Mónica Rock has become today, March 8, the first woman to preside over the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Navigation of Barcelona in its 135 years of history. The engineer and businesswoman, a member of the independence candidacy with which the Catalan National Assembly took command of the public law corporation in 2019, relieves Joan Canadell after he presented his resignation, last January, to make the leap to politics at the hands of Junts per Catalunya, the party with which he participated in the autonomous elections of 14-F as number three, behind Carles Puigdemont and Laura BorrÃ s.
The new president of the chamber entity has vindicated the legacy of the team led by Canadell, of which she was vice president. In fact, although precipitated by the Catalan elections, the replacement was already agreed to become a reality in the middle of the four-year term in office, next June.
Roca has never hidden his ideas in favor of the independence of Catalonia, but he presents a more technical and less activist profile than that of his predecessor, today a deputy elected in the Parliament and aspiring to occupy some position of responsibility in the organization chart of the next Govern. In the presentation of her candidacy before the vote held this afternoon, the Barcelona businesswoman has rejected that One de PaÃs [la lista auspiciada por la ANC en 2019] has put ideology before business interest: “We have come this far because we believe that Catalonia deserves to be an independent State, but what we have come to do is work for the business fabric to change the economic model.”
Despite making it clear that they are aware that, from the Chamber, it is not possible to consummate independence, Roca has not shunned the political debate during his speech and has criticized that Spain treats “its economic engine unfairly” in investment and linguistic matters, “limiting the freedom of expression of artists or imprisoning their leaders”. The engineer has also referred to “dÃ © advantaged fiscal of the State “in the community and has assured that” not to demand its reduction is to make a policy against Catalonia “, since that money” could have saved companies from closure “during the crisis originated a year ago by the Covid pandemic.
The new president has been chosen in an extraordinary plenary session with 32 of the 42 votes cast, since almost a third of the members of the governing body did not attend the event. By surprise, and although it has not been an obstacle to the result, Roca has encountered an opponent, the businessman JosÃ © MarÃa Torres, which, beyond obtaining four votes, has delivered a very critical speech with the line of action of Eines de PaÃs for “instrumentalizing the Chamber with its partisan politics and ideology.” Thus, among other examples, he has ugly: “Why wasn’t Roca [como presidenta en funciones] in the act of Seat last Friday? Because the King was going. ”
A day before the controversy over the absence of members of the Government in the facilities of Martorell of the automobile company, the president of Work Promotion, Josep Sánchez Llibre, publicly thanked Roca for the presence of the business unit in which the Catalan Executive was asked for a change of course in its economic policies, “institutional loyalty” and a resounding condemnation of the unrest of the preceding days in the streets of Barcelona and other towns. Although the Chamber did not adhere to the manifesto signed by more than 300 economic and social organizations, Roca has argued that, with their assistance, he put “the defense of companies before the political background” of the conclave.
The change in the presidency of the Chamber comes just two months after Naturgy’s decision to leave the governing body of the institution, Abertis Y Catalonia Hotels & Resorts, which occupied three of the 14 places reserved for companies that contribute 75,000 euros per year. Although they did not publicly use political motives, it is known that there is no good harmony between the representatives of the so-called 14 silver chairs and the winners of the 2019 elections.
The success that the ANC obtained two years ago in the Chamber contrasts with the failure that it experienced two weeks ago in the bosses’ elections Pimec, when the candidacy of Antoni CaÃ±ete it was imposed on a list promoted by the independence entity with more than 83% of the votes. Precisely, the employers’ association of SMEs, together with Foment del Treball, battle against Chambers law defended by Canadell and that was stranded in Parliament during the last legislature. Now, Roca establishes as one of the main objectives of his mandate for the next two years to obtain the approval of this norm, which the social agents oppose, considering that it invades their competences.
Roca is the founder and director of the group isardSAT, dedicated to research in the field of Earth observation. For this reason, it is not surprising that, on numerous occasions, the Generalitat’s New Space project, popularly known as Nasa catalana, in which the Chamber has an active participation. The new president has valued that the Government’s spatial strategy “will provide 1,800 jobs of great added value to Catalonia”.
After her proclamation, the new president asked in a final speech to remember “the political prisoners and exiles”, since “the business community cannot be separated from the ethical commitment of the country.”
I am Derek Black, an author of World Stock Market. I have a degree in creative writing and journalism from the University of Central Florida. I have a passion for writing and informing the public. I strive to be accurate and fair in my reporting, and to provide a voice for those who may not otherwise be heard.