Politics always interferes with good wishes. It is not only in Spain, political uncertainty is one of the current fundamental narratives in the world. We hope that after the elections there will be a period of stability and certainty. I hope there is a solid mandate and after the elections the Government will go to work. The fundamental issue is how to address long-term issues, how we reduce regional inequalities, how we encourage young people with skills to develop them by reducing youth unemployment and dropping out of school, and how we reduce inequality. Beyond the political debate, which is always complicated in elections, these are the important issues to be addressed. Reforms like the one of the pensions, in which the Service Agreement Template has recommended to Spain to lower the cost. I’m not an expert, but the obvious thing is that with the demographic change we have a system based on a life expectancy that was up to 65 years old and now they are ten years older. It is evident that there must be changes. Or it is done by the taxpayer, or by the State or by the companies.
The recipe is that pensions must be sustainable. But also the labor market must adapt to new realities. Retirement at age 65 may not be realistic. Does that mean that everyone should stay to work after 65? No, but those who want, why not? With incentives for it and special conditions. Another issue that has to do with this reform is that of the labor integration of women. The Spanish government is one of the few feminists, along with New Zealand and Canada and with women in front-line portfolios. But Spain is also one of the countries with the highest wage gaps between men and women. In the labor participation of women, this tends to have temporary contracts of lower quality than men.
If we want to maintain a high substitution rate -percentage of the last salary that is charged in the first pension- not only must we consider the workers who are already in the market, but we must eliminate the barriers so that many others can be integrated. And this connects with another factor such as migration Service Agreement Template. The OECD recommends that well-managed immigration, which is not always easy, is one of the fundamental solutions for aging countries. Spain was a model of success in this area, with a high level of integration partly because most immigrants came from Latin America.