By Jason Moore
PRESSURE from the Spanish government appears to have thwarted a bid from the private investment firm Texas Pacific Group and British Airways for Spanish airline Iberia. The two companies looked set to win control of the Spanish flag carrier but this week pulled out claiming that the government had blocked any deal. This is a serious allegation especially as the government was heavily criticised over the sale of energy giant Endesa. In the end the power company ended up in the hands of a consortium of German, Italian and Spanish companies although it proved a complicated affair. But the allegations which have been levelled by TPA and BA are very serious especially when you take into account that Spanish companies have been allowed to make important purchases abroad, including the British Airport Authority, Abbey, and O2, the mobile phone operator. It has been alleged that the Spanish government would like to see Iberia remain in Spanish hands. Yes, welcome to the new Europe! We can buy abroad but we don´t like foreigners buying in Spain! No, but all joking apart surely the time has come for the Spanish government to realise that there is a free market and fellow Europeans should be allowed a slice of the action.

I THINK for the sake of Britain Prime Minister Gordon Brown must call an election; I don´t think the long suffering British public could stand yet another scandal or crisis. Ever since Brown finally got the job he desired for so long Britain appears to lurch from one crisis to another. No wonder Tony Blair waited so long to handover power! Brown just call an election, please.

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