The unforeseen acquisition of 9.9% of Telefónica by STC Group, the telecommunications group owned by the sovereign fund of Saudi Arabia, has exposed the weakness of the acting government. The purchase, worth 2,100 million euros, makes the group controlled by the Saudi royal family the main shareholder of the Spanish company, in the largest foreign irruption in the history of Telefónica. The fact that the Executive learned of the operation in e

The last moment - after six months of preparation that the Saudi state group concealed for fear that the leaks would complicate the acquisition - does not sympathize with the size of the movement.

nor with the relationship of partners that unites Spain and Saudi Arabia.

STC Group assures that it does not intend to control Telefónica and that it supports its president, José María Álvarez-Pallete. It also presents the move as a good investment opportunity in the Spanish telecommunications giant, which has a notable presence in Latin America and which at the end of the day had risen 0.27% on the stock market.

Ensures that it does not intend to participate in the Board of Directors, and

presents the move as a simple investment opportunity in the Spanish telecommunications giant

, which has a notable presence in Latin America and that at the end of the day had risen 0.27% in the stock market. In the back room of this blow of hand is Mohamed bin Salman, crown prince of a theocracy whose regime violates human rights and who is turning his efforts to enter large European companies in various sectors.

The regulations to shield Spanish strategic companies from unwanted purchases by foreign investors apply if it involves a change of control of up to 10% of the capital.

In the case of Telefónica, this threshold drops to 5% because it also carries out activities related to Defense.

. The Council of Ministers now has three months to authorize the operation. "All the necessary mechanisms will be applied in defense of the interests of Spain," Nadia Calviño said yesterday from Brussels. Instead, Yolanda Díaz demanded "better regulation and protection to avoid takeover bids."

The dissonant voices in the coalition government and its policies against strengthening business project to investors an image of division that is unthinkable in the great European powers.

In the case of Spain, the fiscal measures, the increase in regulatory obstacles and the anti-business rhetoric that have truffled a good part of the legislature hinder the growth of large Spanish companies

. To this is added the weak price of the Ibex 35 companies (except Iberdrola and Inditex) and the loss of control of Endesa to Enel or the recent transfer of Ferrovial to the Netherlands. Any open economy requires market freedom, but also governments that do not transmit weakness but solidity and that safeguard national strategic interests with guarantees.


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