Spain: Growers protests against Spanish-Moroccan Joint Committee

The Coordinator of Growers and Livestock farmers Organisations, COAG, will protest next Friday in front of the Ministry of Agriculture against a Spanish-Moroccan Joint Committee which is taking place that same day. The organisation does not understand why the Spanish Government is interested in negotiating with a country that systematically fails to comply with the protocols signed regarding quotas and import prices, causing serious damage to Spanish growers.

As COAG's representative for Fruits and Vegetables, Andrés Góngora, pointed out, "it is not acceptable for a Minister to negotiate with a country which is our top unfair competitor. Arias Cañete should ask the EU to enforce the conditions of the agreement so that all phytosanitary and customs requirements are met." "With meetings like this one, the only one benefitting is Morocco, which is offered a privileged position in the EU context," he affirms.

For his part, Eduardo López, Executive member of COAG, explained that the Agricultural Agreement with Morocco "damages the economic and social interests of a sector which, just in labour, generates 450,000 direct jobs; a figure increasing to almost a million if we include processing, manipulation and transport." And he added: "We do not understand why the Minister calls unilaterally for this meeting with Morocco's Government and oligarchy, while here in Spain he neglects a sector with such social influence. Arias Cañete boasts about negotiating with Morocco, but does not summon the Agricultural Advisory Committee to analyse the Agreement, the consequences of its breach and the measures which can be taken as a sector and as a country."

Finally, López asked the Minister that, "instead of worrying about his image in Morocco, giving a shameful spectacle to the Commissioner and to Europe, he should take political and diplomatic action, and even legal, against the EU for neglecting its duties, as it is not demanding Morocco to pay the tariffs they owe."

The Organisation held a meeting on Monday and another on Wednesday to brief growers about the protests scheduled for this Friday, 14 December, when the Spanish-Moroccan Joint Committee will take place.

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