Passeig de Gràcia also suffers

“We are suffering, but less than other areas of the city.” This is the opinion of Lluís Sans, owner of the Santa Eulalia fashion company and president of the Passeig de Gràcia Association, an entity that groups the shops on this commercial axis in the center of Barcelona.

In recent months, five chains have closed or will close their establishments on Passeig de Gràcia, including brands such as Desigual, Lacoste, Lotusse, Camper and Oysho. In addition, Nespresso, which had a place where the old Boulevard Rosa used to be, moves to the neighboring Rambla de Catalunya, the parallel street but more facing a Barcelona public and with more local brands.

In fact, a few years ago some chains, such as the Catalan optician Cottet, already left the most touristy areas of the center -in that case the Portal de l’Àngel- to open new shops on the Rambla de Catalunya. The closures are also being noticed in the cross streets -those going in the direction of Llobregat-Besòs-, where you can see more shops with the shutter down.

“There has always been movement on Passeig de Gràcia, and perhaps there are more closures now,” said the president of the shopkeepers in the commercial area, although he did not think it would be a very large increase. “It’s a street with a very expensive square meter and it always has a certain rotation, because there are companies that try it and then the numbers don’t come out,” he adds. Therefore, the closure of shops is, he says, relative, as the planned openings have become a reality or will be made in the near future. Fashion and shoe brands such as Moncler, Balenciaga and Golden Goose have recently opened, as has the Audemars Piguet watchmaking.

Half a year of difficulties

With the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic, trade found itself at the epicenter of restrictions, with special suffering during the hardest months of confinement, in March and April, when it had to close. When the stores reopened, it was with many capacity restrictions and having to make significant investments in additional security measures, such as screens or disinfectant gel.

In the case of shops in the center of the Catalan capital there is an added problem: restrictions on mobility ruined tourism. Precisely the Passeig de Gràcia, due to the fact that it is the great commercial axis of the city for prestige and location -crossing from top to bottom the Eixample just in the central part- is nourished by all possible types of customers in the city: visitors near Barcelona, ​​foreign tourists and the people of Barcelona themselves.

“We live off foreign visitors, but also from outside the city,” says Sans about the origin of buyers. In this sense, it is worth noting that Passeig de Gràcia, like other commercial areas in Barcelona, ​​receives customers who travel to buy in Barcelona from time to time from other parts of Catalonia, but also from nearby regions, such as Aragon, the Balearic Islands. or the south of France. “Barcelona is a capital, and many people have it as a reference” beyond Catalonia, adds Sans about the types of visitors that the symbolic route has.

The visits of Catalans and Spaniards froze with the declaration of the state of alarm, but with the demise of the summer they revived a little, despite still being below the levels before the pandemic. In contrast, in the case of foreign tourists, the collapse has been much more significant and continued, both EU and, above all, those outside the European Union – Asian, American and Russian.

The simple fact of having tourist attractions such as La Pedrera or La Mansana de la Discordia make Passeig de Gràcia a must-see place for both the tourist with less purchasing power and for those looking for the big brands that are concentrated in this street. .

Impact on the center

This decline in tourism has affected many other commercial areas in the center of Barcelona. The Rambla, the Portal de l’Àngel and the Gothic Quarter empty during the summer have been paradigmatic pictures of the pandemic, and traders and restaurateurs are suffering more than ever to survive. Also the Born, a neighborhood with a lot of small business focused almost exclusively on tourists, is having many more closures.

The almost desolate images of the Rambla are not seen on Passeig de Gràcia, which does not mean, as Sans indicates, that the emblematic road has not strongly noticed the current recession.


The Toledo Pact closes an agreement five years later

It has taken five years for the Toledo Pact commission to reach a new agreement. The table in charge of debating the recommendations on pensions has closed a final text with twenty proposals that will be presented publicly next Tuesday and voted by the political parties. These proposals must serve so that the Spanish government can reform and make sustainable the state pension system, a requirement that also marks Brussels.

