Spain’s debt-ridden government to sell stake in airport operator AENA


MADRID — Spain’s debt-struck government says it plans to sell off a stake in airport operator AENA to private investors next year. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s government scrapped the previous Socialist government’s plans to privatize the Madrid-Barajas and Barcelona-El Prat airports when it took power a year ago. But it is still seeking new ways to raise finances and slash the public deficit. “Our idea is that in the next financial year private enterprise will be able to enter to form part of the capital of AENA,” Development Minister Ana Pastor said in an interview with conservative daily El Mundo published Monday. The state-funded AENA, which operates 47 airports in Spain and 26 abroad, has built up debts of 14 billion euros (US$18 billion).

In October, it announced voluntary redundancies affecting up to 1,600 of its 15,000 employees.