Business & Finance: Audacious Nationalism

In Spain's sleepy provincial town of Reus, Judge Alfredo Fournier has spent most of his 15 years on the bench settling peasants' disputes over stray pigs. Last week, nervous Judge Fournier had a much bigger job; he auctioned off the $56 million Barcelona Traction, Light & Power Co., Ltd., which controls Spain's biggest public utility. As everyone expected, it went to crafty old Juan March, onetime tobacco smuggler who has become Spain's biggest businessman.

Barcelona Traction was developed by an international electrical syndicate long headed by North Carolina-born Dannie Heineman, 79, a globetrotting engineer who has built electric and street car...

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