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"I believe we can reach agreements that are satisfactory in all respects, stressed Josep Pique. The day before financial publications had reported that the authorities were planning to lower the deposits in question. The aim of the Minister is to guarantee the continuity of the operators' projects so they are not overwhelmed by financial commitments that are impossible to stick to. The government wants to drive the message home that the development of the third generation of mobile telephone services is going to continue to be a priority for all sides, he said.

Mr Picque is keen on the European Commission's idea that 3G operators should be able to share their networks. "In the current circumstance, it makes sense to strike out in this direction,", he stressed. Repeating his firm confidence in 3G technology, he said it was "highly important" to stick to the investment undertakings in this area. One of the government priorities is to develop "anything providing a means of boosting investment in infrastructure (in this sector) and high speed networks", he underscored. He also said work was underway on measures...

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