The Spanish government criticised Heathrow airport co-owner Ferrovial’s decision to move its corporate domicile to the Netherlands, saying such behaviour was ungrateful and hampered Spain’s interests.

“Ferrovial is what it is because it owes everything to this country, and I believe that this decision is not in line with the effort that the country has made in terms of investments,” government spokesperson Isabel Rodriguez told reporters.

In addition to its 25 per cent stake in London’s Heathrow airport, Ferrovial operates airports in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton and manages a terminal of New York’s JFK. Its toll road division includes projects in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Slovakia and Australia.

On Tuesday, Ferrovial announced plans for a reverse merger under which its wholly-owned Dutch subsidiary Ferrovial International SE (FISE) would absorb it and seek listings in Spain, the Netherlands and later the United States.

The company has said it sees in the Netherlands a stable legal framework and the potential for lower financing costs due to the country’s “AAA” credit rating. Almost 90% of Ferrovial’s revenues came from outside of Spain last year.

The plan has been approved by the boards of Ferrovial and FISE, with the operation scheduled for the second or third quarter.

Economy Minister Nadia Calviño told La Sexta TV the decision “seems to go against the interest and image of our country”, calling it “incomprehensible” at a time when Spain is attracting more foreign investment than ever.

Calviño said she had called Ferrovial’s Chief Executive Rafael del Pino to convey her opposition.

The move by Spain’s 13th biggest company by market capitalisation comes in an election year and the conservative People’s Party blamed the Socialist-led government for Ferrovial’s move, citing a “lack of legal certainty” in Spain compared to incentives offered by other countries.

Some companies are attracted to the Netherlands by its sometimes more favourable tax regime, and Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz accused Ferrovial of engaging in tax dumping.

Ferrovial declined to comment. A person familiar with the matter told Reuters the move was not meant to reduce tax payments, adding the company had transferred its international assets to the Netherlands from England in 2018 to keep them within the European Union after Brexit.