The Government does not consider the explanations offered by the management of Ferrovial credible, which has linked the transfer of its headquarters to the Netherlands to an alleged search for greater “legal security” than Spain has. Sources from the Executive Presidency have considered this Thursday that it is “ridiculous” for the company to leave when, according to what they say, “bestial” investments are arriving in Spanish territory.
Rafael del Pino takes the headquarters of Ferrovial from Spain to the Netherlands
Moncloa believes that, in reality, behind the movement there is a “personal interest” of the president of the company, Rafael del Pino, who has assets valued at 3,800 million euros -according to Forbes magazine- to achieve tax benefits in the Countries Bajos and avoid paying wealth tax in Spain.
Pedro Sánchez’s team, which this Thursday began a new tour of Europe that will take him to visit Ireland, Denmark and Finland in just two days, considers the arguments put forward by the Ferrovial leadership to leave Spain, in the same line that the Minister of Economy, Nadia Calviño, expressed on Wednesday. “Spain has given everything to Ferrovial”, she assured, recalling that the company “was born and grew in Spain and thanks to the public investment of Spanish citizens”.
Moncloa is also upset by the way in which Del Pino’s team communicated its decision to the Executive because, they explain, the president of the company himself tried to contact the Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, it was done when the march had already been agreed by the board of directors of the company. The Presidency of the Government insists, as Calviño did on Wednesday, that the country has one of the best levels of legal security in the world and is usually “at the top” in all international indices.
In the legal stability indicator, Moncloa insists, Spain is even above the US and the Netherlands. The only difference about the latter is that in the Netherlands there is a lower tax burden than in Spain “for companies but above all for individuals”. Thus, they influence the idea that it would be this “personal interest” of Rafael del Pino himself that would have motivated the departure of the company. The Presidency also points out that Del Pino, through his companies, has been paying minimal taxes for “years” because he benefits from tax credits and they consider that the march to the Netherlands could be explained by the expiration of these credits in the coming years. , which would force him to increase his contribution.
The Government does not fear a “contagion effect”
They also remark in Moncloa that, although they are studying the reasons given by the company and analyzing what happened, they do not believe that it is “evident” that the business movement can be paralyzed. But neither do they believe that a “contagion effect” will occur in other companies to which they attribute greater seriousness than the one chaired by Del Pino.
The Executive does consider, however, that Ferrovial’s gesture “weakens” Europe as a whole in the face of the risk of a kind of battle over tax dumping between EU partners that will cause companies to constantly change their location to try to end up paying taxes of around 0.02% of their profits, as Moncloa points out, has happened in some US states. A “fiscal race”, adds Sánchez’s team, would place the continent on a dangerous path at a time when it has been decided at the community level to address the crises generated by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine trying to do as little damage as possible to the pocket of citizens. Moncloa also highlights that Ferrovial is a company that earns a lot of money thanks to Spanish investments.
However, the Government places the criticism of the PP attributing Ferrovial’s decision to the policies of the Executive, outside of “reality”. And they insist on highlighting the work for “tax harmonization” that is being carried out by the coalition, that Spain is in the world “top ten” in terms of legal certainty and that it does not stop receiving foreign investment.