AmCham Dialogue: Albert Rivera, Leader of Ciudadanos

Albert Rivera, leader of Ciudadanos (Citizens) party, was the guest of the Chamber in the series AmChamSpain Dialogues which was held in Madrid on July 2. In the overfull room, Rivera presented the political, economic and social lines of the party he presides over and held interesting discussions with attendees.


Jaime Malet, President of AmChamSpain, opened the breakfast symposium by briefly summarizing the economic situation in the country, with particular attention to the implemented reforms, “which are going in the right direction but that are partial and insufficient”, in the still hefty unemployment rate and appealing to the completion of the new production model that should strengthen the economy of Spain after the economic crisis.


Rivera, who started his speech by defining Ciudadanos as “more than a party, a project for Spain, competent to lead the new political era in the country and boost the Spanish and European project”, identified three pillars on which this new political era should sustain: a first one, based on the recovery of constitutional values to promote the union of Spain and Europe; a second pillar focused on the reforms of the Justice system -“so that it is independent” – Education -“to turn it into a lever at social and economic level”- Public Administration-“so it works diligently” – and political parties-“to be more like advanced countries”-; and a third one, focused on recovering the Spanish middle working class, “by reducing staff recruitment costs and growing in productivity and training, without wage reduction,” encouraging employers to become allies of the Government in this new political era.


In response to questions from the audience, Rivera called for new agreements in energy, labor and business framework providing legal certainty and stability to the country, and also encouraged the improvement of the economic and productive model “so that Spain can return to being compared with the best economies and democracies in Europe”. The leader of Ciudadanos also declared himself in favor of the TTIP agreement being negotiated by the European Union and the United States, “maintaining the bar high on standards and offering a high degree of transparency”, so that “our companies make the best possible benefit from it”.


Among the economic proposals offered by Ciudadanos, which emerged in the wake of the questions from attendees, Rivera emphasized the pruning of the public administrative structures, the fight against tax fraud and corruption, the re-industrialization of the country, the attraction of investment as a guarantee of innovation, the promotion of SMEs and the political unity in Spain.


The President of AmChamSpain concluded the breakfast Symposium thanking both Rivera and attendees for their involvement and the sponsorship by Coca-Cola and 3M, and providing once again the collaboration of the entity and its members for the construction of the new productive and economic model launched in Spain.