Australian Prime Minister John Howard is trailing in the opinion polls. The Labor opposition is at least eight points ahead and heading for victory. Progress in the Chase for Skase (the Andratx based businessman wanted in Australia in connection with the collapse of his business empire) would improve Howard's standing in the polls. Over the last six months the Australian government has intensified their efforts to bring Skase “home”. Even the Australian Foreign Minister Alex Downer came to Spain to lobby the Madrid government on this issue. Now, the Australian government have issued an arrest warrant for Skase's son-in-law Tony Larkin. Yes, it does appear that the Australians are closing in on Skase who has been fighting their attempts to bring him back “home” for more than 10 years. It may be just coincidence but their does appear to be renewed effort on Australia's part and even Howard himself has been drawn into the debate in Australia on Skase. Despite the official “cover” I believe that Downer's visit to Spain had a single purpose and his talks with the Spanish government did prove fruitful. Although various court decisions have gone against Skase it is interesting how active Australia has now become on this front. Keeping away from the legal aspects of the case isn't it amazing how an election can spur some people into action? The next few months could be very interesting both in Spain and Australia.

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