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Spain to seek for compensation over E.coli infection crisis

06-01-2011 14:26 BJT Special Report:EU Struggles with E. Coli Outbreak |

MADRID, May 31 (Xinhua) -- Spanish Environment Minister Rosa Aguilar said Tuesday that Spain would seek compensation for the losses caused by the E.coli infection crisis.

Fourteen people in Germany have died from E.coli bacteria infection and hundreds of others have been infected by the epidemic, supposedly spread by cucumbers imported from Spain.

Germany said it detected the potentially dangerous bacteria on organic cucumbers imported from two producers in southern Spain's Andalucia.

Madrid, however, has rejected the blame, saying that it remained unclear whether the E.coli outbreak had its roots in Spain or the cucumbers were contaminated en-route or elsewhere. Spanish producers insisted that they were not the cause, but victims of the "cucumber crisis."

It has led to the paralysis of almost all Spanish agricultural exports to central Europe, with subsequent weekly losses estimated at 200 million euros (282 million U.S. dollars).

Spain has so far reported one case of E.coli infection: a 43-year-old man who is currently in a critical state in a hospital in the northern city of San Sebastian. He traveled to Germany and the Czech Republic shortly before being admitted into hospital, local media said.

"We are in an extraordinary situation, which is serious and important for the agricultural sector," said Aguilar over Spanish national TV.

Aguilar made it clear that Spain was asking Germany to clear up doubts over the origin of the E.coli infection.

Spain was "dissatisfied" with the way Germany has handled the crisis, which has discredited the Spanish agricultural industry, she said.

"Germany has to work fast to give transparent and necessary information so that all of the EU knows just where the problem is," she said.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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