Tuesday, August 9

The irruption of the ‘Yolanda Díaz phenomenon’ in the business world

The phenomenon Yolanda Diaz extends to the business world. The second vice president of the Government has burst onto the political board as a reference for a new candidacy, in a movement that has awakened a renewed interest among entrepreneurs. Executives of large and medium-sized companies try to get closer to this emerging figure, which is already decisive in the Government and which will be a condition of possibility for an extension of the coalition.

The leader acceded to the third vice presidency of the Government last March, once Pablo Iglesias announced his retirement from politics. After the reconfiguration of the Council of Ministers in July, she became second vice president, only behind Nadia Calviño. This circumstance, together with the project that it aspires to build for the next elections, has generated great expectation in the company. A sector that depends to a great extent on the policies of the Government, in which it seeks to influence to protect its interests.

Yolanda Díaz has become a claim in recent months and all the actors in this area require the leader to hold information breakfasts, talks or internal meetings. “There is a lot of interest, curiosity, even curiosity. Want to meet her to see how it is in short distances ”, they warn from one of the largest consulting firms in the country, specialized in IBEX 35 listed companies and medium-sized companies. “If there is any breakfast or talk, there is always a lot of demand that she is there ”. continue.

Last October the leader offered an informative breakfast with former president José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. A meeting of which the media was informed and which was organized by the strategic affairs consultancy Kreab, with the assistance of different figures from the business world. However, most of the contacts with businessmen are not of a public nature, and the Minister of Labor holds meetings and encounters with the different figures of the economic fabric almost daily. Three executives from different public affairs consulting firms agree on an adjective to draw it: “Accessible”.

“It’s super easy to talk to your department, She is one of the most accessible ministers“, Says a person in charge of a public affairs consultancy, who highlights that, in case of requesting an” operational meeting “to address a specific matter in its field, the usual thing is to be able to hold it” within a month, even earlier ” .

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A different profile to Iglesias

Although some voices of the large consultancies admit that at first his figure became “controversial” for having openly declared himself a militant of the PCE, they point out that finally “reality prevailed over certain ideological positions.” The character of the vice president has elevated her as an excellent interlocutor, even more remarkable if she gets in touch with Pablo Iglesias, her predecessor as the highest representative of United We Can in the Government.

“Yolanda Díaz has allowed the relationship is more fluid than it existed before with the non-socialist part of the Government. The relationship is kinder, closer, more professional than Pablo Iglesias”, They add. They affirm that being she the reference of the space “the interlocution is easier and more comfortable. It is accessible, it is not difficult to contact her. The personal relationship is pleasant and always shows a willingness to understand ”. “She has a very different profile from Iglesias and she makes an effort to make it so, she likes to be well seen”, They point out.

Yolanda Díaz herself openly recognizes the importance she attaches to personal treatment when doing politics. “You always have to be polite, personal relationships influence a lot”, She assured this Thursday in an interview on RadioCable, when asked about the CEOE president, Antonio Garamendi:“ The personal relationship is great. It’s hard to get along with me”He joked.

At this point, the CEOE also agrees, where some voices emphasize that the tuning is “excellent.” An element that would have led to the fact that there has never been a total rupture between the employers’ association and Díaz despite the important clashes that have occurred in this legislature with the negotiations, from the increases in the SMI to the erte or the labor reform. Some of these tensions also respond to the internal situation of the employer, who will hold elections for his presidency at the end of next year.

Although Garamendi has not officially postulated and there is no rival at the moment, there are sectors such as agriculture, SMEs or the self-employed, more critical of the Government and, therefore, defend a tougher stance of the employers in these negotiations. Nails pressures you must also address Garamendi to maintain the stability of the organization.

“The expectation of the future”

In the world of consulting there are managers who consider that this new phenomenon is clearly influenced by an “expectation of the future”: “The platform you plan to create will make you a leg necessary for next scenarios. It is a figure that may play a role in the future and is interested in having a relationship”.

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“Just like at the time They wanted to meet Pablo Iglesias, now they want to meet Yolanda Díaz”, Sums up the manager of another important consulting firm dedicated to public affairs, who admits not noticing great variations by not regularly organizing meetings or forums with politicians. “It generates expectation because it is an emerging figure that is different in this world of Podemos. Yolanda arouses more interest than Ione Belarra, for example. But if there is a breakfast with Nadia Calvin and Díaz, it is Calviño who is going to have more interest ”, considers this source, which detracts from the weight of the purple against the socialist wing.

Another manager considers that this expectation responds more to agreements achieved in her role as Minister of Labor, and not so much as leader of the minority space of the Government. It is for this reason, he believes, that they have not experienced major changes with the rise of Díaz. “My clients met with her before that she was named a candidate, so I don’t notice any more interest than usual. For us there is no special novelty ”, they assure.

In the environment of the vice president they also try to detach this business expectation from your new project and they assure that “there have always been many requests.” A statement in line with the strategy adopted by the leader, aimed at focusing on the Ministry’s policies and avoiding the wear and tear caused by prematurely opening the debate on her leadership.

“It has not so much to do with the fact of your candidacy project, but because the dialoguing role that it has had has surprised as Minister of Labor ”, they affirm. “There is interest in talking to her because they have something in common, and that is that she knows the company. She has been a labor lawyer, she knows how it works ”.

Sources close to the leader assure that despite the fact that “she is aware that there may be different political approaches”, the leader considers that “the important thing is to know the companies”. They also highlight the “surprise” generated by the role of the Minister of Labor in the negotiation of ERTE, where she defended measures aimed at the productive fabric, such as exemptions for companies.

The consultancies also coincide on these points. “In meetings, Yolanda Díaz insists on making it clear that ideology is one thing and agreements are another. She wants to banish legends and prejudices. In the business world, everyone speaks well of Yolanda Díaz. It’s amazing”.

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Ana Patricia Botín or Amancio Ortega

One of the ingredients for this harmony to coincide with broad sectors of the company is the very character of the minister, but also the climate and the ways in which she conducts the negotiations. “It carries out these processes with great loyalty, has never revealed what is said in meetings, It has always been great “, they emphasize.

“If he promised to change a law, he would comply, and if he was not going to do it, he would tell you,” says a public affairs consultant. “He never said one thing and then did another. That has a lot of value. There are other ministries that tell you ‘we’ll fix it’ and you don’t know anything until it’s late. Here when a thing could not be, it simply was not ”.

One of the most significant episodes of the good relationship that Díaz has always maintained with the business world was the negotiation of labor measures during the pandemic, when He personally called the president of Banco Santander, Ana Patricia Botín, to ask her for help when planning the design of the erte. Top management put a whole team to work. Since then, the relationship between the two has been fluid. A tune that clashes with the theses up to now defended by the leaders of Podemos, which were approaching from hostility to big business.

On the other hand, the Minister of Labor has shown a radically different profile. While the purples have leveled harsh accusations to Amancio Ortega, the president of the Spanish multinational Inditex, even when making millionaire donations to public health, the Galician leader has always refrained from participating in these criticisms. In April 2020, when Inditex resigned from doing an erte, Díaz also did not hesitate to praise it. “I thank that company”; “it’s an example“; he went on to affirm, completely distancing himself from his space companions.

The minister Nor has he hesitated to ask the companies for collaboration when it could be of help. Thus, a year ago, he asked the main banking employers AEB, CECA and UNACC to advance the payment of workers in ERTE, since the Administration made the transfers on the 10th of each month. That agreement ended up being materialized in an agreement in which the bank lent itself to support the State.


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