The Canary tomato sector hopes EU-Morocco Agri Agreement falls too
The tomato sector on the Canary Islands received with satisfaction the news that the European Parliament has turned down their fisheries agreement with Morocco and hopes that the agriculture agreement, “will follow the same steps and will be turned down once it is presented before the Plenary”. Europapress, 14 December 2011.
Unofficial translation from Spanish by Western Sahara Resource Watch.
In a communiqué, the spokesman of Fedex (Federacion de Exportadores Hortofruticolas de Las Palmas) in Las Palmas, Roberto Guiriz, noted that the vote in the European Parliament is binding, and thus, that the fisheries agreement immediately has to stop.
“Without doubt, the Legal Services of the European Parliament, regarding the respect of the Human Rights of the people of Western Sahara, and other issues relating to the environmental aspects of the agreement have been determining for its refusal”, stated the spokesman.
Goiriz explained that the refusal could mean that the Agriculture Agreement will equally be voted down by the Plenary in the coming February, give. The agreement has been put in question by various groups of the parliament, since more than 50% of the tomato production is carried out in Western Sahara, and that until the status of Western Sahara has been settled, this production cannot be part of the agreement.
He added that the sector will follow its contact with different groups of the Parliament in order to succeed a refusal of the Agriculture Agreement with Morocco, due to the importance this will have for the production on the Canary Islands.
“How will it be possible to sign a new Agriculture Agreement with Morocco, if the current one has never been complied to by Morocco?”, he concluded.
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.
It's not easy keeping up with all the different legal proceedings relating to Western Sahara. For the sake of clarity, here's an overview of the five different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.