Alfonso Merry del Val (Santiago de Chile, 1946) has been president since 2012 of the National Association of Large Distribution Companies (ANGED), which groups El Corte Inglés, Carrefour or Ikea, among others.

For his large distribution sector, the coup of the Prime Minister in the parliamentary debate on Wednesday was twofold: not only because of the pact with Bildu, but because he revealed that small businesses should be favored in de-escalation.

The Prime Minister said on Wednesday in Parliament that the full opening of large commerce must wait and that small commerce must prevail, how is your sector? Very affected by this poorly managed crisis. We have to live with Covid for a while and what we have to do is get to work. We must reactivate the country and reopen all trade now. It is not necessary to die of Covid, but neither of hunger and it is not worth all this politicking or this demagogy with the ERTE or the minimum income. The collapse of domestic consumption which in turn leads to that of Spanish industry is going to be appalling. The sooner we go back to work we will have a little less cost. This is going to be very slow and we are well above 20% unemployment. Health allows reopening to large stores with limitations ... In all of Europe, trade is already open except in Portugal and for a short time now. 50% of Anged's business establishments are still closed for political and demagogic reasons. What does he mean? What the Prime Minister himself said at the parliamentary seat that small businesses should take precedence, because it has less muscle financial. It is demagogic. You have to help the little one in other ways, not punishing the other party. In addition, there are small businesses that criticize that the shopping centers are not open, because there is no shopping mall. Does the president himself violate the rules of free competition? Of course, he violates the Competition Law and also clearly. What is relevant in the parliamentary debate on Wednesday is that the government has said until now that all the measures had been done with sanitary criteria. What Pedro Sánchez did in the debate is to truncate that and he said that there are also political and economic reasons and that he rewarded small businesses for giving him credit for their financial difficulties. To the extent that Sánchez justifies this difference in de-escalation without sanitary reasons, he is prioritizing one part of economic activity to the detriment of the other. Nor is the president exempt from altering the competition rules. That has an economic consequence. Health reasons no longer prevail over others. Will Anged take legal action against the president? We are never shaken by the pulse and we have filed many complaints in the past. Now I can only say that we are studying legal actions, but we have not yet decided if this moment of national emergency is adequate. It is more open to markets than to Anged ... And it is total irresponsibility without any logic. No one can imagine that it is more risky to enter a shopping center than to walk through a street market. We all look forward to going to markets, they are part of shopping tourism, but they say that the Covid came out of a market in Wuhan and it will be found out if this is the case. Giving priority to the flea market and small commerce is politicking, it is ideological. In large areas, a capacity limit is established and the risk of crowding is practically nil. Also the mobility is reduced. For example, El Corte Inglés is multiproduct and avoids customers visiting many small shops. Sanidad supported at first that they all open in phase 1 but then political criteria prevailed. And Sánchez's argument that the greats have more financial resistance? The Prime Minister has a total lack of knowledge of what a large company means. Having practically everything closed for three months and having to keep paying is very difficult. In all distribution companies, you have to pay with what you are going to pay. Has it been clear to you whether or not discounts can be made? They said yes, but then Mr. Illa said no with nocturnal and treachery, but finally the answer is yes. Minister Reyes Maroto is excellent. Discounts can be made respecting obviously the Health regulations. Those of a dozen customers fighting over a discounted garment will not happen. There is limited seating and surveillance. Industry and commerce are going to shoulder and adapt to the difficult situation of the consumer, so there will be many reductions. We have to react and revive the economy. Spain is a great country, we cannot be asking Europe for money without doing homework. You are part of the CEOE Executive Committee. Are you frustrated with the agreement with Bildu after the agreement that Garamendi signed in Moncloa? Garamendi has kept us informed of impeccably and has gone as far as it was possible to go, but we have a very weak government. The pact with Bildu is nonsense. Such an intransigent stance on labor reform would be damaging to the economy, but I think it is not going to get anywhere.

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  • Bildu
  • Europe
  • The English Court
  • Wuhan
  • Reyes Maroto
  • Portugal
  • Pedro Sánchez
  • Ikea
  • CEOE
  • Spain

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