Meeting of the social dialogue table on Monday. | Govern de les Illes Balears

The social dialogue table, a feature of the pandemic, reconvened on Monday to consider measures to protect the Balearic economy over the winter. A gathering of government ministers and business and union leaders, confidence was expressed that economic slowdown will be contained, despite indications that a post-tourism season decrease in activity will be more intense than usual because of factors such as inflation.

Iago Negueruela, minister for the economic model, tourism and employment, highlighted the fact that the Balearics are in a favourable position compared to many mainland regions. He pointed to figures for the creation of new businesses as evidence of this. The goal, therefore, is to adopt measures to strengthen "the social shield that we have to give both to workers and to our main productive sectors".

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The minister observed that 2022 as a whole "will end up being good", as fourth quarter indicators remain positive, while there is an anticipation that September will register the best tourist figures ever. Efforts are therefore on the economy over the first two quarters of 2023.

The president of the Confederation of Balearic Business Associations, Carmen Planas, noted that business activity and employment data "reflect a normalisation of tourism". However, she pointed to the impact on profitability because of rising costs and to a generally negative effect as a consequence of inflation. For Planas, this situation "makes it even more of a priority to facilitate access to European funds".

The UGT union's Francisca Garí drew attention to the record number of people who were registered for work with social security this summer but expressed concern about the high rate of inflation and the increase in the number of people at risk of poverty in the Balearics. "Many people have been working and will have access to benefits, but in the whole context of the cost-of-living crisis, these will not be enough to cover basic needs and to live with dignity."