Wide Angle

Ceuta and Melilla : A Spanish formation urges the government to sign a new treaty with Morocco

Concerned about the economic future of Ceuta and Melilla, a Spanish political formation has urged the government to sign a new treaty with Morocco. The initiative aims at solving border issues with the Kingdom.

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Politicians in Spain are urging the government, once again, to sign a new treaty of friendship, good neighborliness and cooperation with Morocco. A political coalition, which supports the Pedro Sanchez government, is behind this initiative.  

On Tuesday, January the 29th, Coalició Compromís, a Valencianist political party and an electoral coalition that includes the Valencian Nationalist bloc, the left-wing Valencian People’s Initiative, and a group of environmentalist and independent parties, demanded the signing of the treaty at the Lower House of the Parliament.

The formation has asked the government to consider Compromís’s expectations for Melilla and Caballas, a left-wing regionalist party in Ceuta, when launching the negotiation phase to amend the treaty signed between Madrid and Rabat in 1991.

«We must create a friendly and welcoming contact zone», said Coalició Compromís' MP Enric Bataller said in an oral question addressed to the government, without giving further explanations on his proposal.

Local parties concerned about the economic future of Ceuta and Melilla

«We know that the viability of the two cities depends heavily on its good relations with the neighboring country and good border operations to overcome the problems we are currently dealing with», he added.

But the Secretary of State for Security Ana Botella refused to touch upon the situation and preferred to address migration issues. Nevertheless, the concerns of the local parties in Ceuta and Melilla are highly defended by the Muslim inhabitants of the cities who are opposed to the demands of the People’s Party representatives.

For the record, the «Cross-border Cooperation Agency in Ceuta», an association founded in December 2018 and led by local head of a political party Abdelmalik Mohamed, is blowing the whistle on the fact that Morocco might impose duties on the smuggling via cars operated between Ceuta and Fnideq.

However, Imbroda and Vivas, respectively presidents of Melilla and Ceuta, make of immigration and most particularly unaccompanied Moroccan minors their main problem. The two presidents were angered by the closure of commercial borders with Melilla in a way that targeted the Sanchez government.

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