Basque parliament asks companies to stay clear from Western Sahara

A declaration from the parliament of the Basque Country asked its companies to stay away from the occupied territory.
Published: 08.03 - 2017 12:07Printer version    
The Parliament of the Basque Country on 3 March 2017 approved what is called an "institutional declaration" regarding Spanish and Basque companies in Western Sahara.

The text expresses its concern over the exploitation of resources "in violation of international and European law", and calls on European, Spanish and Basque companies to not engage in operations which prolong the occupation.

It recalled on the obligation to seek the consent of the Saharawi people before undertaking any business activity in Western Sahara and underlined the need for European, Spanish and Basque enterprises not to be involved in Moroccan industries in the occupied territory - such as in fisheries, agriculture, phosphates sand or renewable energies.

The declaration can be found on the website of the Basque parliament [or download], and is also referred to by the Spanish news agency Europapress.

The company from Basque Country with the most recent involvement in Western Sahara, to WSRW's knowledge, is the company Ormazabal which supplied equipment for the construction of the windmills that the Moroccan state phosphate company OCP is using for the phosphate plunder at the Foum El Oued wind park at Bou Craa, Western Sahara.

See references to the Basque delivery in a presentation from Ormazabal. For further information about the Foum El Oued windpark, see the WSRW report "Powering the Plunder" from November 2016.

Ormazabal is based in Zamudio, on the outskirts of Bilbao. WSRW has not been in contact with the company.


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Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
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