The Spanish and Australian governments are to hold top level talks about the current situation of the Andratx-based former Australian business tycoon Christopher Skase, next week in Madrid. The Australian Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, is expected to make full use of a seven-day trip to Europe, which includes Spain, to express Australia's concern about Skase, who over two weeks ago was ordered to be expelled from Spain by a Palma High Court. The Australian Foreign Minister will tell his Spanish counterpart, Josep Pique, (who five years on a trip to Australia in his, then, capacity as Minister for Trade was dogged by the media about Skase), that Australia is very keen to see the Skase matter resolved. Downer will also be seeking assurances that Australia is kept abreast of developments and any future decisions relating to the Skase case. Both Downer and Pique will be holding a joint press conference in Madrid on Tuesday evening and Skase is expected to be top of the agenda for the visiting Australian media. Critically ill Skase, who is now a citizen of the Commonwealth of Dominica, to where the Spanish are still keen to send him, is again the target of yet another ambitious kidnap plot.

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