“There are no revolutionary changes,” said sources familiar with the ARA negotiations, as reflected in the final draft, to which this newspaper has had access: the Toledo Pact “opposes any radical transformation of the system.” which means a rupture of the principles of the present “. However, it maintains the safeguard of the principles of solidarity and sufficiency.

The new text includes the proposal to link the annual revaluation of pensions to the CPI, a commitment that, in fact, was made by the Minister of Inclusion and Social Security, José Luis Escrivá. This recommendation would put an end to the great change that was introduced in 2013, with the reform of the Popular Party, when Spain became part of the few European countries that no longer had pensions indexed to the CPI. “We are satisfied with the agreement reached, as it clearly claims the support of the public system,” said sources from United We Can.

A hole in the Social Security box that translates into a deficit of up to 2% of GDP for this 2020 has put on the table the question of whether the Social Security and, consequently, the pension system are in ” crisis “. “The system is sustainable,” Escrivá argued a few days ago. “The issue is the use that has been made of it,” said sources familiar with the Pact.

With the numbers in the red, the sanitation of the Social Security box is one of the other consensual proposals that no one dares to question today, and which has the approval of organizations such as Airf. Finally, the pact has agreed on a period of three years (until 2023) so that some Social Security expenses, called improper, are assumed from the general budgets of the State. “There has been a looting,” the same sources report. They refer to the 103 billion euros that the Court of Auditors calculated as expenses improper, that is, non-contributory benefits that the state should have assumed. The department headed by Escrivá has acknowledged that at least 22.8 billion should be costs borne by the state.

Early retirements

With regard to the calculation of pensions, the Pact again assumes the 2011 reform in terms of the number of years needed to calculate the pension (25 years until 2022), although it is committed to allowing the pensioner to choose the best years to improve the final benefit.

The Pact also supports measures to make retirement effective at legal age and includes concerns about cuts to forced early retirement in cases of long contribution careers. In fact, the Toledo Pact calls on the Spanish government to assess which groups could benefit from exceptions. The final text will be voted on this Tuesday – still with the possibility of small last minute changes – and most parties, with the exception of Vox, are expected to support it, although some particular vote is also expected. on any of the recommendations.


41,050 workers in one week

The closure of bars and restaurants decreed by the Government to combat the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic has once again triggered temporary employment regulation (ERTO) files in Catalonia: in just one week they rise by 4,871 in the sector and affect a total of 41,054 workers.

According to the latest data from the Department of Labor of the Generalitat, from 16 to 22 October these 4,871 temporary files have been registered, 1,562 of which are of traditional force majeure and 3,231 of force majeure due to impediment, while in 78 cases ‘allege other causes. The growth curve of ERTOs, moreover, is on the rise and has gone from 1,556 in the first four days since the closure of bars and restaurants to 4,871 in seven days.

Prior to these last restrictions on economic activity, the number of people affected by an ERTO in Catalonia, as of September 30, was 146,559, according to Social Security data.

The restaurant sector has been able to take advantage of the ERTO rebates after lowering the shutter by decree because the Spanish government extended this tool until the end of January to deal with the economic consequences of the pandemic.

Of the new files that have been submitted for the closure of the restaurant sector, Barcelona is the province most affected, with a total of 3,835 ERTOs affecting 30,898 people. In the Girona region, 628 files have been submitted, with 3,603 workers affected; while in Tarragona 562 ERTOs have been presented, including 5,360 people. In the province of Lleida, with 266 files, there are 1,038 employees affected, while in Terres de l’Ebre 30 files have been submitted affecting 155 people.

Street protest

This Friday, half a hundred people have protested in Plaça Sant Jaume in Barcelona against the closure of bars and restaurants. The Interregional Federation of Hospitality Restaurants and Tourism (Fihrt), with the support of PimeComerç and the Barcelona Restaurant Guild, have called the protest.

The rally began shortly after noon when participants were distributed in the square, looking towards the Palau de la Generalitat, with posters and sounding whistles and pots, and ended around 13 hours. Most banners carried the message “Restoration is not the virus. We want to work, not close,” and some also mentioned nightlife.


