After the Euro crisis as well as near depression in its home market of Spain, the Basque bank BBVA decided to look abroad. It seemed to make sense in a world of QE amid massive inflows into emerging markets. That has now changed given the reversal in hot money away from those markets and the specific problems of Erdogan’s Turkey (next to war-torn Syria)… and the rise of the US dollar (and a global ratcheting up of interest rates).

Don Quijones writes a worrying article on BBVA and suggests that the European Central Bank has put BBVA and Santander on a watchlist. If true, then the Spanish banking system is heading back to 2011 given that these two banks are regarded as the strongest in the peninsula …….

After the euro debt crisis, Spain’s alpha-lender sought greener pastures in the Emerging Markets. That bet is coming home to roost.” ……..referring to BBVA…..”

The article can be found at the link below:

Don Quijones explains how economic warfare has been unleashed in the wake of the Catalan challenge to the Spanish state. Laws even changed to allow companies to change their head office addresses thus allowing the media to foment the narrative of businesses “fleeing Catalonia”. And the billions raided from Catalan banks … just to add spice to Project Fear ……

…. what is only now becoming clear is just how central a role the Spanish government in Madrid was playing in fomenting this massive exodus of funds. The Catalan newspaper Ara has revealed that large state-owned companies such as public broadcaster RTVE, rail infrastructure manager Adif, freight and passenger train operator RENFE and Spanish ports, on the behest of Spain’s central government, raided their own accounts in Catalonia during the frenzied days immediately after the referendum.”

The article in its entirety can be found below:

Joseba Barandiaran regularly comments on the state of the Basque Economy. An example below .. an excerpt from his latest view in Basque Tribune called “Move On” which came out in August 2018.

There are lots of positives especially on CAF and Irizar. BBVA has been mentioned and one hopes a piece will soon come about their possibly disastrous excursions into Turkey and Mexico post 2011-12…… If Turkey were to impose capital controls (low probability but it is after all a volatile region) then one wonders about any plan B by BBVA – historically an astute outfit (avoiding some of the excesses in the first decade of the XXI century)……..

JB also warns about the darkening international outlook with the Trump tantrums (Trade Wars) and the “fog of Brexit”. For a manufacturing exporter which is the Basque-Navarran economic area …… the outlook could be a lot more challenging in the months ahead ……

rail solutions company CAF just bought Polish bus manufacturer Solaris, to strengthen its electric coaches section, which is basically what world class Irizar is also trying to do in its new factory in Aduna (Gipuzkoa).

Car components and subassemblies maker CIE Automotive has made it to the Spanish stock market Ibex-35 index, joining Viscofan, BBVA, Iberdrola and Siemens-Gamesa. Also Mercedes is heading to record production in Vitoria-Gasteiz and Volkswagen in Iruñea-Pamplona is heading for a second model after the Polo.

But it is not only mobility and electricity for Basque companies.

The machine tool sector is also prgressing. An example of this is Ibarmia Group´s new factory in China

The whole article can be found in the link below:

The Basque wing of Podemos has proposed a €150 million plan to create jobs in the Basque provinces of Vizcaya, Guipúzcoa and Álava.

The spokesperson for Podemos, Lander Martinez also demanded that the historic shipyard, El Naval, be saved.

Other proposals included a €6 million fund to bring empty apartments back onto the rental market along with a further clampdown on renting to tourists in ‘saturated areas’.

It also calls for a withdrawal of subsidies to large companies, a reform of the RGI and action on gender equality.

In the discussion, Martinez admitted there was little likelihood that the right-of-centre PNV would adopt this version of a budget.

For outsiders, it is clear that the pro-independence Basque EH Bildu and the new Spanish/Basque left of Podemos have similar programmes, both agreeing on saving the skilled jobs of the shipyard and reducing sky high rents for example.

What is less clear is why Podemos and Bildu cannot cooperate closely on these economic issues where they have 29 members in a 75 seat Parliament. ………..?

The rest of the article (in Spanish) can be found below:




A Green MEP challenges the pro-Unionist attempt at linking Catalan demands for independence with European populism …..”union politicians are not willing to engage in a serious debate. Nor do they seem to want to try convincing Catalans disappointed by the Spanish state of the merits of staying in it. Could it be that they do not feel completely comfortable with the tools of democracy?

The rest of the article can be found here: