Agriculture: EU-Morocco agreement, a blow for Spain
17 February 2012
“[Spanish] agriculture has reacted with indignation to the agreement between the EU and Morocco,” reports El País. The free trade agreement approved February 16 by the European Parliament will significantly increase the volume of Moroccan products imported into the EU, of tomatoes in particular. Concluded to “support democratic reforms in North Africa,” the paper notes, it comes as a “hard blow” for Spanish agriculture, the main exporter to the other EU countries. The agreement, explains agriculture specialist, Vidal Mate -
... facilitates imports that interest the northern countries as consumers, because they increase supply and drive prices lower – and it also helps them export their own cereal, seed oils, milk products and meat to Morocco. Spain is the country that will come off the worst.
Mate criticises the attitude of the EU, which, on December 14, refused to renew its fishing agreement with Morocco because the Moroccans failed to take the interests of the people of Western Sahara into account. The decision forced sixty Spanish ships back to port, angering Madrid -
Beyond the concerns about human rights issues or the problems of the Sahara, the political reasons have been imposed to support the Moroccan friend as the gateway to Europe – and Europe’s shield [...] The economic interests of the countries north of the Pyrenees have prevailed.