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.

The Judiciary In The Pillory

Fernando González Urbaneja | Pablo Iglesias is not in government, but his objectives are still on course. As he himself explained, his immediate political action should focus on weakening two powers: the Crown and “los togados”, the judiciary. In his opinion the latter is in the hands of Francoist reactionaries who must be subjugated. His thesis is that the judiciary should be subordinated to the executive, to the will of…

emerging pedro

The Government, Suspended In Legality

Fernando G. Urbaneja | The Constitutional Court has declared unconstitutional the Government’s implementation of the State of Alarm to decree the confinements… An old principle of good government (and of journalism) dictates that when in doubt it is advisable to abstain. In other words, to behave prudently, because there is no better solution to a problem than to avoid it. There was a risk of unconstitutionality in the alarm decrees, warned of from the outset; opinions were divided amongst constitutionalists, but there were well-founded expectations that it was not the right rule. It was not, narrowly, by 6 votes to 5. But the majority decided the chosen rule was not constitutional and that there was no appeal and no way back.


Casado Needs An Advisor

Fernando G. Urbaneja | The leader of the PP, Pablo Casado, is floundering as head of the opposition between the harsh discourse (with one eye on VOX) and the responsible one, with the other eye on Moncloa. He wants to appear as a reliable leader to govern, but also as a tough guy in the face of his adversaries. And little by little, he is sliding more towards the latter…

The Spanish government quells investors’ worries

Sánchez: 38 Ministers In 37 Months

Fernando González Urbaneja | Pedro Sánchez has completed three years at the head of the government after success in a no confidence vote and two general elections, with sufficient majorities following coalitions of varying intensity with other groups on the left. Over the course of 37 months he has appointed 38 people to ministerial portfolios, some with long and novel names. He has had ministers for days, months and just over a year. Of the initial seven he has seven left, and tomorrow he receives another seven newly appointed. There is no precedent for such ministerial combustion.


Large Companies Infected By Villarejo

Fernando González Urbaneja | Over the last two decades, for very sound reasons, big companies around the world, including Spanish ones, have shown interest in improving their governance model, what is now called “governance”. There is an abundance of academic literature, recommendations from regulators, legal regulations in all areas and explicit commitments from managers and directors blessed by boards of directors and general meetings. It is clear that efforts and…

spanish PM pedro sanchez

Sánchez Against The Court Of Auditors

Fernando González Urbaneja | The description as “anachronistic” of the fact that the rapporteur of the Court of Auditors – in the case of the possible embezzlement of pro-independence leaders – was a minister in an Aznar government deserves some reflection. It begs the question of how the president’s mentality works, his concept of the constitutional system and the balance of powers. Added to this are the considerations of Catalan…

Just Sanchez

Sánchez’s Credibility

Congress made it clear on Tuesday that the President’s credibility is very low He has reduced the internal socialist opposition but his parliamentary and government allies, those who support him, have little appreciation for him. They support him out of necessity, to avoid worse evils and can leave him alone when it suits them. Without credibility, he will not get very far, not the day-to-day, beyond a minimal agreement on pensions that has the sole merit of pure agreement, the scenography in the Moncloa for show. Dialogue is an instrumental value, it serves to reach agreements and underpin credibility. And there is very little evidence of this.


Pension Agreement: Escrivá Has Done What He Could

Fernando González Urbaneja | Escrivá manages to push through the first chapter of the reform book, which has two sides: guaranteeing purchasing power (more costs) and lengthening the retirement age, along the lines of the 2011 reform.To justify the budgetary subsidies to the system, which could distort and politicise it, the argument of “inappropriate expenditure” is used, which is a flexible box where everything that needs to be put in can fit.

Pedro mascarilla españita

Pardons And The Weakness Of The Government, According To Junqueras

A weak government that has to negotiate every decision and swallow more than a few demands from its partners, but at the same time an unbeatable government due to the absence of an alternative – something like a perpetually ill government that enjoys very good health – will today pardon the pro-independence politicians imprisoned for the Catalan insurrection of 2017.


Spain: How Long Will The Tension Last?

Fernando González Urbaneja | How is it possible that, burdened by an unprecedented pandemic, an intense recession and historic EU aid, political groups with power or influence are incapable of reaching a minimum of hopeful consensus? A reasonable explanation would be the mediocrity and selfishness of the leaders. There are data and trajectories that support this explanation. The absence of clear, firm, reasoned strategies for most of the known problems that hinder growth is obvious.