Spain places pieces in the key economic units of the European Commission, the Council and the ECB

Last Tuesday, the Ministers of Economy and Finance of the European Union appointed the First Vice President and Minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transfo

Spain places pieces in the key economic units of the European Commission, the Council and the ECB

Last Tuesday, the Ministers of Economy and Finance of the European Union appointed the First Vice President and Minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, Nadia Calviño, as the candidate of the Continent to chair the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC, in its acronym In English), an organism that advises and informs the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund. The post does not have a particularly high prestige, does not give a huge power, and in reality very few would be to say what it consists or who preside now the IMFC, but it is a new sample of the ambition of Calviño and that, unlike Most of its predecessors, has a very clear plan from the first day that put a foot in the office, to increase the influence of Spain in global economic institutions. Placing the most possible candidates each time a vacancy opens and betting on all existing forums, as to be offered to host the First Digital Economy Meeting of the OECD.

Aspirating positions is not something new. Calviño himself, like Luis de Guindos, tried in vain to preside over the Eurogroup, and even explored the possibility of being the option of the old continent for the IMF presidency, when Christine Lagarde moved from Washington to Frankfurt. Likewise, inside the agenda of a country is always placing pieces. But the vice president is showing especially active and successful. Just a few months ago, Carlos San Basilio, left his position as secretary of the treasure to go to London, to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. And this Thursday the ministry announced that Isabel Riaño, the right hand of Calviño for all European themes, also left the ministry to become a general director of competitiveness and trade in the Council of the European Union.

Riaño, with extensive experience in Brussels and that these years have dealt in first person with all negotiations with the EU, especially the recovery plans for obtaining community funds, will occupy "a position of great interest to be the highest Level within the European Administration and with a special responsibility in the coordination of a Council that addresses strategic issues for Spain, "explains the ministry at his farewell.

In Brussels there has been the feeling of Spain for years for years to play below its possibilities and that it does not have the ability of some of its partners to place nationals in the most relevant places, especially when it comes to economic issues. Calviño, until a general manager of the European Commission, knows well. In 2019, the possibility was made up for a Spaniard to occupy the economic affairs portfolio in the Commission, but the chair was at the hands of former Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, while Josep Borrell, who longed for that last position before retiring, was elected High representative for foreign policy.

In a first step there were not so many Spanish in the cabinets as it would have been desired, but little by little, after the initial wave, that deficit has been correct. Two months ago, an official of the Ministry of Economy, Juan Antona, the Gentiloni team, permanent ally of Calviño and Socialist like her. And there are already at least two, Mirzha de Manuel and Alexandro Cainzos in the Cabinets of the Vice Presidents Dombrovskis and Vestager, responsible for economics and commerce and competition respectively. In addition to Lucía Caudet, head of attached cabinet of Commissioner Thierry Breton, in charge of internal market.

The flank in Brussels is reasonably 'covered', now also with Riaño on the Council. And this week it has also been known that the General Director of Economy and Statistics of the Bank of Spain, Óscar Arce, has been chosen as General Director of Economy of the European Central Bank, a unit with 120 technicians under his charge. A department that as well as the IMFC who aspires to preside over Calviño on policies and supports meetings, in this case those of monetary policy of the governing bodies of the ECB.

The Vice President knows that 2022 is a key year for global economic governance. Having economists and technicians with Spanish passport does not suppose anything per se, but she is aware that the debate is generated at all levels and that for too long the voice of certain countries, and certain schools of thought, have been in second place. The battle is often lost due to incomparency and that is why there are voices where the debates arise, the agendas are prepared. In the IMF, the World Bank, the Commission, the Council, the Eurocámber, the ECB or the OECD. Either to talk about recovery plans, labor reform, possible increases in interest rates, inflation or the future of fiscal rules.

Updated Date: 12 December 2021, 21:36

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