The head of Finance resorts to Beln Gualda, with whom she shared a career in the Junta de Andaluca, to channel the crisis unleashed in SEPI after the rescue of Plus Ultra.
The day the Government wanted to value the fact that it has a president and four vice-presidents as a sign of its social policy, it also appointed Mara Beln Gualda as the new president of the Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales (SEPI), the largest business holding company. of the State with more than 120 companies and tens of thousands of workers. Also, the highest salary of the Administration, well above that of the Prime Minister.
The spokesperson and Minister of Finance explained
yesterday that Gualda, currently
President of Navantia
“He has extensive managerial experience in the business field, where he has held various responsibilities, most of them related to the Junta de Andaluca”.
The new president of SEPI had her first position of responsibility in public companies in the Minister of the Environment in 2005, when Montero in turn led the Minister of Health under the presidency of Manuel Chaves. The career of both progressed in the successive autonomous governments of
Jos Antonio Grin and Susana Daz
to later make the leap to central administration with
After assuming other responsibilities in autonomous areas such as Transport, Infrastructure or Public Works while Montero was already in charge of the autonomous Treasury. Already in October 2020 Gualda was called by Montero to Madrid to be the youngest president of Navantia and today of the group of public companies of the State through SEPI, the body that has in hand a fund of 10,000 million euros to rescue companies classified as strategic for the Spanish economy.
Gualda now reaches one of the highest paid positions in the Administration, with a salary of 220,000 euros. It leaves behind a Navantia where the problem of the lack of orders and workload is parallel to its distribution between the centers of San Fernando, Puerto Real or Ferrol in a process that already last January increased union tension. On the table of his new office he now has the demand for financial rescue of dozens of companies devastated by the Covid and the particular case of
the aerolnea Plus Ultra
, which has already put Montero
Jos Luis Balos
between a rock and a hard place for being unable to justify the reasons why they have awarded 53 million euros in aid.
In reality, Gualda has before him the task of solving much more than the cost of the rescue that has plagued Montero and Balos. The scandal threatens to discredit the government’s criteria for the massive deployment of aid to both large companies and SMEs before even launching it. The new president of SEPI arrives after a period in which the position has been vacant or in office. Since October 2019
, SEPI was nominally headed for another controversial award.
The last president,
Vicente Fernandez Guerrero
, appointed with the Government of Pedro Sánchez in office, resigned after being prosecuted for an alleged crime of prevarication in the award of a mine in Aznalcllar (Seville) together with two former high-ranking officials of the Junta de Andaluca and the owners of the winning business group .
Minister Mara Jess Montero had declared that she trusted the innocence of Fernndez Guerrero, former controller of the Junta de Andaluca under the government of Susana Daz, as a reason to maintain the presidency of SEPI in this transitory situation. But the crisis opened by the rescue of Plus Ultra has not allowed us to wait any longer. The vice president,
It is who has assumed the responsibility of managing the body in this period in which millionaire funds from the State have begun to be deployed for companies considered of strategic relevance for the country.
In addition to Navantia Gualda, with experience in the management and direction of public companies, he must now supervise other giants such as Correos, chaired by Juan Manuel Serrano, former chief of staff of Pedro Snchez, in addition to others such as RTVE, Hispasat, Enagas, Indra , Tragsa … up to a total of more than 120 companies between majority and indirect holdings. The list will grow in the coming months given the demand for bailouts launched from sectors such as travel agencies, hotel chains, airlines or large companies in the industrial sector.
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