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Beware protectionism

Letters

In your article 'Alpine Rail Bonanza ahead'(NCE 11 March) you quoted a representative of the Austrian Transport Ministry as saying the key to British firms getting on the tender list was 'to have an Austrian partner'.

Now that Austria is a member of the European Union, British firms ought to have unrestricted access to the Austrian construction market. Surely a requirement to have an Austrian partner is anti-competitive?

I am sure there are many good reasons for British firms to form partnerships with experienced Austrian firms, but it should not be a prerequisite for getting on the tender list.

CJ Polack (M), 25 Wigginton Road, York YO3 31 8HJ

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