The situation of the natural stone sector in Andalusia is extremely risky. This industry has been excluded from all the sectoral measures approved by the Council of Ministers in Royal Decree-Law 6/2022 of 29 March, adopting urgent measures within the framework of the National Plan of response to the economic and social consequences of the war in Ukraine. As a result, neither the companies belonging to this industry, nor the primary mining sector, will be able to benefit from the aid that the Executive will implement within this Plan, which plans to mobilise 16,000 million euros of public resources; 6,000 million of them in direct aid and tax reductions, and 10,000 million through a new line of guarantees managed through the ICO.
The asphyxiating rise in the price of electricity and fuel led the Andalusian Marble Business Association (AEMA), together with the companies in the Marble Region and their workers, to organise a protest on 24 March, in which they urged the Spanish Government not only to take measures in this respect, but also to include this industry in the aid to alleviate this increase in costs. Their requests, despite being part of one of the most affected productive sectors, have fallen on deaf ears.
“The survival of our industry is unfeasible if the Government ignores our needs within this Plan”, explains the president of AEMA, Jesús Posadas, who, together with part of his Board of Directors, has already met twice with the Secretary of State for Democratic Memory of the Spanish Government, Fernando Martínez and the Undersecretary of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Pablo Garde, to try to save the situation.
The president of the marble entrepreneurs, who describes the situation as “unsustainable”, fears the destruction, not only of the entire productive fabric, but also of the 5,000 direct and 12,500 indirect permanent jobs that the industry currently has. For this reason, and in view of the great unease that this sector is suffering at the moment, the marble employers’ association asks that “its demands be reconsidered”, otherwise, “the Andalusian Marble Employers’ Association will continue to take more drastic measures” with the firm objective of preventing its industry from falling into a deep economic crisis.