A week ago this newspaper told how after the success of Salvador Illa in Catalonia, Pedro Sanchez It is proposed to promote Maria Jesus Montero as a candidate to preside over the Junta de Andalucía in the regional elections to be held in 2022 or at the end of this year if Juan Manuel Moreno decides to advance them.
The spokesperson and finance minister seems to have taken good note and this Tuesday, she took advantage of the window offered by the press conferences after the Councils of Ministers, to jump into the jugular of the president of the Board and accuse him of the fall of Abengoa.
Montero opened a political war on account of a business failure on which they depend 3,000 jobs in Spain, the vast majority in Andalusia, and 14,000 worldwide. Pulling the manual of her government partners, the minister charged against the banks and against the center-right Andalusian government shared by the PP and Ciudadanos.
When the Andalusians go to the polls, the bankruptcy administrator will have already begun to chop Abengoa. In the best of cases, you will be negotiating with SEPI or with a private investor the entry of capital in some of the subsidiaries. But the process will be traumatic and the Sevillian business icon seems destined to become a throwing weapon in elections that will be marked by the poverty that Covid-19 will have left in a region that depends a lot on the mobility of tourism.
Beyond whether the Junta de Andalucía should have put the 20 million euros that it claims it could not hand over to Abengoa due to not having mechanisms to do so, the bankruptcy of this company was a story announced since 2015. It reaches the courts of Seville with a debt of 6,000 million euros.
His fall has only one precedent: that of Martinsa Fadesa in 2008. But although both share the context of crisis and the very high volume of debt, there is a fundamental difference that makes this contest more inopportune.
While the construction company operated in a real estate sector forced to purge the excesses of the boom, Abengoa did it in the high technology of renewable energy, water and infrastructure. With employment of high added value and international presence.
If Covid-19 has reminded us of something, it is that more companies of that profile are missing in Spain. That is why getting its subsidiary Abenewco I (which brings together the group’s ‘good’ assets) is essential to avoid a flight of professionals from Andalusia and to avoid damaging the technological ecosystem that we have in Spain.
If Covid-19 has reminded us of something, it is that in Spain there is a lack of more solvent ‘Abengoas’
Beyond the mistakes made by the managers of a corporation that had just turned 80 years of history, politicians also have tools in their hand to protect the productive fabric of high added value. And in Spain, unfortunately, they have many fronts on which they can act.
A taxation to attract talent, fewer bureaucratic obstacles, an education more adapted to the needs of this type of company, etc.
Montero charged yesterday against Moreno for not having put on the table 20 million euros that the Board had committed. The Andalusian president replied that he had not done so because he did not have mechanisms to inject the money.
Precisely, this Tuesday, Invertia reported that the Government studies that Treasury and Social Security can exonerate companies such as Abengoa of the money owed to them in taxes to promote their viability.
In this case, it would be about 200 million euros in taxes. But precisely Finance is one of the Ministries that most reluctantly looks at this regulatory change that would be incorporated into the reform of the Second Chance Law.
Despite the errors in Abengoa’s private management, the Administration will have to get involved in rescuing what it can from the company because it is not the time to lose more companies and less in sectors where there is an investment appetite.
Meanwhile, the Government of which Montero and the regional government of Moreno and Juan Marin They will have to collaborate together to promote new projects in the next triennium that give rise to other ‘solvent Abengoas’ if they do not want to waste the opportunity of European funds for a political brawl.