Spaniard to head EEC transport team
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• British transport industry leaders' hopes that a Dutch civil servant would head the EEC's transport directorate have been dashed. The new director-general is to be a Spaniard.
The accession of Spain and Portugal to the EEC this year has led to the premature retirement of the present director-general, former British civil servant John Steele (CM, March 15), after four-and-ahalf years in the post.
British transport spokesmen — and Steele — hoped the job would be filled by Hans Raben, an aviation civil servant in the Dutch Transport Ministry, who is known to sympathise with the British aim of liberalising international transport.
Instead, Eduardo Pena, former Spanish ambassador to Mexico, is to succeed Steele on May 19. He has no previous connections with transport and is seen very much as an unknown quantity.
Steele hoped to remain with the EEC Commission until the summer, but has been asked to leave when his successor arrives.