Plenary session at Spanish Congress of Deputies./ Photo: CB/La Razón.
The Diplomat. Madrid
The Plenary of the Congress of Deputies approved yesterday, by a wide margin, the agreement signed with the United States, which increases the military presence of that country in the base of Morón de la Frontera, which will turn into the permanent base for the Africa Command (Africom).
All the parliamentary groups, except for Izquierda Plural, were in favour of the Third Protocol of Amendment to the Agreement on Defence with the United States of 1989, although they criticized the Executive for not providing enough guarantee that the agreement will benefit Spanish workers in Morón’s area.
The agreement establishes the permanent presence of up to 500 North American civilians and 2,200 marines, as well as of 21 aircrafts, in the base of Morón, with capacity for a fast deployment in the north of Africa facing possible crisis that put citizens and installations of the US, Spain and other NATO members at risk. Besides, it increases forces by 800 and aircrafts by 14, the limit for temporary deployments, which means that the base will be able to take in up to 3,000 North American soldiers.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel García-Margallo, defended the text for the Executive highlighting that this increases Spain’s security and emphasizing that our country can be targeted by jihadist terrorism at any moment, given the situation in the North of Africa.
In this sense, he indicated that facing the Daesh, “no negotiation is possible; no solution other than the military one is possible, removing them physically”.
All parliamentary groups support the agreement, except for Izquierda Plural
The socialist spokesperson, Diego López Garrido, agreed on the security argument to justify the PSOE’s support. Nevertheless, he claimed a greater commitment of the Government guaranteeing the creation of jobs in the area, a question that made Andalusian socialist leaders threaten not to support the agreement, to the US Embassy’s surprise.
CiU, UpyD and PNV announced their support to the agreement for considering it important to the security of our country and its allies.
On the contrary, the communist José Luis Centella, of Izquierda Plural, used the opportunity to criticize the policy of the United States and the NATO in the Arab countries, affirming that their objective is not security, but controlling natural resources and putting them in hands of big companies. He stated that “the picture of the Azores is going to be replaced by the picture of this chamber, making of Morón an aggression tool”.