Marta Ortega Yolanda Diaz von der Leyen Christine Lagarde are amongst the 5 people who will define the Spanish economy in 2022.

In 2022, the Spanish economy is expected to pick up cruising speed to recover pre-pandemic levels.

2021 brought optimism from the hand of the vaccination campaign, and the economy began to lift its head.

But growth has been lower than expected, and now all hopes are set for the good march of 2022.

This will require Spain to pass structural reforms that underpin growth and secure money from European funds, and for companies to get on the bandwagon of recovery.

From the completion of the labour reform, with the vice president and minister, Yolanda Díaz, at the helm; to the distribution of European funds, by Ursula von der Leyen; going through the future of Inditex with Marta Ortega at the head, or the strategic plans of Seat or Iberdrola so that Spain leads the European race for the electric car or the energies of the future.

Marta Ortega Yolanda Diaz von der Leyen Christine Lagarde

These are the 5 politicians, businessmen and bankers who will have in their hands the future of the Spanish economy in 2022, the year in which the take-off of the economy must be confirmed to leave behind the COVID-19 crisis:

- The second vice president and Minister of Labour, Yolanda Díaz

The second vice president and minister of Labour, Yolanda Díaz, has scored a point in 2021 by getting the blessing of unions and employers to approve the new labour reform.

According to the minister herself, it is the first time in history that Spain has carried out a structural reform of the labour market with the consensus of all social agents. Agreement was a precondition for continuing to receive money from European funds.

The Council of Ministers has approved the royal decree law of the reform, but now it needs to be validated by Congress. The government needs a simple majority to approve it, so it will need the support of other parties.

PP and Vox have announced that they will vote against, Cs praised the reform but has not revealed the meaning of their vote, and ERC, PNV or Bildu could support it, but in exchange for some modifications that the CEOE is not willing to accept.

The risk to the Government is that Congress will obstruct the passage of the reform. This would put at stake the 12,000 million euros that Spain expects to receive from European funds at the beginning of 2022.

Businessmen of the Marta Ortega Yolanda Diaz von der Leyen Christine Lagarde list

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Marta Ortega Yolanda Diaz von der Leyen Christine Lagarde

- The new president of the Inditex empire, Marta Ortega

Next April, Marta Ortega, daughter of Amancio Ortega, founder of the owner of Zara, will take the helm of the textile giant Inditex. At 37, the heiress of the empire will become the youngest president of Ibex 35.

With this change, the company culminates the process of generational change begun in 2011, when Amancio Ortega left the presidency of the group and Pablo Isla succeeded him in the position.

Ortega faces several challenges at the head of the company. The first, to maintain the leadership of the textile giant at a critical time for world trade. But also manage the boundaries between family and company or get the online channel and stores coexist without friction.

Politicians in the Marta Ortega Yolanda Diaz von der Leyen Christine Lagarde list

- The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen

The European Commission has already begun to distribute the manna of European funds in 2021. But it is in 2022 that we will see whether disbursements are yielding results, whether governments are managing to implement them and whether economic recovery is effectively consolidated.

In total, Brussels will provide EUR 1.8 trillion in non-repayable direct aid and loans to address the economic consequences of the pandemic and adapt European economies to a more digitalised and sustainable environment.

Spain has already received two disbursements from European funds. In total, about 20,000 million euros. To receive them, he had to send to Brussels a complete plan of investments and reforms, full of commitments and deadlines.

The problem is that, now, to continue receiving the money, you will have to meet those commitments (and prove it). Among them, take forward the second chapter of the pension reform (the most complex) or approve in Congress the labour reform.

At stake: the 12,000 million euros of the second payment.

Car makes of the Marta Ortega Yolanda Diaz von der Leyen Christine Lagarde list

- Seat and Cupra President Wayne Griffiths

The Government has marked as part of its recovery plan that Spain enters the electric car race, becoming a European hub of electromobility. The executive wants to ensure that he has the commitment of the German group Volkswagen, owner of Seat, that Spain will play a relevant role in the future electrification plans of the German giant.

Seat and Volkswagen presented a project to the Strategic Plan aids (PERTE) convened by the Government.

The group will invest 159,000 million euros in the next five years (89,000 million for electrification and 56,000 million for the digitalization of its factories) to transform the entire consortium and adapt it to the electrification of the car. But with conditions: Volkswagen has warned that to make this disbursement it will have to receive government aid and those electric batteries will have to be manufactured.

Energy owners in the Marta Ortega Yolanda Diaz von der Leyen Christine Lagarde list

- The CEO of Iberdrola, Ignacio Galán

The Government's shock plan to lower the price of electricity has affected the balance of Spanish electricity. According to calculations by JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley, Iberdrola's gross profit could be reduced by 5% by these measures. The CEO of the group, Ignacio Sánchez Galán, already led the rebellion of the electricity companies against the Government, which had to reverse its energy reform.

2022 will be the year of the green hydrogen rush. At the end of 2021, the Government approved the Strategic Plan (PERTE) for renewable energy and hydrogen, the second most ambitious after the electric car plan.

Iberdrola is disputed with the rest of energy companies 1,500 million euros public aid aimed at the largest electrification in Spain. All this, in full debate for the price of light, which continues at all-time highs in 2022.

The ECB influenced the Marta Ortega Yolanda Diaz von der Leyen Christine Lagarde list

- The President of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde

The European Central Bank (ECB) has already announced the beginning of its withdrawal of stimuli. In March 2022 it will end its pandemic-linked debt purchase programme, which it provided with 1.85 trillion euros, although it warned that the plan can be resumed if necessary.

This means that countries like Spain will no longer benefit from the ECB's massive debt purchase, that is, they will have to start issuing less debt or go out to the markets to look for more investors.

In 2022 there will be two keys to follow in the monetary field. The first, linked to monetary stimuli, has to do with economic recovery. The ECB has announced its withdrawal of stimuli but has also stressed that there will be flexibility in case economies need it.

Secondly, the evolution of inflation will determine what will happen to interest rates. For the moment, the ECB rejects a rate hike, fearing that it could stymie the economic recovery. But if the escalation of inflation continues longer than expected (beyond spring) it could change its mind.

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