Electric Dreams

El Mundo reports on the closet romanticism of President Zapatero, who is convinced of “a happy ending” to the takeover wrangle involving Spanish electricity company Endesa, regardless of the fact that the bulk of the 19 conditions laid down by his government for the takeover by German energy giant E.ON (as opposed to the lower offer made by Spanish company Gas Natural) go against EU regulations. Zapatero could be relying a bit too heavily on his Latin charm if he genuinely believes German chancellor Angela Merkel is going to start drooling at the prospect of spending some quality time with a bit of rugged Iberian and apply the appropriate pressure to get the bid withdrawn when they meet up on September 12. 

The Economist , unsurprisingly, doesn’t share Zapatero’s optimism and foresees a climbdown from Spain some time after the Catalan regional elections on November 1. Whilst sympathetic to Spain’s desire to field a national champion in the energy market, the free-trade-mad journal accuses Spain of “obstructionism”. 

The soon-to-be-appointed new industry minister, Joan Clos – who as Mayor of Barcelona made a name for himself for his Bez-style dancing when Carlinhos Brown came to town and proved his strategical ineptitude with the instantly forgotten Forum of Cultures, as well as pissing off various sectors of the population with his Rudy Guiliani-style clamp-down on street scum in the form of the ordenanza cívica – could be the fall guy here. After all, rather than let the valued and Madrid-friendly current industry minister, José Montilla, take the rap for the failure of negotiations, why not get old Clos down to shuffle around a bit when the shit starts to fly?

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~ by Daniel on September 6, 2006.

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