Are, to simplify, the most innovative companies in Andalusia”, defines. Can a grain on the beach? “You can, but it is a grain very thick which represents 1.5% of the GDP,” he answers. “This shows that in Andalucia you can, the how is the challenge.”

In the PTA, have problems to find profiles of workers with certain qualifications technology, as in other technological park highlight of the region, the one of the Cartuja of seville. The PCT Cartuja was the result of a plan that intended to reuse the space that in its day held the Universal Exhibition of 1992. Now its avenues are named after famous scientists and to the 54 buildings of the Expo will have added another 30 new plant. Should be a dynamic place in business, although of its 459 companies it is striking that only one-third exported.

it Is a question of mentality and of size, another great weakness of the productive fabric. 53% of the 500.137 empresas andaluzas does not have any employees. And only 400 above 200 employees. The president of the andalusian council of Chambers of Commerce, Antonio Ponce, blames the “administrative bureaucracy”, “lack of legal security”, (although both are similar in the rest of Spain), or that do not have “entrepreneurial spirit”. “Before it was a crime to be an entrepreneur. This has been a region subsidized, we failed to attract investments.” And what about the corruption? “The miscreants have made corruption as in all parties, that is the black point”.

for the purpose of exports, Lázaro Rodríguez, professor of Economics, University of Granada, remember that the main market for andalusian companies is usually in their own cities or in the autonomous community. “The customers are not even national. It is a pending subject”. Antonio Ramirez highlights precisely the opposite. From 1995 to 2017, exports of andalusian have increased a 403,9%, significantly above the average of the European Union (176,3%), “Already hovering around the 33,000 million, 20% of the GDP.” Be that as it may, Lázaro Rodríguez adds that the greatest administrative requirements and penalties, tax increase the size of the companies do not grow as they should. And again the need of better training. “Here in Granada there is a cluster of smes related to the software, you can have 500 projects very interesting... why? because there is a good faculty of computer science”. In contrast, it regrets that there are no great sagas family at the helm of industries, as in other regions. “Here is pasted the pitch and that's it”.

Who tends to pass the baton from one generation to another are the cooperatives. The agricultural sector represents almost seven percentage points of GDP, more than double of what it is in the rest of Spain, and only last year the cooperative sold a 10% more: billed to 8,500 million. Many, he a farmer, “produce sheep and sell lamb, without more.” In the mouth of the sector is the desire permanent to grow to transform products from the field on food with added value and stay higher margins. A process that does not occur to the desired speed, slide Juan Rafael Leal, president of Cooperative Agro-food of Andalusia, that brings together the 95% —among them the powerful Covap—. “It is a historical reality of the agricultural sectors. Those that have a capacity of transformation and market access to earn more than those who cannot. But the power is changing, we need an agricultural sector stronger, covering the whole chain of production”. Instead what they find is a war of prices with the distribution, and a social image that is often linked to the farmer with the collector of subsidies.

agricultural Legacy

“The farmer does not become rich with subsidies. We maintain a population in the field, we have a level of investment strong, we live with fear of the evolution of prices”. And, although slowly, expanding surface for ecological farming. Right now only represents between 3.5% and 4% of the production. At the helm of many of these new farms, sustainable there are young people who have been caught wanting the witness of their families. “We don't want the relay to be given to failures in other sectors, this may not be a refuge of sinners.” The employer also has entendido that the way to achieve this is training, and have partnered with the University of Osuna to attract that Loyal defined as “people excited about the field” and more prepared.

But they are hands won in a poker game where people play with worse cards. With youth unemployment at 46%, it would be logical to think that there is a high emigration. But as he recalls Ferraro, “the paradox is that having 18% of the Spanish population, Andalucía accounted for only 10.1% of the domestic out-migration abroad in the period 2008-2017”. Curious phenomenon that for the professor Cardenete has to do with “a policy of large subsidies and unemployment benefits are not linked to benefits prior; a family that protects and the underground economy. That means that with rates of unemployment that we have no bins burning in the streets, you don't see poor people, that no social revolution”. Very critical of the drift of the region, the professor of the Loyola University regrets that it has not been designed for a real industrial policy, nor that there is a “culture of bourgeois entrepreneurship”. And despite the fact that there are no large employment opportunities, there are barriers to mobility, which for Raymond Towers would be reduced if the information flow, for example, better connecting the employment offices.

Many young people are even though they have fewer career options, but also hurts other autonomous communities to pay more for the same work. What explains Nuria López Marín, secretary general of CC OO, which points towards the outside to talk about the economic woes: “When you start to ask questions... why are you here chains of hotels, pay below the average and in the Balearic islands above? What is the action of a regional government? There is a strategy of the companies, who prefer to have cheap labor. The bet of the big state plans leaves Andalusia escorada. When you have that close of a yard starts on the south... 40 years Ago the majority of the population was illiterate. The education has greatly improved. We came from a society in need, has cost vertebrarse”.

From UGT, his secretary Carmen Castilla welcomes the fact that the utilities have cushioned the blow of the crisis, but sighs because it increase the weight of sectors more productive. “A year ago we signed a covenant for the industry, it takes more industrialization”. What happens is that both the leading edge aviation as the naval construction depend on workloads which are decided in offices far away. As in Navantia, where each little cross our fingers that the contracts end up in Puerto Real and San Fernando (Cádiz). “Depend on the SEPI, and there we have lost prominence. Since the central Government has to look more to Andalusia. Happens with the infrastructure, we hurt the mouth to claim the multimodal transport to the port of Algeciras”.

That demand is enshrined with the role of the institutions during all this time. “Induce people to think that this is a confederation of regions where you can act as a puzzle and not as a network... we can't change the price of money, we have competencies defined, but not all. In the distribution of european funds, of the 100,000 million rarely it is said that 60,000 have been agricultural funds where the Board has no control. And the rest, about 23,000 have been managed by the State. And only about 17,000 by the Board”, protest Antonio Ramirez.

On the count of damage, even private companies are supposedly dropouts, have hurt the pride of the community. Abengoa reached sales of 7.780 million, but bit more than what we could digest and accumulated a ball of debt 23,000 plunging into the void. The best engineers andalusian boasted before working in the group who now tries to get back to being what it was, a good engineering company, but without feet of clay or delusions of grandeur.

election Promises

As the turrón at Christmas, with every election comes the great promise of “changing the productive model” that produces “a more competitive economy”.

Socialist Party

Bet for a re-industrialisation. The diversification will be based on the development of the potential port, strengthen the most innovative areas (aeronautics, renewable energies, biotechnology, information technologies and communications) and to support shipbuilding. Reform of the system that regulates the R & D. to Ensure the quality in the advancement of basic knowledge. Digital economy. Extend the use of the infrastructure (broadband), and enhancing the ICT sector. To improve the quality of the educational system.

Forward Andalusia

Increase investment in R & D in those sectors with the greatest potential. Improve collaboration between Government, public enterprises and universities. Force to subscribe to codes of ethics in businesses that receive subsidies of R & D. andalusian Plan of Renewable Energies, which include the whole chain of research. Plan of energy transition towards energy sovereignty and to eliminate emissions. Promoting the creation of cooperatives of second grade (owned by others) to generate synergies. To ensure the participation of Andalusia in the decisions of the SEPI.

people's Party

a zero Quota to the Social Security for young self-employed under the age of 30 for two years. To increase the investment in R & D to 2% of GDP favourable Framework for entrepreneurship Promotion of the culture of entrepreneurship, Elimination of bureaucratic barriers


Citizens does not present a specific programme for the autonomous community, but that refers to its overall project to Spain.

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