I write these lines with the feeling of someone trying to put the immensity of the sea in a hole, while trying to honor the memory of Ángel Torres Torres, vice president of the CNMC, among many other things, in a short text. Ángel dedicated his professional life to the service of the public interest, playing a silent but fundamental role for the progress of Spain. He passed away on August 19, 2023 at the age of 70, leaving behind a legacy of dedication, intelligence and unwavering commitment.
This Sunday numerous media echoed his meritorious professional career, since his entry into the Superior Corps of Technical Commercial Officials and State Economists, and throughout his career, in very relevant positions in both national and international public institutions (in the International Monetary Fund, at the World Bank, at the Economic and Commercial Department of the Permanent Representation of Spain at the OECD, in Paris and at the Economic and Commercial Office at the Spanish Embassy in Rome). Ángel was Secretary General of Economic Policy and Defense of Competition, Director General of Economic Policy and Director General of Planning at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Deputy Director General of Studies and Head of the Balance of Payments Service at the Secretary of State for Trade. and deputy director and advisory member of Multilateral Financial Institutions in the Secretary of State for Economy and Business Support.
He was the architect of key regulations for the Spanish economy; Responsible for preparing the balance of payments before this power was transferred to the Bank of Spain in 1989 and for the development of a research program aimed at studying experiences of trade liberalization in Spain, with great impact on subsequent regulations. We also owe him the transposition of the services directive in Spain between 2008 and 2010, which was carried out under his direction and coordination and which required the reform of a large number of sectoral rules and regulations, as well as the Sustainable Economy Law that sought the modernization of the regulatory framework of the Spanish economy.
As far as I and the CNMC as a whole are concerned, we have been able to enjoy his immense personal and professional baggage in his latest contribution to our country as vice president of the CNMC. His sharp intelligence, professionalism and his ability to concord allowed him to address complex challenges with innovative solutions and always with conciliatory approaches, in search of the public interest. His passion for constructive dialogue and his ability to forge consensus made Ángel a respected and admired leader, both inside and outside the institutional walls. Without a doubt, he has left a deep mark on all of us who have known him, also due to his disposition, sympathy and kindness. Ángel must be an example for everyone, particularly for future generations of leaders and public servants committed to our country and its institutions.
I want to highlight here one of his personal traits admired by all the people who have had the privilege of working with him, or for him (because with Ángel it did not matter where each one was in the organization chart: his respectful and kind treatment was exactly the same) . In any meeting, Ángel was able to clearly explain the diagnosis of the problem, its administrative implications, and the advantages and disadvantages of the different options for its resolution. Without prejudice, he listened and analyzed with full attention what the others had to say, all paying the same attention: to his team, without any difference due to rank; to the representatives of the companies, whether they were large or small, or very small; to unions or small regional associations… In short, to all those who had something to say. The result was always better than the starting point, some proposals were incorporated, others were yielded and the interlocutors and collaborators of him all had the feeling that this is how a country improves.
Leave great friends that we will miss with immense affection. With him, there is not a bad memory. He never saw anyone put on a bad face, or give a bad answer, not even in moments of greatest stress. In times like the ones we live in, in an increasingly diverse and rich society, the values of tolerance, empathy and dialogue that Ángel Torres embodied should inspire us all.
Cani Fernández Vicién is president of the CNMC.
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