Few seats are worth as much in Congress as those held by the PNV. The match of Andoni Ortuzar treasures a powerful political key that has allowed it to mark the step in the negotiations of the General State Budgets (PGE) of the last governments of Mariano Rajoy and Pedro Sanchez.
However, Basque nationalism is not content with that: it wants to gain business influence and seeks to capitalize on the Catalan decline by monopolizing private investment to consolidate itself as the Spanish industrial locomotive. In other words, it aspires to become the autonomous community that pulls the national GDP through ‘added value’.
In Bilbao, they have taken good note of the economic disaster that the process. It is no coincidence that 2017, the year of the referendum, the Madrid economy gave the overtaking to the Catalan in terms of GDP. Since then, the distance between the two has been increasing in favor of the Spanish capital.
Now while Josep Sánchez Llibre gave voice to the despair of Catalan businessmen due to the loss of investments on account of the open crisis between the Generalitat of Pere Aragonese and the central government for the expansion of the El Prat airport, the PNV moves its chips to distance itself from the political noise and present itself as a place business friendly to invest in Spain.
The first acid test of the fall will be the sale of ITP Aero by Rolls Royce in an operation in which Basque capital will be key to preserving the wealth generated by having not just the company’s headquarters, but a voice in the strategy designed by managers in terms of investment and employment.
The Basques learned their lesson with Siemens Gamesa when they saw how the center of the decisions of the wind turbine manufacturer that was born in Vitoria has ended up in Germany under the command of Andreas Nauen, a CEO with a German name and mentality, following the definitive exit of Iberdrola from its shareholding.
They have also taken good note of the fright of large companies in Catalonia as a consequence of the legal abyss to which they were condemned in October. Although Barcelona aspires to recover part of this lost business power in the future, the truth is that in cases such as CaixaBank – which now also integrates Bankia and in turn the former Bancaja – a reversal seems increasingly complicated. The headquarters of the entity is being consolidated in the Valencian Community with Jose Ignacio Goirigolzarri as president and without a Catalan surname.
Faced with the strategy of confrontation, Basque nationalism has opted for pragmatism with a silent strategy that is bearing fruit.
Proof of this is the decision that Repsol made last June to locate the headquarters of Petronor and its industrial and commercial divisions in the Basque Country. The company that presides Josu Jon Imaz has chosen Muskiz as the decision-making center for a large investment project with which it wants to generate synthetic fuels from green hydrogen.
The Basque Country seeks to position itself as a leader in this green energy and take advantage of its geographical position by the sea to look towards the English Channel and the West.
Within this alliance between the president Urkullu and the business world, the PNV will soon have to take sides in a decision that will be taken in the Palace of the Cortes.
The vote of the Basque nationalists will be key so that Teresa Ribera can carry out its National Fund for the Sustainability of the Electricity System (FNSSE). A measure that will take costs out of the electricity bill to pass them on to the fuel and gas bill.
A reform, therefore, that damages Repsol’s income at a time when the company needs them to carry out the investments it has announced within its decarbonization process.
However, the measure benefits another large Basque company, Iberdrola, for which the reduction of the electricity bill represents an opportunity within the roadmap to electrify the economy.
The decision you are dealing with Aitor Esteban It is not simple and informed sources tell how within the party there is an important debate about what the meaning of this vote should be despite the fact that, initially, it had been transferred to the Government of Pedro Sanchez the willingness to support the FNSSE.
There are impossible dilemmas, although sometimes money can help solve certain issues. The problem is that the investment of the electricity Ignacio Sánchez Galán and its economic contribution is not small either.
ATTENTION TO …
The Commission Von der Leyen celebrates this Wednesday the debate of the State of the Union 2021 in the Parliament of Strasbourg. The appointment will serve to review the European management of Covid-19 with its great advances, such as Next Generation, but also with slips, such as the management of vaccines.
In any case, this debate marks a before and after. Far seem the times of the last crisis in which the former president Durão Barroso it was the face of austerity. Curious that it was a time when a peripheral country was in charge of the European Commission. Times have changed and Europe has started to do joint broadcasts under a German mandate.
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