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    In the future, Spain may seek membership of the European Economic Community (EEC). In Paris?

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    In the future, Spain may seek membership of the European Economic Community (EEC). In Paris on Tuesday (13 July) the new Spanish Prime Minister Adolfo Suarez said his country was interested in becoming a member of the Common Market because of its historical and geographical bonds with Europe.

    SYNOPSIS: Senor Suarez drove directly to the French Prime Minister's office for talks with his counterpart Jacques Chirac. The short surprise visit was the first he has made abroad since coming into office earlier this month. Spanish government officials said the visit underlined Spain's desire for closer ties with Western Europe, already affirmed by the previous government. They dismissed rumours that he could try to see exiled Spanish Communist Party leader Santiago Carrillo who lives in Paris.

    The two leaders talked for 90 minutes. Senor Suarez said afterwards the discussions were cordial and centered on bilateral problems and relations. The French visit was the first of a series by the Spanish premier to Western European capitals. On return to Madrid, Senor Suarez faced his first parliamentary test -- the debate in the Spanish Cortes (parliament) on a revision of the penal code, necessary to implement a new las lifting a 37-year-old ban on most political parties.

    Senor Suarez has promised to give the opposition a voice in building a modern democracy. His promise comes in the wake of condemnations of the Communists by ultra-rightist deputies in the Cortes. They are still lobbying to have the Communists completely exoluded from politics and are demanding a clause be inserted in the penal code banning "national and international Communist associations". But as Senor Suarez left for France, Spain's Communist-led Workers Commissions called on the new government to negotiate with the opposition for a peaceful transition to democracy.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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