Interview with Joaquín Tamames: "the problem now is the greed"

Joaquín Tamames explains in a nutshell what the aim of Fundación Ananta: "born to speak of spirituality in the world of the company unless you notice too. Spirituality without religion". Now denounced the greed of the executives of large companies and "the Lords of the wild capitalism". In this interview has Sita Ruiz and Pepa Castro.

Joaquin Tamames

Joaquín Tamames is a businessman who headed the area of mergers and acquisitions of Banco Urquijo until 2006, and Banco Sabadell until 2010. Currently working as an independent financial consultant, but in the world of secular spirituality, solidarity and pacifism is well known as one of the founders and patrons of Ananta Foundation, that was established in 2004 with the aim of disseminating the values of fraternity and harmony in the business world.

What the business world?
Because we saw that it is a quite stressed out world which nevertheless has many economic means, and that if we could mobilize it towards the values of spirituality, would be a good crop.

We started to organise events that people seek inside and began to live in harmony with their internal values. Then it crossed us along the way, one of those coincidences of life, Colors of Calcutta. We came to borrow money because the Foundation had funded an ambulance in the India. But we liked the project to become locomotive of the same. We make every year a Solidarity trip; This year have traveled 19 people. The people is transformed, have never been in India or in such a poor country, and everyone loves the project and comes with a change in the making; It is above all an inner journey.

What else moves the Ananta Foundation?
It is a project that adds energy, resources and above all great solidarity. Because although it is a drop in the ocean, makes José Luis Capita, three more people and I move to another 25 people who help us very professionally to mobilize a few hundred donors fixed entities, over one hundred occasional donors, more 50 people that have gone to solidarity trips, more 30 volunteers who come to cooperate every summer... That creates a community where the main value is solidarity, and becomes a very nice project that reaches a lot of people to colors of Calcutta.

Along with this, we are entering into other projects. One is called "Bike for life": together with Association of disabled people of Pinto and the Foundation Alberto Contador (cyclist), we opened a workshop for members of this Association to train as bicycle mechanics. The bikes got them through Alberto Contador, and already have 400 who have donated US, old and not so old; We managed and send them to groups that request them. It is a way of creating employment. And we are thus doing little projects.

There is a work of social activism also?
We think it is important to expose certain contradictions in the great enterprise. I have recently published a note entitled The bad example of Telefónica respect of the stratospheric compensation that is paid to certain managers, in this case 24.7 million euros to the former CEO. I have nothing against this man, but in 2011 it gained 1.97 million of fixed, variable 3 million, 600,000 euros in pension, 82,000 euros in-kind and 90,000 in health insurance fund. Total, 5.7 million euros in compensation as Senior Manager in 2011. And on 14 September 2012 ceased as CEO amicably, receiving a compensation of EUR 24.7 million, after being signed as non-Executive Vice-Chairman. Also other two company executives, were compensated with 10.8 million and one of them was subsequently rehired by the company for its European Advisory Council. I.e., that he was Senior Manager stops him, it indemnifies him and becomes to be used. All this in a company that in 2012 cancelled its dividend and whose contribution has lost 45% in five years. And all this is decided without that shareholders think.

In Switzerland has been approved a law that gives power to a company's shareholders to approve or not those "special" payments to executives. The promoter was a Senator, Thomas Minder, who has spent 11 years working on it. And it is that when it went bankrupt Swissair in 2001, it was a supplier, and despite the bankruptcy is compensated to the CEO of the company with 9 million euros.

Ananta we talk about these issues that put starkly on the table an enormous arc of inequality in the remuneration people. Not because it is something of a spiritual kind (which is in ethical scope), but because it breaks the social contract. It cannot be that people is malviviendo and earning 900 euros a month (salaries of misery) and be given a compensation of EUR 24.7 million after ordinary remuneration of almost 6 million. It seems to us that are obscene salaries, and that if we really want to build a better society we cannot do it based on models in which rich are becoming richer and the poor becoming poorer. It is a matter of Justice and fairness, but also of intelligence if we want the market economy to continue running.

That article in Vozpopuli generated approval in many and blisters on others, we suppose.
Yes, in the wake of publish it wrote to me some people in positions of responsibility... Told me, Yes, you're right, but this cannot be said aloud. But we are independent and not live any foreign payroll, nor are we in any Ministry, so it is easier to say.

Then, should we do social activism and denounce it publicly?
In Spain it is very easy to make a criticism of politicians but it is difficult with the economic powers. Telephone is the first owner and therefore who live of their budget (which are many) should be very cautious with what they say. It's always the same story... and we have to swallow this. Six million unemployed, salaries of misery and people without being able to make ends meet, and a gentleman who is gaining 6 million euros give almost 25 million because Yes.

Juan Villalonga received 23 million euros when it ceased Chairman of Telefónica; Alfonso Cortina, 20 million when President of Repsol ceased... They are private companies, but it seems reasonable that, as in Switzerland, will be shareholders who approved such compensation. Because if not, managers become owners of the companies, will protect each other and pay themselves absolutely unjustifiable amounts. The contrast with a normal employee, who after 30 years give a clock or a "see you later" is over. Or, as they do now, says goodbye to him with an ERE 20 days salary per year and 12 monthly instalments of a maximum. In United States it was passed the American dream to the American nightmare, because there the differences are stratospheric. We took the same road, and why I think that it is important to report it's continuous.

