Carmen Planas. | Teresa Ayuga

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Carmen Planas has been the president of the CAEB Confederation of Balearic Business Associations since 2014. This coming Thursday, she will be re-elected president at the confederation's assembly. Ahead of that meeting, she has been assessing the current economic situation, the impact of Covid and the war in Ukraine and developments such as the new Balearic tourism law.

On the economy, Planas says that it is beginning to recover from the pandemic. "We are the region which has suffered the most. We thought that we would fully recover during 2022 and 2023, but with everything that is happening - the war, skyrocketing inflation, rising fuel and supply prices - I don't think full recovery will come before 2024."

Economic crisis is worsening, she observes, because there is more uncertainty. "On top of all the supply shortages are rising energy prices. Antoni Riera (of the Fundación Impulsa) has said that if inflation continues to rise and goes to being structural rather than being of a temporary nature, recovery will be more difficult."

As a consequence of Covid, "we have learned a lot, especially knowing how to resist". "The most damaging thing has been uncertainty, because when it comes to undertaking new projects, people think twice. ERTE (the furlough scheme) and all the protection mechanisms that were activated were very important. But now, with what is happening with the cost of gas and electricity, businesses are putting workers back on ERTE."

On the relationship with the Balearic government, Planas says that there has been sufficient dialogue, although she feels that sometimes there could be a more "pro-business" approach. At times, agreements have been more advantageous for some companies than for others. But she acknowledges that "this always happens".

The CAEB did not participate directly in talks about the tourism law, as this was something for the hotel federations. "They are our associates, but the negotiation was their business. We were surprised by the freezing of new tourist accommodation places and we do not agree with it because it affects many sectors." This moratorium, she believes, will result in a reduction in investment and therefore economic activity. "That ultimately affects salaries and people's well-being."