"Danish battle against Morocco agreement failed"
Denmark could not stop EU’s fisheries agreement with Morocco, which is earning millions on the occupation of Western Sahara. Information (Denmark), 18 Feb 2011.
Published: 18.02 - 2011 21:18Printer version    
Unofficial translation by Western Sahara Resource Watch

Danish battle against Morocco agreement failed.
Information/Ritzau
18 February 2011
http://www.information.dk/telegram/259968

Denmark could not stop EU’s fisheries agreement with Morocco, which is earning millions on the occupation of Western Sahara.

Despite opposition from Denmark, the EU states have accepted a one year extension of the union’s controversial fisheries agreement with Morocco

In that way, the Moroccan regime can also during the coming year cash in 36 million euros to allow EU fisherman – mainly from Southern Europe – fish in the waters offshore the coasts of both Morocco and of the occupied Western Sahara.

The fisheries agreement has been strongly criticized, as Morocco has still not documented that the millions of euros also are given to the Sahrawi people in Western Sahara. Therefore, Denmark voted against the extension.

“A one year extension is far, far too long time. We have to put more pressure on EU and on the Moroccan government”, said [Danish] Minister of Agriculture, Henrik Høegh (Liberal Party) last week, as the European Commission presented the proposal to extend the agreement.

But after a meeting with the EU states’ top diplomats in Brussels Friday it is now clear that only the 3 Nordic EU states voted against the fisheries agreement. The formal decision to extend the fisheries agreement will take place without debate in a minister meeting on Monday.

EU parliamentarian Søren Søndergaard, in People’s Movement against the EU, urges the Minister of Agriculture to make one more try to convince the other EU states to stop the agreement.

”Denmark must give a clear message as to the EU’s continued plundering of occupied Western Sahara, and must demand the point on the agenda on the Minister meeting on Monday, so that the agreement can be blocked”, said Søren Søndergaard.

EU’s current 4-year fisheries agreement with Morocco expires end of February.

The EU Commission has promised to publish an analysis on the “regional effects” of the Moroccan fisheries agreement during the coming year – including the support to the population in Western Sahara.

    


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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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