No fisheries accord with EU, Morocco makes proposals
Morocco-European Union, Economics, 2/22/2001
Morocco and the European Union failed Wednesday to reach a new fisheries accord, but Morocco brought an option of a one-year arrangement for the non-sensitive species for 100 European vessels without compensation.
After two days of political and technical negotiations in Rabat, the two delegations could not overcome their divergences, especially on the financial compensation and the landing of EU catches in Moroccan ports.
The Moroccan party endeavored within the limit of what is possible to close the gap between the two sides standpoints, Moroccan fisheries minister, Said Chbaatou told the press.
The official called Europe to show more understanding to Morocco's interests and the requirements of its economy development, especially in fisheries.
The minister added that the alternative offered by Morocco shows Rabat's will to accompany EU's efforts to restructure its fleet.
For his part, EU agriculture and fisheries commissioner, Franz Fischler voiced regret over the failure to reach an agreement.
Touching on the Moroccan option, Fischler said "with this offer my negotiation mandate is exhausted."
"We did make progress regarding the number of EU vessels, the obligatory landings, fishing Zones or the biological rest periods. But I have to say that the disproportionate financial demands of Morocco left a very considerable gap between our position as regards the financial compensation," he added.
Fischler said the two sides will meet again in Brussels shortly.
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