Fernando Novo Lens
President of the Hispano-Algerian Cultural Association “Miguel de Cervantes”
A few days ago a news item appeared in the Spanish press that left me stunned. The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, led by Ms. Reyes Maroto, acknowledged before a group of Spanish businessmen that the Spanish Government did not foresee the consequences that the decision of President Sánchez’s Government to support Morocco’s thesis in relation to Western Sahara could have on Algeria. To begin with, this seems to me to be a total lack of information, foresight and professionalism.
It was also commented that the Spanish government is not going to rectify its position on Morocco and Western Sahara and, furthermore, they are encouraging Spanish companies with interests in Algeria (which, at this point in the year, have already accumulated losses of 600 million euros) to change country and go to Morocco and do business there.
Honestly, I cannot imagine what the Ministry is thinking to make such statements against the interests of Spanish businessmen and Spaniards (let us not forget the jobs that private companies provide, as well as the taxes they pay to the Treasury) and, in short, against Spain. Let us not forget that this government has more than a thousand advisors who earn between 45,000 and 65,000 euros a year and who cost all Spaniards more than 50 million euros a year. And looking at these results, I ask myself, what are they for, whose family or friends are they? Because it is clear that, at least most of them, because of their intellect and professional capacities they have not been elected.
Let’s put ourselves in situation…and let’s look at the facts after the Marocgate affair exploded, which reminds us of the intermittent blackmail that, through the ages, the Moroccan government is submitting to Spain and its successive governments; that is, the fishing grounds, Ceuta and Melilla, the islet of Perejil, the jumps to the Melilla fence, the territorial waters with the Canary Islands or the mineral-rich seabed of the Canary Islands…what will be next? Ask for Ceuta, Melilla, the Chafarinas Islands, the Rock of Velez and the Al Hoceima Islands?
All this indicates that the Moroccan government is no friend of Spain. It never has been. We are neighbours, not friends. A friend does not subject you to blackmail, such as that which has been carried out with President Sánchez and which has led him (among other reasons) to take this grave situation that eliminates at a stroke the future and the dignity of the Sahrawi people.
The Moroccan government has a roadmap and it consists of expanding into a part of Africa and, above all, into the territories of Western Sahara. It has been pursuing it for years, doing everything possible (almost all of it illegally) to achieve this.
Indeed, it is this roadmap that has shaped its relationship with the EU and other countries. It was discovered through Qatargate that Marocgate had been going on for a longer period of time. Influencing through bribes of all kinds MEPs who were involved in commissions and decision making with regard to Morocco, its illegal use of the wealth belonging to the Saharawi people, its claimed sovereignty over Western Sahara, etc. Also by influencing Spanish politicians and journalists to support their theses.
Because if this were not the case, why does a former socialist housing minister, María Antonio Trujillo, make more and more declarations against the Spanishness of Ceuta and Melilla and in favour of Morocco’s thesis? And the same goes for the former socialist prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero or the former defence minister, José Bono when he urges the Polisario Front to sit down and negotiate with Morocco (but if Morocco is the occupying power… what is it that this man does not understand? Didn’t he say that twelve years ago… And doesn’t the UN-sponsored referendum on self-determination count for anything?) who are invited to give lectures in that country and take the opportunity to make statements along those lines too.
What interests do these people have with Morocco to betray Spain in this way? What has Morocco offered them? What are Spaniards going to do in the face of this attempt to break up our homeland, our country, by these former and current socialist political representatives?
Due to this climate of corruption that not only involves Spain but also MEPs from several countries, a feeling of doubt and legitimate mistrust has been created in the Spanish population… and in the rest of Europe about the honesty and honourability of their representatives; and this has reached the European Parliament. Is it that our MEPs, with monthly salaries that can reach 15,000 euros, do not consider it enough and have to let themselves be bought by a state called Morocco? How many MEPs have been corrupted by Moroccan money? What is the European Institution doing to punish these criminal acts and prevent them from happening again? Have all the procedures or resolutions that have affected Morocco over the years been reviewed and those who participated in them investigated?
It is fair to say that the European Parliament’s highest bodies have quickly and correctly gauged the magnitude of this problem and have cancelled several trips by Members of the European Parliament to Morocco and have also adopted an amendment prohibiting Moroccan representatives and their lobbyists from having access to various seats of the European Parliament. It is essential that they act swiftly and decisively to resolve this serious case. Let us hope that they continue along the lines of dignifying the work of our parliamentarians and making European politics something of which we citizens can feel proud and represented.
The same speed and efficiency that was and is being demonstrated by the Belgian police and justice system, whom it is necessary and fair to congratulate for the excellent work they are carrying out in relation to this mafia bribery scheme.
And in keeping with this line of speed, perhaps the European Parliament should investigate the 17 socialist MEPs who voted against the resolution condemning the violation of human rights in Morocco and sanctioning it for promoting a corruption scheme.
It is known that these Spanish Socialist MEPs followed orders from Minister José Manuel Albares, whom Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita called a few days before the High Level Meeting between Spain and Morocco to “kindly” remind him that the summit would take place. This caused the Spanish minister to bend to his wishes, as did the Spanish government, and to order his MEPs to vote against the European Parliament resolution so that Morocco would not be offended and the meeting would not be cancelled. In other words, the Spanish government knelt down before the Moroccan government, although our politicians would like to explain it differently.
