“Our Moroccan neighbors are wasting the money that Mr. Sanchez offers them to control the borders by buying tanks and helicopter gunships while they claim the waters off the Canaries,” says Santiago Abascal.
Rabat – The leader of the Spanish far-right political party Vox, Santiago Abascal, has called for the expulsion of Morocco from the “territorial waters of the Canaries” during a debate.
“Spain is currently alone and humiliated by Europe, but also by Morocco, which today proclaims its sovereignty over our territorial waters. Because of the softness of [Pedro] Sanchez’s government, Morocco finds us weak and tries to abuse it,” said Abascal.
The politician made his speech during the investiture debate of the Spanish Head of Government Pedro Sanchez.
Abascal questioned the legitimacy of Pedro Sanchez’s government. For the far-right leader, the Spanish government and institutions are in the process of “devaluing” Spain, opening it up to mockery from other countries.
“For example, our Moroccan neighbors are wasting the money that Mr. Sanchez offers them to control the borders by buying tanks and helicopter gunships while they claim the waters of the Canaries,” accused Abascal.
“It makes sense: when a nation does not respect itself, everyone tries to take advantage of it,” he added.
The statements come in response to two bills presented by Morocco’s Foreign Affairs Committee and approved by the House of Representatives on December 16.
The two texts aim to update the delimitation of Morocco’s territorial waters, as well as the establishment of an exclusive economic zone of 200 nautical miles off the Moroccan coast.
The new delimitation, extending to the border towns of Saidia in the East and Lagouira in the South, also concerns the water near the Canary Islands.
The Spanish government considered the decision “unilateral” and indicated that such an initiative “must be made by mutual agreement between the two countries and in strict compliance with international law.”
In response to the Spanish claims, Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita said that Morocco has a “sovereign right” to redefine its maritime borders. However, the Kingdom is open for dialogue to discuss and negotiate any overlaps with the Spanish borders, in compliance with international law.
“There has not been and there will not be any voice in this government to defend our sovereignty and democracy in Europe and anywhere else,” said Abascal during the debate, shedding light on the party’s role in defending Spain’s sovereignty.
In the last parliamentary elections in November 2019, Vox became the country’s third most-represented party.
The tense investiture debate ended with the organization of a new ballot, given that Pedro Sanchez did not obtain the absolute majority of votes during his vote of confidence on January 5.
While Sanchez needed to receive 176 votes out of 350, he only earned 166 votes. Votes against him reached 165, while 18 Members of the Parliament abstained.
The vote of confidence is a necessary step to allow Sanchez to remain at the head of the Spanish government.
The new vote is set to take place on Tuesday, January 14, but this time it will only need a relative majority.
The vote represents a decisive step for Spain that has been marked by political instability since 2015. The current government is composed of a coalition between the main left parties, including Podemos and the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE), the party of Sanchez.