If you thought Davie Blunkett was corrupt, then try José Montilla. Montilla is boss of the Catalan socialist party, ex-mayor of Barcelona-fringe ghetto-town Cornellà, and an efficient guy with a previously spotless reputation, so Zapatero must have had few qualms about making him industry minister and general Catalan gofer/hitman.
The bad news is that last year, with Montilla already in office, the powerful regional savings bank, La Caixa, wrote off €6.7M of the €14M debt the Catalan socialists have built up over the last decade and converted the rest into a soft loan. Now, by complete coincidence, the energy regulator, chaired by socialist hack Maite Costa, has okayed a controversial takeover by of electricity utility, Endesa, by Gas Natural, 30% of whose shares are owned by La Caixa.
Endesa has the right of appeal: to Montilla.
So will La Caixa ask Montilla for its money back if Gas Natural fails to get Endesa or ends up paying more than bargained for? (e.on’s bid mini-site includes the revelation in the Discurso de Dr. Wulf H. Bernotat that they have a programme called on.top. If German-based concerns want to appear international, then maybe it’s time …
- Zapatero’s Kyoto charade
All last year industry and sections of the PP were saying that there was no way that Spain could meet its Kyoto targets, currently being overshot by more than 100% as a result of the PP’s fine economic record (see below). Economics minister Rato was mugged by a bunch of industrialists in early December in …
- Ser catalá és treballar dur i amb les idees clares
Being Catalan apparently means working hard without thinking very much, but where does that leave us?
- A Caja Castilla la Mancha anecdote
Broadly illustrative of how we got where we are, with a joke at the end.