Monday, April 15

The Board believes that it was feasible to train the workforce for the battery factory in Extremadura

The Minister of Economy, Science and Digital Agenda, Rafael Spain, has assured that the lack of qualified labor has not been the reason why the Volkswagen group has not finally opted for Extremadura to locate its car battery factory.

Spain has indicated that with the “work horizon” managed by the company it would have been “perfectly feasible” to have developed the training and qualification plans necessary for its implementation in Navalmoral de la Mata.

This has been indicated in his appearance, at the request of the Popular Group, before the Plenary of the Assembly, to report on the situation in which the large projects announced for the region are, and on which he has indicated that the regional Executive it is providing “all possible facilities” that the legal framework allows to attract these investments.

However, it is ultimately the companies that “based on variables that do not depend” on the administration, which decide whether or not to undertake these projects.

One of these projects was the gigafactory of the Volkswagen group, which will finally be destined for Sagunto, in Valencia, with which Extremadura had some disadvantages, which in no case would be the lack of professional qualification, as he has said.

The Extremaduran leader has asserted that, in accordance with the deadlines managed by the company, the necessary training plans could have been developed and even the return of Extremaduran workers who emigrated to the Levante or North coasts could have been promoted. of the country, «the result of the restructuring of the automobile sector».

With what it has recognized that Extremadura cannot compete with Sagunto is with its seaport. Likewise, he has pointed out that the logistical conditions “are not disparate”, although he has referred to the “proximity to the production centers”, something that “obviously it is the companies that value the costs of establishing themselves in one territory or another” .

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Once the final destination of this project is known, he has reaffirmed that the Board, both for this and for others that are on the table and for future investments, «is always providing all possible facilities, within the established legal framework, and even legislating to simplify and make the process much more optimal«.

companies decide

But, he insisted, “it is the companies that, based on variables that do not depend on us, decide or not to undertake projects in our community.”

Other projects about which the opposition has asked him have been Elysium City, in Castilblanco, the Azucarera de Mérida, the center dedicated to Buddhism in Cáceres, or the
water park and a large luxury hotel in Casar de Cáceres, as well as the future of Marina Isla de Valdecañas.

The director has made a brief review of the administrative processing of these investments, without offering news in this regard. Thus, regarding the large leisure project in Castilblanco, he has indicated that the Board has “scrupulously” complied with the steps established in the law of large leisure facilities, and that the “project is advancing”, so that “it will be the employer who to finally decide whether to complete it.

With respect to the Mérida sugar company, he has indicated that “a few days ago” meetings have been held in search of the necessary financing for a project that also has the support of the Government, as well as alternatives for energy self-consumption to reduce production costs.

The appearance of Spain has been requested by the Popular Group which, in the words of the deputy Hipólito Pacheco, in order to know the situation of these projects that have been announced “with great fanfare” by the Board, some since the last legislature, without that none of them have certainties of moving forward.


The most pompous of them is that of the «Siberian casinos», Elysium City, for which «an exclusive law was even approved» that until now the only thing it has generated has been a «huge illusion knowing that they are castles in the air”.

Likewise, he has also alluded to the information that places the planned sugar factory in Mérida in France, and others that are yet to be specified, such as the Buda de Cáceres or the Casar de Cáceres water park.

But without a doubt, the “most important and most feasible”, and that would also have “radically changed, for the better”, the autonomous community, was that of the Volkswagen battery factories, which would also have meant a “compensation” for the future closure of the Almaraz plant for the Campo Arañuelo region.

“They generate a fictitious illusion” in the population, he has reproached the regional government, “but then nothing”, he pointed out, pointing to what he considers to be weaknesses of the autonomous community, mainly the lack of infrastructure.

For his part, the spokesman for the Parliamentary Group of Citizens, David Salazar, has considered that, beyond the freedom of choice of companies on where to invest, it is the “responsibility” of the Board “that they choose Extremadura over other regions.”

In this regard, he stated that the battery factory, which was a “project that changes the region”, has not been implemented in Extremadura due to lack of infrastructure and qualified labor.

And about the rest, such as the Azucarera or Elysium, “there is not a single certainty, not a single stone”, while it has again proposed, given the difficulties that the region has in attracting large investments, that it bet “clearly” for giving continuity to the “greatest megaproject” that Extremadura has ever had, alluding to the Almaraz nuclear power plant.

Finally, he has criticized the management that has been carried out on Marina Isla de Valdecañas, for which he has wished and has shown his support so that finally it is not demolished, but “the one that they have set up” with this project “pulls to many investors behind.

Likewise, the deputy of United for Extremadura Álvaro Jaén believes that beyond the decision of the companies to settle where they deem most convenient, there is the commitment to a productive and economic model, while it is the administrations “that decide the conditions” in which they do.

Jaén has recalled the tax credits of up to 95% offered to projects such as the sugar factory, about which he also questions its ability to generate employment, as well as the “extrevegas”, as he has baptized Elysium City after they did not want it, he has said, neither in Aragón nor in Madrid. In addition, he has criticized the fact that he is allowed to operate with “free schedules”, which affects the quality of employment.

For all this, it has opted for investments for the community, but without betting for this on turning Extremadura into a “tax haven” or a land of “cheap labor”, because “competing downwards does not leave underdevelopment ». “It’s impossible,” he said.


Finally, the socialist deputy Andrés Moriano has criticized the speech of the PP and Ciudadanos for which “the worse” for the community, “the better” for them, before which he has reiterated that Extremadura, as shown by the projects on the table, “It has become an attractive region for investment and talent.”

Thus, he wanted to flee from the pessimistic message of the opposition to affirm that Extremadura is “in a position” to welcome all investments, as well as that they can be sure that the community “will be able to satisfy all the demands they require.”

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