Spain to sell off rail network
Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said last week: "The government has a clear road map, which contains a privatisation plan of public infrastructure. The (Public Transport) Ministry has been working on this for some time."
A subsequently released document sets out a timetable for the sale of Renfe with a deadline of 1 January 2013. It also recommends that the privatisation of commuter rail services is made through a public offering (IPO) before January 1, 2014.
Both the opening and liberalisation of the market are essential, argues the document, because if only privatised, it would create a private monopoly which would push the administration to constantly improve their margins. And if only liberalised, barriers to entry into the sector and the dominance of Renfe would hamper the development of effective competition in the market.
Investors are still waiting for the privatisation of the Barajas and El Prat airports which began last year. It was suspended when the new government came to power due to fears over the price that could be obtained.