Cellnex lands in Poland with an investment of € 800 million to buy Play

The Catalan telecommunications infrastructure company Cellnex announced this Friday its entry into the Polish market with the purchase of 60% of the Play company, with a planned investment of 800 million euros, according to the National Commission for Stock Market (CNMV).

French telecommunications service provider Iliad reached an agreement with Play shareholders last September 21 to buy the Polish company. Now Cellnex has closed a deal with Iliad that will buy 60% of Play, and therefore have control, while Iliad will keep 40%.

In this way, Cellnex will control the Polish company. The operation is expected to be closed during the second quarter of 2021. With this operation, the Catalan company will operate 7,000 telecommunications antennas in a country where it was not yet present.

Cellnex will finance the acquisition, of 800 million euros, with its own fund. The operation is similar to the one Cellnex did in France with Free, also a subsidiary of Iliad.

The company that loses but never stops winning

The company that loses but never stops winning

The newly created Polish company plans to invest up to 1.3 billion euros over the next 10 years to deploy up to 5,000 new telecommunications sites.

With this acquisition Cellnex extends its presence in Europe. The telecommunications infrastructure company currently operates networks in Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and from next year in Poland.

Based on acquisitions, the company, which in 2014 operated 7,000 locations in Spain, expects to reach 73,000 in nine countries with this acquisition. The new acquisition will provide an additional EBITDA – operating profit before taxes and amortization – of 220 million euros and a cash flow of 160 million.

Future sales

The agreement provides that Cellnex will provide services to Play for 20 years, extendable to another 10 years, an increase of 6 billion in future sales. Thus, the company already has future sales contracted worth 53 billion.

Cellnex CEO Tobías Martínez stressed that the operation will allow the company to land in a growing EU market and make Cellnex become “a benchmark player in the telecommunications sector in Poland”. Franco Bernabé, president of the company, stressed that with the Cellnex operation it is strengthened as a reference partner for European operators for the deployment of 4G networks and to accelerate the implementation of 5G.


Service Point links the purchase of Scytl and will guarantee jobs

The Irish group Paragon has finally announced the purchase of the Catalan electronic voting company Scytl. He did so on Thursday through a relevant fact to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) of its other investee in the state, the reprographic company Service Point. With this operation, Paragon guarantees the immediate future of Scytl and saves the nearly 140 workers from the creditors’ competition that was launched in December last year.

As reported by ARA, in late September the main creditors of the technology gave the green light to the multinational’s offer to acquire Scytl, and after closing the fringes with some of the banks the operation has gone ahead. The purchase also includes the Civiti citizen consultation platform (initially a joint project with Telefónica) and the Barcelona company’s subsidiaries in the United States, Canada, Australia, Switzerland, France and the Netherlands.

In addition, with the integration Scytl will change its name to Scytl Election Technologies. The company was dragging a debt of about 75 million with the banks, which have finally accepted Paragon’s € 3 million offer in exchange for the production unit and software licenses. “The acquisition of Scytl is the first step in our strategy to develop Service Point Solutions as a European leader in the business of digital transformation and technology,” said Service Point President and Chief Financial Officer Paragon Laurent Salmon .

New stage without debt

When it went into pre-bankruptcy, Scytl was in a very complicated financial situation after dragging losses and stagnating in revenue growth due to bad experiences in developing countries.

Thus, with the purchase by Paragon, the electronic voting platform will be able to exploit the rise of this electoral system at a time when the pandemic will also force a rethink of the elections. In addition, in recent years Scytl had pushed for a business division aimed at elections for private clients beyond governments, such as unions, universities or professional colleges, which Service Point could relaunch.


Bank defaults grow for the second month in a row in August

Defaults on loans granted by banks, savings banks and cooperatives to individuals and companies rose in August to 4.74%. Thus, financial institutions are already chaining two consecutive months of growth in the default rate, after the increase also recorded in July (4.71%) compared to June, according to extract of data published this Thursday by the Bank of Spain.

From April to July, the default ratio of financial institutions was contained and did not increase. This downward streak was the result of the deployment of public aid programs (such as guarantees or moratoriums for the self-employed and companies) to deal with the impact of the coronavirus crisis, as recognized by the Bank of Spain. Both the body and experts have predicted that the end of some of these measures would result in a significant increase in arrears by 2021.

