By Natasha Brewer • 22 May 2021 • 14:05
Spain has given Morocco more than 320 million euros in aid. Image: Twitter
Spain has given Morocco more than 320 million euros in aid.
Spain has given Morocco more than 320 million in aid and loans in four years.
While Spain and Morocco are currently embroiled in one of their most serious diplomatic spats, the truth is that Rabat has received significant funds from Madrid in recent years. Morocco has received a total of 327 million euros in aid and credits from successive governments since 2017.
The arrival of over 8,000 immigrants in Ceuta in recent days has heightened tensions as Morocco’s reaction to the reception in Spain of the Polisario Front’s leader, Brahim Ghali, one of the African country’s most vehement political foes. The government claimed “humanitarian” motives, but Morocco refused to back down, resulting in the huge influx of refugees.
The largest migration crisis in recent history has developed into a political crisis, coinciding with a payment of 30 million euros by the Spanish government to Morocco to curb illegal immigration. At a press conference, Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska clarified that this was a sum that had already been budgeted for and had nothing to do with the current state of tension. In any case, this is far from the only payment that has been made in recent years.
Most of the assistance has taken the form of cooperation in fields as diverse as infrastructure, business development, human trafficking, and irregular immigration.
In October 2017, the government then led by Mariano Rajoy granted a credit of 12.13 million euros to Morocco to build a desalination plant in the town of Nador, very close to Ceuta. It did so through the so-called Business Internationalisation Fund, whose objective is to “promote the export operations of Spanish companies, as well as those of Spanish direct investment abroad, through the financing of operations and projects of interest”
In December of the same year, Spain made a voluntary investment of 200,000 euros to the fund of the International Organisation for Migration, which is distributed among all of North Africa, so that part of it also went to Morocco. And in August 2018, with Sánchez in government, the Spanish government gave another loan, this time of 10,000 euros, to the Albaraka Foundation, managed by the Central Bank of Morocco, which seeks to promote the presence of small and medium-sized enterprises in Moroccan territory
Spain’s next published aid to Morocco took place as early as April 2019, with the granting of a €190 million loan for the construction of tramway infrastructure in the Moroccan city of Casablanca. This was also done through the Business Internationalisation Fund. Just three months later, in July 2019, Spain contribute d €150,000 to Morocco’s Nuclear Physical Security Fund.
As reported by 20 Minutos
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