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Cablegate: Spain Wants More Compensation in Banking Or

VZCZCXRO1740
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHMD #2235 3480902
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 140902Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3941
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS MADRID 002235

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

CAROL HENNINGER IN EEB/TPP/MTA AND THOMAS FINE AT USTR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD WTRO SP
SUBJECT: SPAIN WANTS MORE COMPENSATION IN BANKING OR
INSURANCE IN RETURN FOR RESOLVING INTERNET GAMBLING WTO CASE

REF: STATE 165472

1. Summary: Spain recognizes that the U.S. has made a serious
offer to resolve the WTO internet gambling case. However,
Spain is looking for more compensation in banking or
insurance. Moreover, as Spain appears to be relatively
liberal on internet gambling, the public order argument for
maintaining a robust regime for controlling internet gambling
has little resonance in Spain. End Summary

TREND IN SPAIN IS FOR
LIBERALIZED RULES ON
INTERNET GAMBLING
---------------------

2. Per reftel, EconOff contacted Ministry of Industry,
Tourism and Trade Deputy Director General for International
Trade in Services, Jose Alberto Plaza Tejera, on 12/11/07.
Tejera told EconOff that Spain was moving in the direction of
more liberalized rules on internet gambling. Spain permits
internet gambling, albeit with admittedly difficult to
enforce restrictions. For example, the Autonomous Community
of Madrid (autonomous communities correspond roughly to U.S.
states) allows internet gambling. The gambling organizer and
gambler are both required to be resident in Madrid, but
obviously this is difficult to verify. Tejera probed EconOff
for where U.S. internet gambling legislation might be headed,
and EconOff told him that whatever happened in this area in
the U.S. Congress, it would very unlikely impact the
resolution of this WTO case. Tejera subsequently committed
to providing a list of Commission ideas for compensation and
Spanish views.

SPAIN WANTS MORE FROM
U.S. IN INSURANCE OR
BANKING
---------------------

3. Tejera passed to EconOff on 12/12/07 a fax with
information on areas where the Commission is seeking
compensation from the U.S. and areas that Spain is
particularly interested in. According to Tejera, the EU
would like U.S. concessions in the following areas.

-- Storage and warehousing: the EU is asking for an
extension of commitments to cover ports.

-- Insurance: elimination of federal taxes related to
premiums.

-- Banks: elimination of federal requirement for bank
directors to be American citizens.

-- R&D: EU asks for commitments in the social and natural
sciences and in interdisciplinary R&D services, which the
the U.S. appears willing to concede, although not with
respect to publicly financed projects.

-- Telecommunications: reduction in foreign ownership
restrictions (20% for radio licenses).

-- Postal services: commitments in the liberalized
activities (press and international mail).

-- External legal consulting:what has not been offered in
the Doha Development Round (in the states that have
legislation on this topic.

Spain recognizes that the U.S. has made a concession on R&D
services but believes that this should be complemented by a
concession in the banking or insurance sectors.

COMMENT
-------

4. The extra compensation Spain is looking for in insurance
or banking likely stems from the fact that BBVA and Santander
have made important acquisitions in the U.S. in the last year
or so and see the U.S. as a very important area for future
growth. Spain's largest insurance company, MAPFRE, recently
bought a car insurance company in Massachusetts, making
MAPFRE one of the top 20 insurance companies in the U.S.
MAPFRE also owns insurance companies in Florida and New
Jersey.

AGUIRRE

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