The Bank of Spain warns that “the economic crisis cannot become a financial crisis”

Doubtful loans have also increased, reaching 57.9 billion euros, 50 million more than in July. However, the figure is 7.54% lower than the volume of doubtful loans in August a year ago. However, the slight increase in the default rate is also explained by the fall, as it did in July, in the total volume of credit granted by the sector, by 0.36%, to 1.221 trillion euros. ‘euros, while at the beginning of the year it grew.

Provisions by financial institutions in August reached 36,046 million euros, 133 million more than in July. With this increase in provisions, the entities seek to heal themselves precisely because of the sector’s concern to deal with the deterioration, and in the face of a future increase in the delinquency rate.

The delinquency of banks skyrocketed with the financial crisis and exceeded 5% in November 2009. In 2013 the historical record of 13.61% was reached, and from that moment it doubled the curve and went undertake the decline to the current 4.8%. Although the message hovering over the financial sector is that this time it is facing the economic recession with much more solvency, in recent weeks warning signs have been reactivated. The Bank of Spain calls for “caution” and to maintain “stimuli”, while the IMF warns that the sector will have to be monitored “closely”.


Spanish businessmen do not oppose the curfew to deal with the second wave

What are the recipes of Spanish businessmen to overcome the economic crisis generated by the coronavirus? This is the question he has tried to answer on 19th congress of the Spanish Confederation of Directors and Executives (CEDE) held this Wednesday at the Reina Sofia Palace of the Arts in Valencia, the monumental building designed by the controversial architect Santiago Calatrava. The The most striking proposal has been that of Mercadona’s president, the Valencian Juan Roig, who in one of his controversial statements has refused to prioritize health over the economy and has called for putting them on an equal footing. “We haven’t focused well, we need to keep both things at the same time,” he argued. More moderate and, perhaps, more transcendent has been the announcement of the President of the CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, q The EU has stated that big business people are not opposed to setting a curfew in Spain.

In a meeting dominated by men and only four women out of a total of 21 speakers, two of the members of the meeting, Juan Roig and José Ignacio Goirigolzarri, President of Bankia and future President of CaixaBank, called for “no talk so much about the vaccine. ” This has been claimed by the Valencian agri-food leader, who has defended focusing all efforts on working “pick and shovel”, each in his workplace. “ We are in a tunnel in the Himalayas and we do not know how deep it is or how long it will last “, the Mercadona president wanted to summarize.

The Basque banker has expressed the same opinion, arguing that “talking so much about the vaccine is bad” because it creates “expectations that can be frustrated” and does not focus on what can be done now. “It makes us fatalists, it’s an extraordinary mistake,” he said. On the greater impact of the virus on the Spanish economy, Goirigolzarri has stated that it is due to the large size “of tourism, which is larger than we perceive, low productivity, a very dual labor market and [a la mida de] the underground economy. “

“The hospitality industry is not responsible for the infections”

The president of the CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, has been in charge of assessing the latest restrictions, including those of the Catalan government, who has repeated on several occasions that big business people are not opposed to setting a curfew in Spain. , although he has warned that “it’s one thing to close at 11pm and quite another to do it all day”. “In Catalonia, the hospitality industry has suddenly closed and I don’t think the hospitality industry is responsible,” he said.

“Mass closures are extremely dangerous, because they put at risk 350,000 commercial premises, which are families and small businesses. We must be responsible for what we are doing,” said the CEOE leader. In this way, and without worrying about what measures should be taken, Garamendi has defended “combining” the fight against the pandemic with the functioning of the economy, because, he insisted, “it cannot be stopped.”

Market unit

The president of the Spanish employers’ association has closed his speech by reiterating one of its most historic demands: the market unit that facilitates the “day-to-day running of the business community” and avoids confusion about the restrictions in force in each territory. “Common criteria between autonomies are needed,” he repeated.

