Talks of privatisation in Spain have now reached the airports. Those that rely heavily on local airports for travel to and from the UK should take heed.
Tourism authorities in the southern region of Andalucía have warned that airports could close down if the public sector governing body AENA is privatised.
Department head Rafael Rodríguez says it would be ‘hard’ for some of the region’s terminals to be considered ‘economically viable’ if they were in the hands of a private company, and that this could lead to their disappearance.
Rodríguez has not stated which airports might become casualties of the PP’s ‘neo-liberal obsession’ with privatising hitherto State-run organisations, but says those with lower passenger numbers or that need heavy investment in infrastructure could be at risk as they would not be profitable for a company seeking to make money.
Minister of public works Ana Pastor has told Spain’s 17 federal governments that the continued presence of existing airports would be ‘guaranteed for a certain length of time’.
But Rodríguez says these words are ‘merely placing a gauze pad on an open wound’ which, over time when the ‘pad is removed’, would lead to ‘the wound worsening and the limb having to be amputated’.
Privatisation to save public funding has become one of the PP’s least-popular plans, both at central and regional government level.
Mass protests were held in Madrid last year and early this year amid decisions to privatise the health service – a move already made many years ago in parts of the Comunidad Valenciana – but the regional government later backtracked.
This said, certain services such as laundry have been placed in the hands of profit-making firms, leading, in some cases, to piles of dirty washing mounting up.