EU asked to intervene after Argentine gang ransacks cruise office

A British MEP asked the European Union to intervene today, after police in Argentina took no action against a gang which ransacked the office of a cruise company offering trips to the Falklands Islands.

According to reports at the weekend, masked men smashed plate glass windows, scrawled graffiti, hurled paintballs and turned over dustbins during the attack on the offices of Argentine Shipping Services.

They promised to stop cruise ships from berthing at Buenos Aires and other Argentinean ports unless the Falklands leg of cruises were cancelled. No police intervened and there have been no arrests.

"It was an affront to all the basic principles of free trade, of human decency and of international responsibility," said Conservative MEP Charles Tannock.

"The Foreign Office quite rightly summoned Argentinean diplomats for a dressing down, but this also requires firm and prompt action from the EU."

Tannock demanded action from EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton's External Action Service and the cancelling of EU aid to Buenos Aires.

"You cannot go on funding a country whose ruling regime so blatantly despises the rules of being a responsible member of the international community of democratic nations," he said.

Tensions around the Falklands Islands have been high recently as a result of the 30th anniversary of the conflict in June.