One of the commonalities of all the speakers has been the defense of the use of technology to overcome the crisis. In this sense, the Vice President and Minister of Spanish Economy, Nadia Calviño, has guaranteed that “a third of the investments in the coming years in our country will be dedicated to digital transformation.” “The digital training of the population and the digitization of SMEs remains a task that needs to be tackled,” he summed up.

One of the last to speak was the president of the La Caixa Foundation and chief executive of CEDE, Isidre Fainé, who also placed the focus of the debate on the functioning of the administrations. “Political representatives must agree and undertake an agenda of profound reforms and changes, and this means having a broad consensus,” he noted.

After Fainé, the president of the Generalitat Valenciana, Ximo Puig, spoke, who, in line with the moderation demanded by the Catalan banker, defended that “it is time for good policy, which offers certainty, security and stability in the more complicated moments “.

“Enough of dreams and demagoguery”

The president of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, José Bonet, who he has made a strong defense of “stability” and “consensus.” Bonet has called on political leaders to abandon “demagoguery” and “dreams” to avoid wasting time in “divisions” that “lead nowhere.”

The president of the Freixenet honorary council has also extolled the values ​​of “the parliamentary monarchy” and the “central” role of companies in the social economy model. “We need good public-private collaboration,” said the executive, who, again in political terms, called for “not getting lost in divisions that lead nowhere.” Bonet also did not have time for forecasts and predicted for this 2021 a fall in GDP of 14% and unemployment to reach a rate of 22.5%.

Philip VI, guest of honor

The person in charge of closing the congress was the monarch Felipe de Borbón, who was received by five citizens who, after some initial cries of “long live the king”, have complained about the security distance between the king and the king. and they have shown great disappointment at the impossibility of saluting the head of state. A feeling shared by two more people, the only ones who have approached with a Spanish flag. However, the monarch’s nearly 30-minute delay has caused them to leave the precinct before it arrives.


The court ruled that the IRPH clauses were not transparent but not abusive either

Not very transparent, yes. Abusive, no. It is the conclusion reached by the plenary of the First Chamber of the Supreme Court on five appeals in relation to the IRPH clauses of mortgages. Magistrates have studied four appeals on transparency around the benchmark mortgage lending and have ruled that there has been a “lack of transparency for failing to report on the evolution of the index over the previous two years”. With regard to the fifth appeal, the Supreme Court has ruled that, in the case studied, there can be no question of abusive clauses. This case, which analyzed the clause of an officially protected housing, has had the particular vote of the magistrate Francisco Javier Arroyo Fiestas.

The European court ruled on March 3 that the IRPH must be subject to judicial review by state courts, which had to decide (case by case) whether it was abusive or non-transparent clauses included in mortgage contracts. . The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) made it clear that these clauses were framed in the European directive and that, therefore, they had to be “clear and understandable”, and left the final decision in the hands of the Spanish courts. Now the decision of the Supreme Court can pave the way for other minor courts in similar cases. In Spain there are more than 150 litigations on this clause, and it is estimated that the mortgages referenced to this index are about 760,000.

The decision of the Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled in favor of customers, in the sense that it recognizes the lack of transparency in the application of the clauses. However, it also rules in favor of financial institutions in determining that it is not abusive. In fact, banks have increased their stock market values ​​after the Supreme Court’s position was made public. Experts, failing to read the full sentence – which will be made public in the coming days – acknowledge that there are many open questions, such as whether those affected can claim or not.

European justice guarantees that judges may declare IRPH clauses abusive

Facua considers it a “scandal”

This Wednesday’s Supreme Court resolution has fallen like a bucket of cold water among consumer associations. Facua considers the decision “absolutely shameful.” In a statement he says he is waiting to know the full content of the ruling but considers that the high court “once again bends to the interests of the banks with a forced interpretation of the legislation,” according to the secretary general of the entity, Rubén Sánchez. Also the president of the Association of Financial Users (Asufin), Patricia Suárez, regretted the decision of the magistrates and highlighted the particular vote of one of them as a sign of “disagreement” in relation to the fact of not acknowledging that the index is “abusive.” Suárez pointed out that, despite the verdict, the claims will go ahead.

