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Spain has not granted €26 million to Morocco to fight against irregular migration

Spanish news outlets have announced, last week, that the Sanchez government has granted €26 million to Morocco to manage irregular migration. This fund is allocated by the European Union and not Spanish taxpayers.

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Has the Spanish government granted €26 million to Morocco to manage its borders with Spain and reduce the number of migrants entering Europe?  Local newspaper Melillahoy wrote that «Spain will give €26 million to Morocco to support border control». Spanish daily El Pais announced, Friday, the same information. Meanwhile, online newspaper Vozpopuli dedicated an article to the topic, reporting that security forces sources are «unhappy» about this alleged «fund».

However, the abovementioned question was answered in a statement issued, Friday, at the end of a Coucil of Ministers meeting, held on the same day in Spain. The same statement did not make mention of the Spanish «grant». The document referred, instead, to an «agreement» approved by the Spanish government. This agreement «authorizes the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP), a public sector foundation under the Spanish State which works on managing international cooperation projects, to «supply the Moroccan Interior Ministry with vehicles worth €26 million».

A European Union fund

The press release recalls that «on October 18, 2018, heads of State and Government who attended a European Union meeting adopted immediate measures to fight against irregular migration flows throughout the Mediterranean Sea». «It was decided to support Morocco’s large-scale efforts by strengthening its organizational, technical and operational capacities and by improving the management of its land and sea borders», the same source added.

In its statement, the Spanish government explained that «Spain is tasked with managing the project» which aims at «supporting efforts made by Morocco under the auspices of the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and its fight against the root causes of irregular migration in Africa».

For the record, Yabiladi had already made mention, in January, of FIIAPP in an article dedicated to the statement of the European Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn. The latter denounced the claims of the Spanish Secretary of State of Migration Consuelo Rumi, who accused Brussels of delaying the 140 million euros allocated to Morocco.

Hahn revealed at the time that 40 million euros will be granted to the Kingdom to manage its borders and that the money was approved by Brussels on December 13, 2018. He also added that the initiative will be managed by the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policies (FIIAPP).

«The agreement, signed on April 16 between FIIAPP and the European Commission, relies on a budget of 44 million Euros», the same communiqué revealed. 40 million euros will be used to «purchase equipment on behalf of the Moroccan Interior Ministry», the same source added. The first phase of this program will be relying on 26 million euros.

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