The city needs a “stronger economic model that does not depend on decisions taken in Morocco,” said the President of Ceuta.
Rabat – The presidents of the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla have called on the Spanish government to take into account the special status of the two Spanish enclaves when distributing the EU’s COVID-19 response funds.
The two cities made the on July 31 at the 21st Conference of Presidents held at the Cogolla Monastery in La Rioja.
Eduardo Castro, the president of Melilla, also called for maintaining a contribution of €50 million from the EU, between 2021 and 2027, according to Spanish media.
The demand follows the EU’s allocation of €140.000 million to Spain to mobilize resources for a speedy recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
“As Melilla is a small territory, the problem worsens more and that is why we ask for special attention when it comes to distributing this fund; we ask for special attention,” he said.
Castro also highlighted “the principle of Territorial solidarity” as an indispensable element of the Constitution.
President of the spanish enclave of Ceuta, Mirrored the request of Melilla, stating that the city needs a “stronger economic model that does not depend on decisions taken in Morocco.”
“In other words, we need an alternative economic structure and also a greater presence of the State in Sebta at the level of security, defense, health, education or justice,” he added.
The President of Ceuta’s mention of Morocco adds to Spanish media’s accusation of the country, with Rabat said to have hijacked the economies of Ceuta and Melilla.
In another round of accusations, Spanish newspaper El Espanol has claimed that King Mohammed VI is luring Jewish business owners out of the two enclaves.
The paper based its report on the alleged story of a shoe exporter entrepreneur who is said to have received a phone call from a Moroccan royal representative offering him a tax free investment opportunity in Morocco.
According to the Spanish outlet, the Moroccan agent’s offer to the shoe exporter includes “implementing a commercial customs office that would supply the northern area of the Rif and thus strengthen the business environment of Beni Ensar to relaunch the port areas.”
Morocco has recently targeted its northern provinces for an economic awakening, mainly by creating a public company to manage the economic zone in Fnideq, near the Spanish enclave of Ceuta.
The move falls within the framework of decree 2.20.425, published in Morocco’s Official Bulletin on June 26, stating that the company “Zone of Economic Activity of Fnideq,” will have an initial capital of MAD 1 million ($103,148).