Spain's employment minister, Yolanda Díaz, will begin ERTE extension discussions on Friday. | Miquel À. Cañellas


Carmen Planas, president of the Confederation of Balearic Business Associations (CAEB), said on Thursday that there should be an extension to the ERTE furlough scheme for the whole of 2021 or "at least until business activity is fully recovered".

"It seems absurd to us that the Spanish government approved an extension of the state of alarm to May 9, but that we once more find ourselves in a situation of total uncertainty. We have to renegotiate ERTE because the last agreement set the end of January as the deadline."

Planas added that "we would have wished for a longer-term agreement from the previous negotiations". "This would have provided security and certainty for companies and employees as they undertake the process of total recovery of business activity.

"The Balearics are facing an historical crisis. The economy is in recession, we have recorded the worst unemployment figures for eight years, and businesses that haven't closed are at their limits."

As well as an ERTE extension, Planas insisted that it is necessary that governments reduce or eliminate tax burdens. "The consequence of not doing this is that our productive fabric is sinking, and employment along with it."

Talks on the extension start on Friday. CAEB will be the one business organisation from the Balearics represented at the so-called social dialogue table for the ERTE negotiations.