Moroccan fisheries offers are unacceptable, Spain says
Morocco-European Union, Economics, 2/23/2001
Spanish agriculture, fisheries and food minister, Miguel Arias Canete, said Thursday Morocco's offers for fisheries cooperation with the European Union are "unacceptable."
The official, who was briefed on Moroccan proposals by EU agriculture and fisheries commissioner, Franz Fischler, said the four alternatives, put forward by Morocco, are not an acceptable package. He argued his country wants an agreement allowing all the Spanish fleet -- that used to fish in Moroccan waters until November 1999 when the previous agreement expired- to resume their activities.
Spain will ask the EU agriculture ministers to include on its Monday's meeting agenda an item on negotiations with Morocco.
The scenarios put forwarded by Morocco include an agreement along the lines the one under negotiations (three years, reduced fishing opportunities, increased obligatory landings in Moroccan ports), at an average price of 90 million euros per year; an agreement with 100% landing obligations in Morocco for all EU catches and proportional financial compensation; an agreement for 4-5 years and limited to non-sensitive species, excluding shrimps or cephalopods with proportional compensation; an arrangement for one for the non-sensitive categories for around 100 vessels without financial 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.
Moroccan fisheries minister, Said Chbaatou said the Moroccan party endeavored within the limit of what is possible to close the gap between the two sides standpoints, calling Europe to show more understanding to Morocco's interests and the requirements of its economy development, especially in fisheries.
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