Dark skies for Spain as privatisation prospects recede
By David Ing
Continuing doubts over the Spanish economy make it increasingly unlikely in the near term that the Spanish government will make any further efforts to start selling off the state-owned Aena Aeropuertos airport network.
While the government has said little on the issue, the possibility of any form of privatisation has been complicated by the regional government in Catalonia calling for a referendum on whether to seek independence from Spain. If Catalonia were to secede, it would remove Barcelona - the most successful airport in the country - from Spanish control.
Much has changed in the past 12 months since the right-wing Partido Popular (PP) won the general election in November 2011. The previous socialist PSOE government wanted to sell long-term concessions for national hub Madrid Barajas and Barcelona, but one of the PP government's first decisions was to call off what would have been the biggest infrastructure sell-off in Spain.
Aena told IHS Jane's at the beginning of January 2013 that it is not expecting any announcements on privatisation in the near future. Asked about possible new developments, the authority merely referred to the most recent comments made by Development Minister Ana Pastor.
Her policy, echoed by Aena Director General and President José Manuel Vargas Gómez, is to promote the value of the overall airport network, in order to pull in future investors, rather than any further attempts to sell it off piecemeal.235 of 1019 words
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