The government's anger with Ferrovial and the Del Pino family is gigantic. The decision to transfer the company's headquarters from Spain to the Netherlands has deeply irritated La Moncloa, both in terms of manners. In the president's team, the discomfort was already showing during the start of the tour that Pedro Sánchez is carrying out this week through Ireland, Denmark and Finland, alluding to the "personal interest" of the Del Pino family in the transfer to pay less taxes. The President of the Government himself gives voice and champions that disapproval of the businessman: "There are examples of big businessmen committed to his country. This is not the case of Mr. Del Pino."
"It's not serious," government sources repeat when questioned about Ferrovial's decision, which justifies his departure by claiming the need for "legal stability," something that, they understand, does not occur in Spain. "Ridiculous excuses." This is how they qualify them in La Moncloa. In the Government they are studying the arguments made by the company. His departure represents a mole in the image of Spain, but they assume that it is really complex to reverse the situation. However, they work exploring all avenues. "We are going to follow the situation", the head of the Executive has verified.
The second vice president, Yolanda Díaz, had already asked Economic Affairs to take "the measures that are necessary to prevent" Ferrovial from leaving Spain. Díaz, in an interview in Ser, has also supported this government campaign against Ferrovial, recalling that several ERTEs were accepted and was saved with public money, for which he has shown his total disagreement with the company's decision to move its headquarters to the Netherlands: "I find it disastrous".
A not at all innocent reminder, that of the public aid received, which Sánchez has also made explicit: "Businessmen play a very important role in our society, and this is how the Government has recognized it with the pandemic and the war, with ertes, the mechanisms of ICO, which have allowed us to overcome the pandemic and war, and increase its economic activity".
What the Government is analyzing is whether Ferrovial's decision is framed within the law, "it corresponds to the law" because, they understand, it is the only way that would be possible to try to reverse its departure.
The discomfort in the Executive is already focused with names and surnames towards the figure of Rafael del Pino, who has 20.24%. The remaining shareholders are distributed as follows: his sister María del Pino (8.2%); the British TCI fund (6.4%), founded by Christopher Hohn, a British billionaire who appears in position 273 on the Forbes list of the world's greatest fortunes; Leopoldo del Pino (4.1%) and the funds BlackRock (3.18%) and Lazard (3%), according to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV).
Sánchez, from Copenhagen on the occasion of a joint appearance with the Danish Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, has launched a clear and harsh message with names and surnames, something unusual. "Entrepreneurs play a very important role. They also have an enormous social responsibility in the country where they are born and carry out their activities. There are examples of great businessmen committed to their country. This is not the case of Mr. Del Pino."
For the Government, the key to the decision announced this Wednesday by Ferrovial is the lower tax burden in the Netherlands. At the business level, but also private. In this framework, the sources consulted recall that Spain has approved a tax on large fortunes. "It is a matter of taxes", remark the sources consulted.
Rafael del Pino and family are on the podium of the ranking of the richest in Spain recently published by EL MUNDO, with a net worth of 9,570 million euros. The Del Pino Calvo-Sotelo family owns 35%, valued at 6,200 million. Rafael del Pino, who chairs it, has 20.24%. The sicavs historically in the hands of the family (a total of seven), lost around 100 million during the year, up to 1,465 million (September 2022), according to what this newspaper published.
In the Government, the accent is placed on the fact that Ferrovial is a multinational that has grown thanks to public investment, to the awarding of tenders by the Spanish administration. An argument that Vice President Nadia Calviño has already exposed in some interviews in the media: "It is a company that owes everything to Spain, which has grown thanks to public investments financed by all Spanish citizens." They believe in the team of the President of the Government that "it is striking" that a company that "has earned money from exports" in Spain wants to leave. In the Government they believe that this decision by Ferrvial "weakens Europe as a whole" and strengthens the need to advance in European "tax harmonization".
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