In Brussels the European Economic Commission (EEC) has decided in favour of Spain's proposed membership.?
In Brussels the European Economic Commission (EEC) has decided in favour of Spain's proposed membership. But Lorenzo Natali, Vice-President of the EEC's Executive Commission, said on Thursday (30 November) that Spanish membership would present considerable problems to the Community. Spain is the third Mediterranean country seeking to join the EEC - negotiations with Greece and Portugal are already under way.
SYNOPSIS: Signor Natal announced the Commission's decision at a news conference in Brussels. The EEC encouraged Spain's application for membership after the death of General Franco in 1975. Common Market leaders want to enlarge the Community to include all democratic European states wishing to join. Spain's entry would increase membership to twelve.
Signor Natal said political condition favoured the Spanish application and the Madrid government supported it unanimously. But Spanish membership would be a fundamental test of the strength of the Community, he continued. The Commission says some sectors of the Spanish economy will require a transition period of ten years. Spanish agriculture is very backward and its industry will need protection from the blast of competition which membership of the EEC will bring.
Signor Natal would not commit himself to a prediction on when Spain will join the EEC. Observers in Brussels feel it could be as soon as 1982 - the same year as Portugal. negotiations on Spain's entry are expected to start early in the New Year.