The acting first vice president, Nadia Calviño, has indicated in Brussels that "all mechanisms" will be applied to protect "strategic sectors and interests", following the announcement of the purchase of 9.9% of Telefónica by Saudi Telecom. The Saudi telecommunications giant will become the main shareholder, surpassing CaixaBank and BBVA in capital.
Calviño has assured that the government received the information yesterday, in which "the friendly nature of the operation" was transmitted, in which it expressed itself "not to proceed to take control of the company" and that it should be interpreted as "support to the management team” of Telefónica and “support to Spain”. Right now the government is "analyzing all relevant issues, having a very clear objective: to protect the interests and strategic sectors of our country", he added.
The Council of Ministers will have the capacity to decide on the entry of Saudi Telecom into Telefónica. Although the Saudi investor avoids the anti-takeover shield -which allows a non-EU investor to be vetoed from entering a Spanish listed company but only when it takes a stake of more than 10%- a special permit will be necessary to reach that 9.9%, reports Iñaki of the Heras.
The vice president has also assured that since "2018 all the mechanisms have been strengthened" to protect the interests of Spain, although at the same time they have wanted to promote "the attractiveness of Spain" for foreign investments "which are absolutely essential for economic growth , the creation of quality employment and technological modernization”.
Calviño has expressed that issues such as the relationship that the purchase may have for the security of the country, the exercise of voting rights or participation in the capital will be analyzed.
The acting vice president is in Brussels to meet with several commissioners, including the economic vice president, Valdis Dombrovskis, and the commissioner for economic affairs, Paolo Gentilioni, ahead of the ministerial meeting that will take place next week in Santiago de Compostela. of economics and finance.
Precisely, at this meeting it is expected that the candidacies for the presidency of the European Investment Bank (EIB) will be discussed, among which is Nadia Calviño —after her announcement last August— and the until now vice president in charge of Competition, Margarethe Vestager , and that yesterday he requested a leave of absence from his duties to concentrate on his candidacy. In any case, the last word will be the EIB's Board of Governors, which is made up of the ministers.
In this regard, Calviño has praised the “fundamental role” of the financial institution so far and that “it will even have a more important role in the coming years.” “Spain has shown a strong candidacy to try to have for the first time a Spanish person and a woman at the head of the European Investment Bank,” he assured.
However, he rejected that the situation of a vice president of the European Commission has "nothing to do with a vice president of a national government." "I am going to continue with my functions as vice president to which I am dedicating myself intensely while this process takes place that I hope can lead to a step forward in the informal council of ministers of Santiago de Compostela."
Shortly before, at a meeting organized by the Brugel think tank in Brussels, she admitted her “strong motivation” to preside over the institution, although she added that she remains “focused” on her work as vice president, reports Europa Press.