Sunday, February 25

Spain seeks to accelerate fisheries pact between EU and Morocco

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Spain’s Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy. (Photo: Partido Popular de Melil


Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, said that the central executive “continues fighting” to reach a fisheries agreement between the European Union (EU) and Morocco as soon as possible.

Therefore, he anticipated that he would talk in person with the president of the European Commission (EC), Jose Manuel Durão Barroso.

Rajoy defined the Spanish position in response to the BNG (Galician Nationalist Bloc) spokesman, Olaia Fernandez, who had strongly criticized the Spanish economic policy.

The head of the government recalled some of the decisions taken by the Government during the last year that have been very important for Galicia. In this sense, he defended the measures taken in the fisheries sector, such as the aids for shipowners and crews after the temporary stop of the fleet operating in Mauritanian fishing ground.

He also recalled that agreements with Morocco and Mauritania are being negotiated.

In the case of Morocco, he called for a quick end of negotiations.

“I’m going to contact the EC President, Jose Manuel Durão Barroso, because we believe that, without a doubt, this is a really important issue,” said Rajoy.

On the other hand, he stressed that the government remains opposed to the adoption of the protocol with Mauritania before the European Parliament (EP) and if it prospers, they would ask the EC the termination of the agreement, EFE reports.

Rajoy also said that the state budget for 2013 allocates EUR 1,309 million to Galicia, so he said the criticism that the government is not adequately attending this autonomous region is unacceptable.

Meanwhile, this week the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries of Morocco, Aziz Akhannouch said that they had not seen an improvement in the EC’s offer on the new fisheries agreement. He stated that it will be necessary “to take things more seriously for the deal to move forward.”

“Morocco has greatly improved the offer with respect to the previous one and we believe we have made an important effort,” Akhannouch said.

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Rabat expects a ‘more concrete’ offer from the EU

By Analia Murias



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