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Spain losts over 500 jobs due to cucumber crisis

06-01-2011 10:27 BJT Special Report:EU Struggles with E. Coli Outbreak |

MADRID, May 31 (Xinhua) -- The Spanish agricultural sector confirmed on Tuesday that it has cut around 550 jobs due to the outbreak of the E.coli bacteria in Germany, which was first linked to Spanish exported cucumbers.

According to the spokesman of the Federation of Associations of Agricultural Producing Companies in Andalusia (EOCHAL), Alfonso Zamora, EOCHAL has shedded 550 jobs since the crisis outbroke last Friday, as the health alert has paralysed the sale of fruit and vegetables in several European countries.

The infection has so far caused 16 deaths and over 1,000 cases of infection across Europe. Despite blames on Spanish cucumbers for the last few days, German officials admitted on Tuesday that latest tests showed the Spanish exports were not the cause of the outbreak.

The Spanish government was content with the finding, but the EOCHAL spokesman insisted that the current situation might lead to further job cuts and losses, and demanded the German authorities to "apologize and admit that they were hasty in blaming Andalusian cucumbers as the cause of the alert."

Consisting of 33 companies in Spanish provinces of Almeria, Granada and Malaga, EOCHAL employs around 10,000 people with produce worth around 1 billion euros (about 1.43 billion U.S. dollars) a year.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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