Nikos Lavranos is a distinguished Dutch jurist with extensive experience in international arbitration. For this reason, the Index of Compliance with International Law, which is prepared annually based on the degree of compliance with the awards, has a great deal of prestige and our country does not do well in it, because it collects eight, all unpaid, totaling 1,200 million euros.
Does it surprise you that Spain is on the list of the most deviant countries in the world?
-definitely. An environment of legal certainty is expected from EU countries where the rule of law can be taken almost for granted. However, our analysis reveals a worrying and shocking situation because Spain is among the top three in the world, which is not appropriate for an advanced democracy. It was also shocking that the European Commission attempted to interfere in some of the processes by actively helping Spain evade its obligations under international law.
—We know the closing data for 2022. Is there an update?
– Today, we know that Spain is at the forefront of non-compliant countries, after only Venezuela. At the end of September or the beginning of October we will prepare the new arrangement, but it is almost certain that Spain will continue in these positions because the government continues not to pay its obligations, in addition to new provisions that are only being published. Contribute to increasing the number of pending operations.
– Given that arbitrations have significantly reduced the compensation claimed, can it be said that the Spanish government implemented a wrong strategy and should have paid?
– From the outset, Spain could have avoided this situation if they had kept the incentives and bonuses they offered in force and then withdrawn retroactively. However, it is true that the amounts claimed were reduced after the operations, but this is quite normal, and it usually happens in most lawsuits. At this point, the liabilities already exceed 1,000 million euros, but this amount continues to grow every day because it is subject to interest. In addition, to the extent that the government continues to invest millions to hire international law firms and try to avoid complying with its obligations, the bill does not stop getting more expensive. Undoubtedly, the sensible thing to do would be to pay creditors rather than use taxpayers’ money to continue incurring these unacceptable hypothetical scenarios. There is already a ban in the UK, expected soon in Australia; Other countries where there may be news soon are the United States and Luxembourg. In fact, it is a wrong situation.
Was there any contact between those affected and the Spanish government?
– No, and it is time for the Executive Council to sit down to talk to those affected and find a solution. Spain must come to its senses and fix the situation, otherwise it will become an unreliable destination for foreign investment. Professionals like myself would be more than happy to start constructive and well-intentioned discussions with the aim of finding a solution.
– How does the fact that it appears on the list of defaulters affect Spain’s international reputation and, even worse, that it does so in such a prominent position that it is second only to Venezuela?
– Since Spain needs to attract foreign investment. This circumstance inevitably affects the country’s reputation. The impact is clear in the short term, as evidenced by the figures for attracting foreign capital, but it will be devastating in the medium and long term if this situation continues. This is another reason that drives Spain to sit at the negotiating table and find an acceptable solution to put an end to this series once and for all.
Do you think those affected will end up getting compensation due to the pressures of the ban?
– Yes, in the end Spain will have to pay. The example of Argentina is clear. After the financial collapse, he wanted to default on billions of dollars, but ended up making the corresponding payments. In addition, if compliance was not voluntary, the embargoes could mean, at last, the recovery of these sums in the same way, only by confiscation of assets from the Kingdom of Spain, a case far from perfect. .
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