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Spain: Illegal dismissals pose threat to restructuring at CNMC

 |  January 17, 2017

Representatives of Spain’s main political parties have put forward their plan for a new framework for the country’s market and competition regulation agency. The plan, however, may be delayed by a recent ruling by the European Court of Justice in favor of Mr. Bernardo Lorenzo, former council member at the now extinct National Markets Commission (CNC), and of Mr. Xabier Omaetxea, of the former Telecommunications commission.

The EC has found that the former government officials were illegally terminated in 2013, when their respective agencies were dissolved to form the single-agency regulator CNMC. The European Union forces its members to ensure a great degree of autonomy to their competition and market regulators, heavily protecting the terms and positions of regulators. Both Mr. Lorenzo and Mr. Ormaextea are considered by the EC to have been terminated early, in violation of European Community norms.

The ball now falls to Spain’s High Court, which will decide whether the two councillors should be re-instated to positions within the existing organisation, whether their termination is nullified, and whether they should be compensated for the political decisions that led to their firing. The court’s decision will inevitably affect the negotiations now under way by the country’s political forces as they fine-tune an eventual replacement for the CNMC.

Full Content: Voz Populi

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