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Friday, 13 October, 2000, 15:18 GMT 16:18 UK
Argentina, Spain agree airline rescue plan

Argentina and Spain have signed an agreement to provide more than six-hundred million dollars to restructure the struggling airline Aerolineas Argentinas.

The Argentine economy minister, Jose Luis Machinea, said the accord would help put the company's finances back on track and guarantee the jobs of several thousand employees.

The Spanish government holding company, SEPI Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales has a controlling stake in the airline, which was privatised in 1990.

The Argentine government owns five per cent.

Since privatisation, the company has accumulated around nine-hundred million dollars in debt and expects further losses this year.

The rescue package , which still needs to be finalised at a shareholders meeting on Sunday, calls for SEPI to provide around six-hundred million dollars and the Argentine government thirty million.

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