Blog: Simon WarburtonMuller steals the show

Simon Warburton | 23 June 2010

Right, second ANE Congress missive of the day from inside Bilbao's cavernous splendour of the Euskaduna Conference Centre - the Basque influence is obviously everywhere here but the language is as impenetrable as Welsh or Finnish.

It's traditional for the post-lunch speakers to be fighting a losing battle against the effects of food and the audience casting sneaky glances at watches, but fair play to ANE, they lined up a pretty feisty group of speakers to keep the crowd entertained and most certainly awake.

Chief among these was Spyker CEO - and now Saab supremo to boot too - Victor Muller - who injected proceedings with a hefty dose of humour - particularly after having been delayed four hours getting to northern Spain - Bilbao is not an easy place to get to.

EVP Magna International Herbert Demel also brought the EV sector to life, while The Rolf Group CEO Nick Hawkins gave a masterclass in Russian market opportunities.

And all this permeated with the knowledge - as Hawkins acknowledged - that England were playing their do-or-die World Cup knock-out match against mighty Slovenia.

Fiat's chief technology officer Harald Wester wrapped up proceedings on the day the Italian giant and its myriad, militant unions appear to be inching ever closer to that Pomigliano deal.

It's rare the final afternoon of a conference is so gripping, but this one certainly was. And by the way, England scraped through to live another day.


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