The head of the Xunta’s environmental policies between 2015 and 2018, Beatriz Mato (Barakaldo, 1965), has just made the leap to the leadership of Greenalia, one of the companies with interests in the renewable energy business that she herself he drove from his office in the Xunta. A regular member of all Feijóo governments (he was responsible for Traballo between 2009 and 2015), Mato was already part of Greenalia as head of its corporate responsibility department since the end of 2020 and now he joins the company’s board of directors. Before the jump to the private sector, the first environmental sustainability strategy for Galicia was drawn up on the desk of his public office.
Greenalia plans four new offshore wind farms in Gran Canaria
Beatriz Mato’s first steps in Greenalia a year ago have already set off all the alarms about a possible incompatibility. The opposition then focused its criticism on the authorization of a Greenalia project to which the department of Mato had given the go-ahead in 2017. The Xunta, through its heads of Public Administration, responded in parliament that there was no A problem because Mato had been careful not to personally sign the authorization for that project of the company that now promotes her.
Before her arrival in politics, Mato had already tried the offices of important private companies to which she arrived based on her curriculum of a degree in Industrial Engineering. IBM or Rank Xerox were some of the corporations that demanded their services in the late 1980s. The experience did not reach five years; in 1994 he opened his first public office at the Galician Institute for Economic Promotion (IGAPE) and in 2000 he was commissioned to delegate that same office in A Coruña. At that time, Manuel Fraga was the president of the Xunta.
The promotion of Beatriz Mato to the board of directors of Greenalia occurs in the midst of a new phase of expansion of wind farms in Galicia, with great public discussion by residents affected by these infrastructures included in the chapter of green energy in the political debate. From his new executive position in the company, Mato will also participate in his company’s plans for the development of investments in the offshore wind energy sector: Greenalia is currently planning four large wind farms in the Canary Islands, while Galicia analyzes the possibility of open its waters to electrical exploitation off shore.
Mato will not be the only ex-councilor of the Popular Party in the leadership of Greenalia. Antonio Couceiro also sits at the board table, as an independent director. Couceiro was conselleiro of the Xunta, occupying the portfolio of Industry with Fraga between 1994 and 1999, something that Greenalia does not include in the curriculum that he publishes on his website. Regarding Beatriz Mato, the company does not expressly refer to her time in the Environment portfolio, although it does include in her resume a general reference to her management experience as a member of the Feijóo governments.
Couceiro and Mato are joined by another line of connection in their biographies: their relationship with the power of the PP in A Coruña. The first was the provincial president of the party in that province in 2000, while Mato led, by express decision of Feijóo, the popular candidacy for the municipal elections to that city in 2019. Beatriz Mato’s assault on the post of first mayor in the Palace de María Pita was a failure compared to the expectations created and the political leader would end up resigning from all her posts as offers from private companies began to arrive. His first board of directors found him in Euskatel, owner of the R telephone company. Then Greenalia arrived. For many, one revolving door after another. For the person concerned, only the fruit of a career sown with hours of work, as she assured on the day of her dismissal from politics: “I am leaving without asking for anything, as I arrived, to work as an industrial engineer wherever they want a curranta girl “.