According to the Association of Users of Banks, Savings Banks and Insurance Companies (Adicae), this reading of the Supreme Court enters a “spiral of resolutions in favor of financial institutions”. The entity’s legal experts have pointed out in a statement that it was a “paradox” the decision of the Supreme Court because the whole doctrine that studies these procedures around mortgages “the lack of transparency inevitably implies abuse.” .

The banking sector, happy

Banking employers have pointed out that the Supreme Court’s resolution closes the controversy over the reference index of mortgage loans and confirms their “validity and use”, and deny that it is an “abusive” index, as defended by the spokesman for the Spanish Banking Association, José Luis Martínez Campuzano.

In fact, the banks have welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision and consider that the lack of transparency does not mean that the index is “abusive”.

A questioned index

The benchmark mortgage lending rate is an alternative interest rate to Euribor that financial institutions began to introduce, especially during the years of the housing bubble, between 2003 and 2005. The problem arose in 2013 when the Euribor started to fall, but not the IRPH. Affected people complain that the index is abusive because it was sold as a more stable interest rate than Euribor, although it was just as volatile but higher. At the time, in 2017, the Supreme Court had already ruled in favor of the bank when it ruled that it was a “valid” index. But a court in Barcelona brought the dispute to the European Court.

The first complaint was lodged by a customer in Barcelona who had a mortgage with Bankia, but the most affected banks are CaixaBank, Santander, BBVA and, secondarily, Bankia, Banco Sabadell, Kutxabank and Liberbank, according to the register. of the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV).

Since then, various analyzes have quantified what it would mean for a court to rule against the bank and recognize the return of the clause to customers. Goldman Sachs estimated that the return could have an impact of 44 billion euros.


Agents doubt the economy will hold a new confinement

A week after the closing of bars and restaurants with the possibility of a curfew on the table, still worried about the social impact of new restrictions on the Catalan and Spanish economies. Employers and unions agree that the measures should be more gradual and proportionate to the volume of aid.

How worrying is the current situation? How would they rate the application of new measures such as a curfew or closures in more sectors beyond the restoration?

Camil Ros, general secretary of the UGT in Catalonia

We will see the severity depending on whether or not it ends in 15 days. We should see how the curfew is applied to those activities that are maintained for 24 hours and that cannot stop machines or shifts at night. All these sectors should be considered essential. Perhaps then the closure of bars and restaurants should be made more flexible. I would have preferred a gradual stage with phases as was done with the alarm state.

Josep Sánchez-Llibre, President of Foment del Treball

The economic situation in Spain and Catalonia is very serious. We have a very service-oriented economy, which are the activities most affected by the pandemic. We understand that extraordinary measures must be taken to prevent the spread of the virus, but they must be balanced and proportionate to the risk of infection. Extraordinary measures should focus on social interaction outside of work environments. We must fight with the same intensity against the health crisis as against the economic crisis. The curfew in exchange for opening bars and restaurants as France is doing is a good alternative.

Javier Pacheco, Secretary General of CCOO in Catalonia

A more severe restriction of socialization will impact the economy and jobs. Measures must be taken because the evolution of the pandemic is obviously very serious, but we must make health and the economy compatible. Jobs are lost every time activity is reduced or sectors of the economy have stopped. We have been fortunate to have social protection tools.

Josep González, President of PIMEC

Whatever measures are taken to increase limitations on activity are worrisome or denote that we are not controlling the pandemic. We would like that with the closure of bars and restaurants there would be a modification and it could be applied more gradually and selectively. Very compelling reasons should be given for approving the curfew

The economy Catalan and Spanish are ready for a new confinement?

Camil Ros

I have doubts about how the economy would withstand. We can’t go from almost nothing at all, we have to go towards balance. The total confinement has served us, but it has lasted a short time, it is better to adopt other measures of coexistence between health and economic activity.

Josep Sánchez-Llibre

Not at all. A new confinement would be lethal to the economy and condemn thousands of families and future generations to poverty.

Javier Pacheco

We don’t have to put ourselves in that scenario. If the country uses the resources that have been put in place by the European Commission we should not lead society to a new total confinement.

