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Zapaptero ' did not help GE win helicopter deal '

Source: Reuters - Mon 6th Dec 2010

Spain's prime minister did not help U.S. group General Electric win a contract ahead of British rival Rolls-Royce in 2007, after leaked U.S. cables saying he may have intervened, a government spokesman said on Monday. U.S. Ambassador to Madrid Eduardo Aguirre thought Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero pushed for GE to win the contract to supply motors for 45 EADS military helicopters, according to confidential U.S. diplomatic cables released by website Wikileaks.

"Neither the prime minister nor his office intervened in any way in this contract" the spokesman said.

Spanish newspaper El Pais cited information from Wikileaks as saying on Saturday that the U.S. Ambassador had told Zapatero's advisors GE might stop its division's operations in Spain if its motors were not chosen for the helicopters.

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