We agree that we disagree

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As has not been seen for many years, the National Business Meeting, Enade 2024, organized by Icare, and titled on this occasion Against Immobilis, had expectations through the roof. A previous report in which there was insistence in the media about tensions and confrontation between the business community and the Executive contributed to this. It was something that was contributed to by an onslaught from the commercial sector. A few days before the meeting, there was – perhaps with legal reason and genuine union concern for those represented – an atmosphere of tension due to a Government ruling that, connected with common sense, denied the division by minutes of the first hour of reduction of the established working day. by the Law of 40 hours a week. However, and as usually happens when expectations are high (especially in a country that has often been described as manic-depressive), the correct representation of roles played by each of those summoned to the Enade 2024 will probably lead to some frustration over what could end up being a new consensus that everything must change, but that in the end everything remains the same. There were many calls to restore trust and act as a single team. While President Gabriel Boric referred to the national soccer team, the Minister of Finance, Mario Marcel, made a show of group coaching by projecting a video of the Catalan Castells, where a community unites despite its differences to build a human tower . There were also calls from the private sector to restore trust, although if it had to be reduced to somewhat simplistic images, while the president of Icare played the role of good police, the president of the CPC did not want to leave any of the pains of the private sector saved for another instance of conversation. Check, one could say, although there is no sign that after the diagnostic agreements and the frankness in expressing concerns, a pro-growth agenda like the one sealed in March 2002 by the then Juan Claro and Ricardo Ariztía with the economic authorities of the Government of Ricardo Lagos. After the Enade opening, a session took place that featured Minister Marcel, who was supported by the director of the Western Hemisphere Department of the IMF and former Minister of Finance Rodrigo Valdés. Both did the trick by inviting us to look up and address the bottlenecks that have had the country bogged down for more than 10 years in terms of growth, productivity and investments. Marcel's political capital in the audience was seen in quite good condition , although after listing what has been done to revitalize the economy and advocating for the fiscal pact, the question that remained floating in the air is whether continuing to put checks on a list of specific measures will allow the turning point that everyone agreed is needed today . The country has accumulated many pro-growth agendas in the last 20 years and despite this the country is as it is. Likewise, it seems that his call to close the tax discussion now and not leave it as a pending threat was not something that convinced the audience, especially because, as businessmen have said many times, the evidence shows that the tax issue is like the curse of Sisyphus, since every time the discussion on taxes has been closed it has been slowly reopened. But beyond These allusions and others connected to the situation, both in the presentations of Marcel and Valdés and the subsequent dialogue with the panelists María Olivia Recart, Francisco Pérez Mackenna and Alan Meyer, alluded to the quality with which the policies have been designed and executed public, where the symptoms of illness are multiple: the quagmire of leave, the ineffectiveness of the sharp increase in spending on education or the irrational tension that has left issues such as the universal nursery, the reform of the pension system without resolution for decades or the long agony of the health system. In the room there were quite a few representatives of the political parties and Congress and we do not know if they were alluded to, but there were several allusions to the tension and lack of convergence in the legislative world, wise words for ears that cannot claim deafness. The Enade 2024 was not the dance of boxers or a waltz performance. It could be more like a lame tango, where each dancer, if they really want to put on a good show and go unnoticed, would do well to support and synchronize with their partner. For the good of all. Subscribe here to the EL PAÍS Chile newsletter and receive all the key information on current events in the country. Keep reading