Josep Gonzalez

It depends. We are clear that the industry has withstood this situation quite well, as has the logistics or agri-food sector. But for the hospitality, catering or small non-food trade another confinement can put them to the test. There are already 18% of companies that are at risk of closure.

What alternatives do they propose to the Government at this time of crisis?

Camil Ros

With the loans to SMEs that have to be repaid it is necessary to lengthen the grace period to start paying. Our main fear is that this time the destruction of employment will not be channeled through temporary employment regulation (ERTO) files, but directly with dismissals, as has happened in the industry. That is why gradual policies are needed and to maintain the suspension of payment of certain taxes.

Josep Sánchez-Llibre

Shock plans for the most affected sectors such as tourism, trade, catering or culture. 50 billion euros are needed, apart from European funds. We need real help to save companies. Exactly what the strong economies of the European Union are doing. We ask the governments of the State and the Generalitat to focus on aid and not on a profusion of rules such as the rental market, which only generate more confusion and legal insecurity.

Javier Pacheco

We propose direct aid measures for SMEs and the self-employed, protection for people who may be affected and guarantees to bring in incomes such as the minimum living income. That is why it is also necessary to activate the 2021 budgets and resolve the surpluses of the autonomous communities in order to increase the spending ceiling.

Josep Gonzalez

If the crisis drags on, many companies that applied for ICO loans will not be able to return them on time. The grace period must be extended by two years. We must be very generous with measures to prevent closures and we have already called on Europe to repay these loans in up to 10 years. I am convinced that the Government could start doing this through the Catalan Institute of Finance. A moratorium on taxes and new subsidies is also needed to help some sectors not fall. Reducing rents seems to us a valid measure, but it is passing the buck to landlords.


Entrepreneur Elies Campo (ex-WhatsApp) launches a new type of fund to invest in Silicon Valley (Alex Font Manté)

Catalan entrepreneur Elies Campo, known for being one of the few workers who had WhatsApp when Facebook acquired it, has decided to launch a new type of investment fund to invest in start-ups primarily based in California. “Most of the investment will be in Silicon Valley, but I am open to investing in Barcelona as well,” he told ARA Campo, which has been working for Telegram for years.

The model chosen by Campo to group investors is one rolling fund, a “disruptive” variation of traditional mutual funds. He rolling fund it’s about creating a fund that never closes, but has an investor base that commits to putting money in every quarter. The money from that quarter goes to one project, and the next quarter the operation is repeated: investors put money back in and the fund re-invests in another project. “It’s like a subscription,” says Campo. Investors make a commitment to the fund to invest recurrently every quarter, although when they get tired they can get out of it.

Normally, explains this Barcelona engineer, the funds devote great efforts to finding money ( fundraising) and the bureaucratic procedures involved in opening and closing each round. Once the money has been raised, they can invest it normally, but the truth is that, throughout the life of the fund, its promoters must dedicate a not inconsiderable part of their time to legal proceedings. With this alternative, the fund’s main partner, for example, “doesn’t have to stop six months or a year to do the fundraising”Says Campo.

“They will say yes, but it is impossible to leave Facebook”

“Formally, a new fund is created and closed every quarter, but de facto, it’s as if you never close it “, he adds. To carry out all this bureaucratic operation, the fund is based on “disruptive” software that is responsible for managing the paperwork, putting the signatures of the people involved in the fund, etc. The entrepreneur is convinced that this model, which already applies another fund called Angel List, “will have an impact on the markets of fundraising”. With the new model, the fund manager can be dedicated to finding and making investments without the usual procedures. “He’s just looking for projects,” he adds. He would look for the investments himself using his network of contacts in Silicon Valley.

Differences and objectives

Unlike a platform of crowdlending (micro – patronage for loans), the rolling funds they have a recurrence commitment and can access larger and therefore larger investments.

Campo’s goal is to bring together a group of investors who jointly contribute between $ 100,000 and $ 150,000 in investment each quarter. His idea is that these people come from Silicon Valley and Barcelona, ​​the two worlds of reference for this entrepreneur.