Spain to Nationalize Nine “Loss-Making Privately Managed Toll Roads”

El País reports, “Spanish taxpayers will pick up the tab when the government nationalizes nine loss-making privately managed toll roads, Public Works Minister Íñigo de la Serna said on [December 12]. The announcement follows more than two years of talks between the government, the operators of the highways, and creditor banks. ‘An agreement to settle this is difficult, because many banks have already sold their debt on,’ De la Serna told state television. No official figures are available regarding the scale of the highway operators’ debt and the cost of nationalizing them. Seopán, the Spanish construction industry’s confederation, put the figure at around €5.5 billion [approximately US$5.86 billion at the current exchange rate] in 2015.”