Sanchez faces tense meeting with IBEX leaders in Davos at 35

The world’s economic elite once again met in the Swiss city of Davos to discuss global challenges. Rebuilding trust will be the backbone of negotiations this year. The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, will attend the 54th edition of the World Economic Forum, and will take the opportunity to sit down with the main business leaders of the Ibex 35.

The President of the Government repeated his speech at the World Economic Forum with a special speech on Wednesday afternoon. He will spend part of his trip meeting with Spanish business leaders participating in the event, as El Economista has been able to confirm. An informal meeting that will take place after Sánchez’s intervention and which will repeat last year’s format.
There are many reasons why tensions have emerged between big companies and the government in recent months, which could potentially come to the fore in a meeting between Sanchez and the first swords of Ibex. Like last year, the rates of energy companies and banks have caused discomfort. The PSOE-Sumar government agreement, which extends measures stemming from the inflationary crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine, sparked significant protests by Repsol last year. Its CEO, Josue John Imaz, assured that this harms the oil company’s investment potential in Spain. More recently, last week’s agreement with Juntes to promote the return of business headquarters to Catalonia has also generated disapproval, especially in the financial sector.
The Swiss city will host senior staff from the Spanish business community this week. The most important economic event of the year, which takes place between 15 and 19 January, will be attended by BBVA’s President, Carlos Torres Villa, and CEO, Onur Genç. Also in attendance were Banco Centro’s President, Ana Botín, the unit’s CEO, Hector Grisi, Repsol’s CEO, Josue John Imaz, and Cepsa’s CEO, Maarten Wetselaar.
On the Naturaji side, representation will be doubled with its President, Francisco Reynes, and Director General of Sustainability, Reputation and Institutional Relations, Jordi García Tabernero. Iberdrola President Ignacio Sánchez Galán will be part of a panel of speakers on the transition to renewable energy, while Telefónica’s CEO, José María Álvarez-Palete, will take part in a panel on Europe in the new global economy. And it is expected that Ferrovial will also be represented with the assistance of its executive chairman, Rafael del Pino, and Acciona.
In his speech last year, Sanchez raised the need for the Community bloc to boost its strategic autonomy and showcase Spain’s regasification potential to offer it as an alternative to Russian gas blackmail.
Last year, Sanchez chose the same location to meet with key Spanish trade officials. Following his intervention, he held a closed-door meeting with Ibex banks and energy companies in which he addressed concerns about economic uncertainty.
This meeting served as a kind of reconciliation between the government and the traders, who had not been in the same room for months. They were driven by the energy crisis, inflation and measures ordered by the Spanish executive to address both issues. However the conversation was mainly about the impact of US subsidies. Iberdrola’s president, Ignacio Galán, who was meeting at the same time with the CEO of Norges to settle an agreement, was absent from the meeting, although he was replaced by the Director of Innovation and Sustainability, Agustín Delgado.

Sánchez’s intervention in Davos is not the government’s only intervention. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Alberes, will take part in a table on Ukraine’s future prospects and the Minister of Digital Transition, José Luis Escriva, in a debate on innovation.

On the other hand, former Minister of Economic Affairs, Nadia Calvino, will make her debut as President of the European Investment Bank, joining expert speakers such as the President of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde, and the President of the Eurogroup. Pascal Donohoe will address the European Markets Association on a panel.


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