UK contractors face uncertain future in rebuilding of Iraq

UK
companies hoping for an early opportunity to pitch for contracts in Iraq have
been dealt a blow after a Russian company warned the country is unlikely to be
safe for foreign contractors until next year at the earliest.

Turbine
company Power Machines said it pulled out its 30 engineers from Iraq because of
the worsening security situation.

Power
Machines’ Ravil Urusov told The Times that it hoped to send workers back in the
first quarter of 2005.

"I
don’t think that peace will come there for a long time," he said.

Other
contractors based in the Middle East are becoming increasingly concerned for
the welfare of their expatriate staff and workers’ willingness to stay in areas
that have been targeted by terrorists.

BAE
Systems, the British-owned defence company, is offering expatriate employees an
extra £1,000 a month to stay in Saudi Arabia.

By Mike Berry

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