The problem that humanity has right now is the conception of money, in the sense that for many is a purpose, when what should be is a way to do things (to construct humanity, if I may). In these last hundred years is hitting the strength of Aquarium, which is that of sharing, with the PISCES, which is that of selfishness, of the want everything to me, that is now very powerful. Unfortunately, those who do not want to share largely are elites, the rich. As there are people who are not self-regulating, they will have to come from outside to regulate them, as it has happened in Switzerland. That is what we want, that shareholders will have something to say, because the gap between those who monopolize everything and those who have nothing is very bloody.

Is capitalism already uncontrollable by politics and society?
What happens is comparable with the beautiful parable of The rich man and the great harvest that we have on the website of Ananta commented more than once, i.e. as human disease want to accumulate more and more and more. The problem is greed, absolute selfishness; the Lords of the wild capitalism are greedy, want everything for them. I think that we have to say it loud and clear. When greed prevails, it drowns everything. That is the problem of wild capitalism and predator, that makes money as only purpose, a cost that is, is the golden calf. The alternative is not collectivism, but a market economy regulated and self-adjusting, to the style of what happens in Germany and the Nordic countries. Now we are in this fight. I believe that the Nordic model is the example for the European Union, and more in the long term the European Union can be an example for other parts of the world.

Perhaps in the yoga world too tends to acceptance and tolerance... But things change with the push of all, is it not true?
I think that each one, where there is, should try to change your small environment. For example, Ananta Foundation a few years ago were eight and now we are 400. In your circle of Yoga in network the same, that this space will be multiplying applies I. And if we are going to create circles you are getting space of influence, because we will be winning battles. The battles are slow and costly. Until women could vote, he spent a lot of time...

And what values and spaces impulsáis also in Fundación Ananta?
We try to promote values of spirituality without mentioning religion. There is a good part of the hungry society of these values, and also despistada elsewhere with "spiritual supermarket", that is inevitable, because there are many people looking for beautiful and healthy alternatives to what offers us consumerism and predation.

Everyone in their daily lives which values and acts must be cultivated?r?
My experience is if you are internally ordered, your world is ordered, and vice versa. What is this order? Be aligned with your being (soul or higher self) consciously and unconsciously. If you do not have this anchor, this alignment, and the ego, that means much disorder. That should be the aim of everyone and what helps yoga: union of personality or lower with the soul self or be superior. And understand that that union unites me to turn with divinity or the Supreme being. There is all the magic, getting that union and to return to it with the greatest of ease when you disengage, that sure will happen.

Do you think that it is having a transformation in people?
I guess going through the lives of people who are focused is more harmonic than the off-center people, because it is more consistent with our reality of spiritual beings. The problem is that many people do not know what, and therefore are lost in the incoherence. I believe that humanity is in a very nice process of awakening. The level of awareness at the individual level is greater than ever; i.e., there are more people conscious in the world than ever, since we are a population of 7,000 million, an impressive critical mass. That is generating important changes which are costing much and continue to costing. But you have to see it to scale many years, many lives, many reincarnations; If not, we would all be desperate. I am optimistic because I see that you moving...

Examples of progress could put?
If you will allow me, social security is a christic principle (make the Kingdom of God on Earth), because it means to help the people who need it, free of charge and giving you health, and if you give them affection, even more. Free and universal education is another Christ principle; It is to give people a good staple and well. Because that's what we have to do. We are better that 50 years ago, isn't it? Go to Stalingrad in November 1942, or to Brussels in 1940, when the Germans bombed it. Is the same process of the European Union, which is much criticized a spiritual or the Europe of merchants project? For me, the first thing; It means that what was once conflict and war is cooperation and coordination, and further harmonisation on higher values such as the no to the death penalty, Yes to the rule of law, the environment... It has many bugs, but is a principle of union, I cede sovereignty to find me with you at a point in which both have given a part of our privileges.

How do you see the boom that now about yoga and meditation?
I see him wonderful and necessary, and it will be more and more. But it will be a very hard fight between those who cling to a way of seeing things by ignorance or by interest and what's new. The message already wrote the Buddha and Jesus, and it is very clear. We can apply with greater or lesser purity; sure we all have inconsistencies in our lives because it is impossible to be 100 percent pure.

And symptoms to base your optimism that we are on the path of transformation?
In general I see healthy, supportive people. When we get into the war in Iraq people out on the street because he realizes that it is a hoax; When they try to fool with the 11-M, people realize and leaves. I think that this means that we accept less cat eyes than before and we say it. The aim would be to achieve a society of freethinkers. And I believe that Europe is a continent of freethinkers, despite everything. Now we can think and speak out against; We can only be able to change things. Why you must start demanding the powers that they put an end to this farce, with capital letters.

Solidarity figures

  • VII you are peaceWith you we are more peace. Act to promote peace and solidarity. This year, the seventh, brought together 1,500 people. "An act that costs about 7,000 euros to organize; the surplus goes to Calcutta colors. Last year got 4,000 euros for this project".
  • With the Festival of Mantras in 2012 were obtained. 1,500 euros thanks to the concert by Deva Premal. "If we lose money it put the bosses. But for now it has not been wrong never." This year, with a concert by Deva Premal, expected that the fifth edition of the festival will also be a success.


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By • Apr 18, 2013 • section: Interview