The announcement by railway its change of headquarters to the Netherlands and subsequent listing in the United States has shaken business and political circles in the country.
Different members of the Government have come out to Tear the clothes before this decision, with declarations of lack of patriotism or lack of commitment to Spain. It seems that the politicians It is difficult for them to understand the ability of private companies to make decisions freely, aimed at generating value and wealth for their shareholders..
Movements of this type are the result of a very careful industrial and financial analysis. conscientious and long term. They are not the result of a specific political scenario that is subject to change every four years.
Talk about railwayAs with other private groups, it is supposed to speak of entrepreneurial capacity, business initiative, work and the ability to take risks. The statements of some politicians and journalists seem to suggest that the company was gift its growth in Spain. Executing works, supposes taking risks and sometimes these go wrong and you lose, such as the loss of all the capital that the company invested in Radial 4 or the more than 800 million lost in the Birmingham contract in England. From the safety of the stands it is easy to attack the fighter who is in the ring.
Our country model does not prioritize entrepreneurship or risk taking. It is a model based on non-refundable grants and the growth of public employment. The loss of productivity of the Spanish economy is a good reflection of the malfunctioning of the system. In politics, the business model is based on maintaining office, and the most rising value is fidelity to the party’s ideological line, even though this goes against common sense.
The business model of railway It is mainly based on the construction, financing and management of large transport infrastructures. If we look at Spain, it is clear that our country has not been a market where the development of this business model has been allowed for many years. Spain, which was a pioneer in the development of private highway concessions at the beginning of the 1970s, has abandoned this model. Public-private collaboration does not exist in our country, at a time when countries like the United States have developed this system. A country plagued by the growing public deficit, renounces this model, just when in 2022 more than 100 trillion dollars of private financing was obtained worldwideto be invested in this type of project.
Speaking of the lack of commitment to the country, it seems that we forget that it was a political decision that allowed Endesa to stop being Spanishcuriously becoming a company controlled by the Italian government.
The main European governments defend their champions countries and their business models. In France, for example, in recent years the concession periods for toll roads have been extended in exchange for private investment to improve its road network, from which Abertis has benefited.
In Spain this has not been the case, despite having several world leading companies in this business. The expiration of the concession period for motorways in the Mediterranean arc, managed by Abertis, was accompanied by the usual political noise talking about total free because we already paid taxes.
The reality is that the State has lost multimillion-dollar income if these concessions had been put out to tender again. Those funds could have been dedicated to the growing needs in social spending and health. In addition to losing income, the budget, that is, all of us, has to assume the cost of its maintenance. It would seem more reasonable that whoever uses a road the most should pay for it. About the lack of maintenance of the Spanish road network in recent years, we better talk another day.
If we look at the airport sector, where Ferrovial is one of the leading operators worldwide, the privatization of AENA was politically decided in favor of financial investors through the IPO.
With a country model where you can’t to flourish its business model, it is clear that the more than five hundred million that Ferrovial pays to its shareholders is not generated in Spain. Despite the media noise, the stock has risen steadily since the announcement, much to the delight of its shareholders, which include thousands of Spanish retailers.
As we are seeing these days, the politicians’ agenda is clearly very different from the businessmen’s agenda. It is the latter that create employment and wealth.