Articles by Fernando Gonzalez Urbaneja

About the Author

Fernando Gonzalez Urbaneja
Over 30 years working in economic journalism. Fernando was founder and chief-editor at El País, general editor at the business daily Cinco Días, and now teaches at Universidad Carlos III. He's been president of the Madrid Press Association and the Spanish Federation of Press Associations. He's also member of the Spanish press complaints commission.
Spain elections

Fiscal Storm: The Mountain Gave Birth To A Mouse

Fernando González Urbaneja | The sequence of events is relevant to the outcome and has to do with the electoral confrontation. Behind and at the bottom of this debate or storm there is no doctrine or theory, there are no documents with well-founded proposals, it is just a matter of brushstrokes with ideological pretensions of little flight and quite a lot of trickery.The opposition party, with Núñez Feijóo at the…

Spanish España.

A Decade Of Fiscal Folly

Fernando González Urbaneja | Both the current and the previous government (Rajoy and Sánchez or Montoro and Montero) have earned a page in Spanish fiscal history with the qualification of a confusing, witty and improvisational period. Both governments commissioned reports from groups of experts for a major tax reform. And both reports, of unquestionable technical quality and with interesting proposals, were buried in the drawer of documents to be forgotten….


Spain In The Electoral Storm: My Kingdom For A Horse

Fernando Gonzalez Urbaneja | I don’t want to assign the role of Richard III in the Spanish political drama, but the main contenders, Pedro Sánchez and Alberto Nuñez Feijóo, although with different intensity, are doomed to opt for whatever it takes to succeed and fail, like Richard III. The recent debate (combat) in the Senate between the two politicians with pretensions to rent La Moncloa showed desperation, obsession, determination to…


“In The Last Ten Years, While Consumption Has Risen By 1.3%, 24 Refineries Have Been Closed In The EU.”

Explains Mariano Marzo, Repsol board member: “If we are going to need oil and gas, and it is clear that they will be necessary for many years to come, we must guarantee their production without demonising them. Failure to do so means tackling an ill-considered energy transition, driven more by ideology than by technology” … “The main risk of this ideological approach, which is quite widespread in many European areas,…

Just Sanchez

Taxes or Fines?

Fernando Gopnzález Urbaneja | Words have meaning. To define well is to begin to understand. The government has announced as the star measure of its economic programme to control inflation a new tax figure called the “windfall profits tax” which, for the moment, will be levied on around twenty energy companies with a high turnover (the figure has not been specified) and on banks in general, which are not many…

pedro sanchez preocupado

Against Inflation… More Taxes

Fernando Gonzalez Urbaneja | Economics textbooks have a heading to add to the chapter on inflation: the one dictated by Dr Pedro Sánchez before Parliament. After warning that inflation (10% annual rate) is the most worrying problem for the government, he deployed a series of “anti-inflationary” measures, among them, new taxes for banks and energy companies on extraordinary profits . The president spoke about his concern about the influence of…


The NATO Summit: Spain Leads The Way In Organising Congresses

Fernando González Urbaneja | The NATO summit in Madrid has been a success in all respects, except for the recalcitrant naysayers, who have hardly been noticed. The rest of those involved leave the summit with the feeling of a job well done. In terms of content, in terms of the relevant “strategic definition” for the future of the organisation and its enlargement, the results are in line with the best…

Mediaset and Netflix

Media Terminals, Myth Or Reality?

Fernando González Urbaneja | I will not be so naïve as to hold up the impartiality, objectivity, neutrality, independence… of the media and journalists. Too many years in the profession to remain trapped in that angelic vision. We are not neutral and independence goes by neighbourhoods, topics and times. Each media outlet, each journalist has his/her preferences, biases, sympathies (and antipathies that may not be very bearable) in more or…

spanish PM pedro sanchez

Institutions De-Legitimised, Democracy Broken Down

Fernando González Urbaneja | The most striking aspect of the Prime Minister’s speech on Saturday was his assertion that the judiciary (Constitutional and CGPJ) is delegitimised because the PP does not accept the terms proposed by the government. To top off the accusation, Sánchez argues that the PP, by not renewing, violates the Constitution. The political history of the PSOE led by Sánchez insists on pushing the opposition, the PP,…


Taxes and occurrences

Fernando González Urbaneja | Taxes are the price of civilisation. They are mandatory, obligatory, because if they were not, potential taxpayers would avoid them with personal excuses. Tax theory rejects taxes that are aimed at specific activities. The doctrine says that good taxes are generalist, easy to understand, easy to collect and equitable. And the fiscal disorder comes when it becomes complicated, when exceptions, allowances, tax reliefs and other types…