Just a week after there was a strong clash between factions in the Government on the occasion of the PSOE pact and Podemos with Bildu to completely suppress the labor reform, the president Pedro Sánchez apparently he makes a concession to his minister for Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, Nadia Calviño, with the proposal of appointment for president of the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) of the lawyer and partner of the firm Cuatrecasas, Cani Fernández.
Fernández is, according to all the sources consulted, an old acquaintance of Calviño, and between the two there is a special affinity. The Galician and Murcian, although they never worked together, they did know each other very well for many years, since Fernández is one of the most prestigious lawyers in competition law in Spain, with many decades of experience, while Calviño is She is well versed in the fields of competition, which she started in 1996 in the Competition Defense Service of the Ministry of Economy and later worked in the Directorate General for the Defense of Competition of the European Comission between 2004 and 2010.
If the minister knows the Belgian capital well, the lawyer from Cuatrecasas is not far away, who studied at one of the universities in Brussels, a city to which she has returned on many occasions for professional reasons related to the right to competition. The curriculum of both overlaps for many years in the capital of the European Union.
Although he has a technical profile, Fernández’s proposal has a lot of political message to the Podemos faction in the Government.
According to sources familiar with Cani Fernández’s professional profile, his character is mainly technical. However, its placement by Calviño has a lot of political message to the ‘podemita’ part of the Government: Fernández is a profile that has defended large companies during his career, many of them true declared enemies of United Podemos, such as Uber, which he defended in 2017 in a lawsuit they lost at the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg, as reported by OKDIARIO on Monday. With his appointment, Calviño secured a bishop in the CNMC in favor of more liberal criteria and in favor of companies.
However, in the party of Pablo Iglesias They are declared enemies of many companies, including Uber, with deputies like Rafael Mayoral or the Minister of Consumer Affairs himself, Alberto Garzón, who have expressed on many occasions their lack of sympathy with this company and with other similar ones like Cabify.
No to Bacigalupo
During the previous months he had sounded for CNMC president Mariano Bacigalupo, current adviser to the regulator. However, perhaps his status as husband of the Minister of Ecological Transition and vice-president of the Government, Teresa Ribera, has ended by advising against his promotion. María Fernández, vice president of the entity, also sounded.
Fernández will find a CNMC council difficult to govern, since he will have to incorporate independentistas and Podemos advisers
However, if she is appointed, Fernández will meet with a CNMC council that will not be very easy to govern. Up to four directors have expired their positions and should leave the regulator, but their interim positions are too long, most of them being out of time since last September.
The newspaper ‘El Mundo’ has announced that Pep Salas He is the candidate nominated by ERC, after having appeared with the pro-independence leaders in the 2019 municipal elections. In addition, those related to Unidas Podemos would be missing. Fernández should avoid a situation like that of the outgoing president, José María Marín Quemada, that he did not control the regulator’s governing body for a single day since his arrival.
Four more directors
If finally appointed as president, Cani Fernández It will surely have to deal with a council that it does not control and with members that are much more anti-market and competitive. The CNMC that reformed the Government of Mariano Rajoy in 2013, with the integration of six previous regulators that worked independently, has shown great activity in recent years, especially in the communication of its open files. Another thing has been the success of their fines, which on many occasions have been appealed and reversed.
Therefore, it would be strange that the prestigious lawyer of Cuatrecasas had opted for this appointment without at least partially making sure who her companions on the council may be. Otherwise, neither his prestige nor Calviño’s support would ensure his success in the el super regulator ’.