Spain to sell off assets to pay debt

THE Spanish government said yesterday it planned to part privatise airports operator AENA, which could be worth up to €30bn (£25.3bn), as a way of reducing its national debt.

The government said it would allow private companies to take stakes of up to 49 per cent in the country’s airports and airport services’ business. It also announced plans to privatise 30 per cent of its state lottery.

Spain’s biggest airports, Madrid and Barcelona, would be run privately under operating concessions, Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero told parliament.

No decision has yet been made about whether the part privatisation will take the form of a financial partner, or a stock market listing.