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Spain military sales to Venezuela compromised

By Aleksander Boyd

London 26.01.06 | Spain's "La Gaceta de los Negocios" has reported that EADS-Casa, European conglomerate contacted by the Venezuelan regime for the provision of military equipment, could decide not to proceed with the deal, in light of the blocking, by the US, of having their technology used and transfered to Venezuela.

Hugo Chavez wanted to purchase 12 airplanes to EADS-Casa, however, after a thourough evaluation, the firm deemed the deal as unprofitable.

Sources with Spain's defence industry concluded that producing the C-295 without US parts would mean "to build a plane from scratch. Not only the wings would have to be modified in order to adapt new engines, the avionics would also have to be completely redesigned."

Spain is a minority shareholder in the conglomerate, which is controlled by France and Germany. The report expands on the possible consequences for Spain, should the decision not to sale be final, and ventures into stating that the likely beneficiaries of a Caracas decision to take its business someplace else could be France, Russia or China.

In sum, Spain is not alone in violations to European regulation: France and Germany, as majority shareholders of EADS-Casa, are equally guilty.

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