"Spain must control public spending with aid that is specific and temporary"

"Spain must control public spending with aid that is specific and temporary"

- What do you think of Ferrovial's decision to move its headquarters to the Netherlands for reasons of "legal certainty"?

- I am not going to make any assessment on this specific case. What I can tell you is that in Europe it is very necessary to move forward to complete the Union of Markets and Capitals. Although we share the same currency, the markets in Europe are fragmented; there are different legal frameworks and different tax rules. We must make it easier for there to be greater unity in this regard so that European companies have greater financing facilities and can grow and expand. Steps are being taken in that direction, but they are still not enough and more work is needed

- Countries like Spain have had during these years an enormous dependence on the stimuli of the ECB and the policy of zero rates. Is our country prepared for this new scenario?

- When I look at the economic figures for Spain, they are quite robust. If you look at the GDP it is better than many other Member States. If you look at inflation it is better than many other member states. It is true that unemployment, with almost 13%, the figures are not as good as the average in the euro area, which is 6.7%. Now, of course, public spending must be under control and appropriate measures must be taken that are specific, temporary and adapted so as not to waste public spending and adapt it appropriately so that it does not feed demand excessively.

- Is it sustainable for a government to link the increase in pensions with the evolution of inflation and to do so by law?

- Inflation indexing has not helped us in the past and has generally contributed to fueling inflation that got out of control. Our economies were trapped. That's why I don't think it's a good idea to go back to that.

- Do you think it is time for employers and unions to sign an income pact to deal with this situation?

- Yes absolutely. I think it's the smartest thing to do.

- In Spain it seems impossible...

- Look, what seemed impossible two or three years ago is possible today. For example, we would never have imagined that Europe would issue joint debt to create the Recovery and Resilience Fund to support the countries most affected by the pandemic. The problem we are facing now is inflation that is too high and interest rates rising to control it. The situation calls for adults who can sit in a room and decide what is in the interest of all stakeholders, not just one versus the other, but all of them. So I hope so.

- A decade after the financial rescue, what is the situation of Spanish banks?

- Spanish banks have consolidated considerably. They are much stronger, with higher capital ratios. They are a bit below the Eurozone average, but on the whole they are much stronger than they were a few years ago.

- The sector has strongly criticized the new exceptional tax of the Government. What do you think of this new tax?

- The ECB was asked to give an opinion on the matter and we gave it. We raised several issues, in particular regarding the tax base, the possible impact it would have on financial stability and the soundness of banks. Our opinion is public, and I have nothing more to add to it.