IF THE REST of this article on Europe's protectionism is as accurate as the section of Spain, well, don't waste your time with it:
Like France, Spain has a tendency towards protectionism and has tried to create “national champions” in the past. The reason is simple: few big companies make their home in the country, so the government is keen for those to remain in Spanish hands.This is absolutely backwards: first came the bid by Gas Natural (not Natural Gas, by the way), which we must note is closer to the Socialist party tha Halliburton has ever been to Cheney. After the bid was don, E.ON presented their own bid, which prompted a very quick change of legislation to boost the powers of the energy watchdog. That's precisely why the EU might stop it, because it was a post hoc change by the government designed only to protect its buddies from the evil German capitalists. One of these thinks that make the rule of law a joke in Spain.
That’s why the Spanish government is not happy about the intentions of E.ON, a Germany energy giant, to take over its Spanish rival Endesa. To avert the deal it has already boosted the powers of the national energy watchdog. The controversial measure, however, might still be stopped by the EU.
Secretly, the Spanish government is hoping that another Spanish energy group, Natural Gas, succeeds in taking over Endesa. The 22.4 billion Euro deal, already proposed by Natural Gas in September 2005, would create a “national champion” big enough to avert any foreign bid.
Whatever the outcome of this particular crisis, the Spanish government seems unlikely to change its stance when it comes to protectionist state intervention.
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