Articles by Fernando Barciela

About the Author

Fernando Barciela
Fernando Barciela has been a regular collaborator for Spain's leading daily El Pais' business section since 1994. He is also a regular collaborator on foreign policy. For Grupo Consejeros he interviews the top executives of Spain's listed companies. He was a correspondent with Diario de Noticias, Portugal's leading daily newspaper, in 1987-2004. He has a degree in Business Science and Journalism from the Complutense University.
CNMV

CNMV appointments: ‘pure’ rookies vs experienced professionals

The appointment of Sebastián Abella and Ana Martínez-Pina as the chairman and deputy chairman of the CNMV has caused some controversy, revealing the confusion there is over what profile candidates for heading up any institution should have. You can choose people who are totally uncontaminated to lead any organisation, without having any link to its activities. But an increasingly more complex financial and stock market environment requires experienced professionals, not rookies.


Aena's airport tariffs

No dilemma in AENA: between competitiveness and making money, the government picks the latter

They say that governing is all about choosing (between what is bad and what is worse) and this government is once again facing a difficult decision: whether to lower AENA’s airport tariffs, thus benefiting Spain’s tourism industry which generates the most jobs, or do their own thing and make money. I say this because, obviously, the best way of making money is not to lower the tariffs AENA charges the airlines.



Talgo's AVE contract with Renfe

Talgo’s Contract With Renfe Sparks Protectionist Battles In The Europe Of The Single Market

Talgo has been the big railway company protected by all Spain’s governments. So it’s no suprise that Talgo’s Avril – with its own traction power –  has just beaten Alstom and Siemens and won the contract to build 15-high speed AVE trains for state-owned Renfe. The German company hardly even flinched, but the French had their doubts about how the calculations were made and have asked for clarification.

 


Banks against excess of regulation

European, US Banking Industry Rises Up Against Excess Regulation

After the banking crises in the US and Europe, there was a generalised call – even from many bankers – for a more detailed regulation of the banking business which would avoid a repetition of what had happened. But now there are some signs of weariness, impatience and even underhand ‘rebellion’.


spanish pensions sustainable

Spain’s Most Urgent Problem: Pension System About To Go Bankrupt

There is a lot of talk at the moment about Spanish pensions. But, it would appear, not enough. At least it is by no means clear that public opinion and voters are very aware of what is about to land on top of them: that in 2017 the pension piggy bank will be empty.  And what will happen then?


Ebro Foods' CEO

“Paying 10 times EBITDA is starting to become the norm”

Ebro Foods is the leading rice producer in the world and number two in pasta. It is no longer a sugar company but a group with a large portfolio of diversified products. It has won the respect of giants in the industry like Nestlé or the Mars Group.


gas-pipeline

France Meddles In Spain’s European Energy Plans

Spain has been trying to push ahead with two projects which are vitally important for its energy sector: the sale of gas and electricity (basically renewables) to the EU. With practically no positive results to date. In 2012, an agreement was reached with France and Brussels to increase the electricity and gas interconnections with Europe via the Pyrenees. But in spite of that, and the fact the money is already ready there, the investments required are taking much more time to materialise than they should.


MARIANO RAJOY EN CANTABRIA

Rajoy, Who “Couldn’t Govern” Is Prime Minister Again

The most important thing is not the fact that Rajoy has been saved, although it is, because he is giving investors and businessmen reasons to still have confidence in Spain. But it is the fact that he has saved the country from the worst case scenario: a return to times of misrule, which in this case would have been even more bloody for the country.


ana-botinsantander2

Ana Is No Miracle Worker

The first thing that should be said about Ana Botin is that only a few weeks after taking over the reins of Santander in September 2014, she left no-one in doubt that she planned to put that house in order and take the bank’s problems seriously. After a wave of restructuring, including lay-offs and bank closures, things have turned nasty again for Santander in the first half of this year, with Brexit and Brazil key complications.