GOLDEN shares retained by the Spanish government in its privatised national tobacco giant Tabacalera are illegal under European Union freedom of movement of capital laws, the European Court of Justice has ruled. Spanish legislation allows Madrid control over some major decisions relating to the winding-up, de-merger, merger, disposal of assets and others of some privatised companies. The court said this was unjustified regarding Tabacalera as it did not offer public services.

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