From Wed Jan 18 13:00:51 2006
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2006 13:46:40 -0600 (CST)
Subject: [NYTr] Spanish Aircraft Workers Protest US Interference in Sale
Article: 232558
To: undisclosed-recipients: ;

Aircraft manufacturing plants protest U.S. halt on plane deal

Xinhuanet, 17 January 2006, 11:13:29

MADRID, Jan. 16 (Xinhuanet)—Six Spanish aircraft manufacturing plants, belonging to defense equipment manufacturer Eads-Casa, staged a five-minute work stoppage to protest the U.S. opposition to sales of aircraft to Venezuela, local media reported on Monday.

Workers and managers in the plants in Cadiz, Seville, Madrid and Toledo, stopped work at noon at the request of the managers committee and blue-collar unions.

The United States refused an export licence for Spain to sell aircraft containing U.S. technology to Venezuela. The U.S. patents apply to some electronic equipment, which now have to be replaced. The Spanish government quickly responded, saying the deal would be carried out by using alternative technology.

Spain agreed to sell 12 planes—10 transport aircraft and two maritime surveillance planes—for 120 million euros (about 144 million U.S. dollars).

US Ambassador Eduadrdo Aguirre said on Friday that his government had denied the export licenses because such a sale implies a technology transfer to Venezuela and it would “contribute to destabilization” in Latin America.