And that summit, although our politicians in the Sánchez government try to sell it to us differently, already began with the absence of the Moroccan monarch, which does not seem very acceptable, if we speak in terms of courtesy and honouring the supposed importance of the summit. However, before the meeting took place, King Mohammed VI, from his resting place in Gabon, called President Sánchez on the phone and they had a 30-minute conversation, which must have filled President Sánchez and his government with pride and happiness… their leader had spoken to them.
We will not talk about the results of the summit, which are well known; we will stick to the agreement not to bother each other. This means that Spain’s socialist government is not going to do anything to upset Morocco in relation to Western Sahara, including refusing to grant Spanish nationality to Sahrawis who lived in the period when Spain “de facto” ruled the territory. But, on the other hand, they are granting nationality to people from Latin America who have fourth-generation Spanish ancestors, and do you know why? Because they hope to have their votes in the next general elections…. and thus continue governing (or whatever they do).
And on the other hand, we will see how long it takes for the Moroccan government to return to claim certain Spanish cities or territories or maritime areas, etc. ….. You see, the socialist government of Spain is putting our country up for sale to the interests of the Moroccan government.
But there is something else that came out of that high-level meeting. And that is that Morocco has asked Spain to be its advocate before the European Union. I don’t know whether to laugh… or to tremble. And especially now that Spain will hold the presidency of the Council of the European Union from 1 July until the end of the year.
Gentlemen and women politicians of the European Union, do you realise what this could mean? A country that has corrupted the European institution wants a Member State, Spain, to help it with its interests, with the road map that we mentioned earlier. You are going to have the enemy at home… and that enemy is called Pedro Sánchez.
Do you really want this form of management (based on lies and falsehood, inefficiency, incapacity and egocentrism) that is impoverishing Spain, dividing Spaniards, making companies disappear, and bowing and kneeling to the wishes of foreign governments to stain the name of Europe and its Institutions? Is that what you want for your companies and your citizens…? I would be very careful…
I always say that ignorance is the worst of evils, because it is the cause of much greater evils….. and this is what is happening to the current government of Spain. A government that maintains a few members who, before entering politics, had no known profession and did not know what it was to earn an honest salary and who now earn salaries of between 75,000 and 100,000 euros; a government that makes laws that allow more than 1000 sex offenders, rapists, etc. (more than 500 officially and as many others in other regions that do not know what it is to earn an honest salary). (more than 500 officially and as many others in other regions that do not publish their figures) see their sentences reduced or go free from prison after having sexually abused girls, teenagers, mature women, women with some kind of disability, etc. and whose Secretary of State for Equality laughs at the release of rapists because of the “only if” law, etc, etc. and I could give you more examples, but you only have to read the press. Every week there is a new scandal involving members of the government of Mr. Sanchez and the bad thing is that Mr. President Sanchez does nothing and continues to defend the work of the members of his government. What can you expect from a government, largely without sufficient training and without the experience of having managed anything in his life? It is very easy to play with other people’s money, especially when your mistakes have no consequences.
And to return to the Western Sahara conflict in which Spain has flagrantly lost relations with Algeria (a country that supports and helps the Sahrawi people), Europe has thought: the problem was created by President Sánchez, the government of Spain; therefore, let them sort it out and leave us out of their problem. And this is more true now than ever because, as a result of the war and the cut-off of gas supplies from Russia, Europe needs Algerian gas more than ever. Look at how Italy has cleverly taken advantage of Pedro Sanchez’s vacated position on gas. It’s hard to turn down gifts like that….
Europe should be smarter than the Spanish government is being and relaunch and update trade agreements with Algeria, based on fair and equitable reciprocity.
Meanwhile, President Sánchez and his government continue to lie to Spaniards that it is no big deal and encourage Spanish businessmen to leave Algeria and go to Morocco.
It is curious and dramatic that people (from Sánchez’s government) who have never worked in their lives (in private enterprise… and others, in none), who have never risked their money, who do not know what it is to make balances to pay the salaries of the families that depend on that employment, give advice on how to manage their markets to large, medium and small companies and the only thing they can think of is to tell them to change country.
Perhaps easier than urging Spanish business to change countries to do business would be to suggest to the Spanish people that they change their government. And Spaniards (and their companies) will have a clear future to develop internationally in freedom.
I would suggest to the Spanish business community that they continue to hold their ground; that as soon as this incompetent, corrupt and lying government is gone, things will change. Algeria is a friend of the Spanish people. It always has been. Spanish companies, their operational capacity, experience and the good work of their workers are highly appreciated and valued in Algeria.
I would advise my Algerian friends in the same way: it is advisable to prepare for a future, hopefully near, in which relations of collaboration, respect, trust and friendship will once again reign on our common path of development. Algeria is a great country and Spanish companies can collaborate in many fields in the common quest for sustainable and dignified development for its inhabitants.
And I say this from my own experience. I have lived and worked in Algeria for a number of years and still have a close relationship with it, so I can vouch for this. Algeria is a country that is a loyal partner and always honours its commitments.
As I said on one occasion, I am Spanish and I love my country; but in Algeria I have met wonderful people and the country has taught me many things that have also allowed me to understand, respect and love it. And it pains me that arbitrary, obscure and criminal attitudes (that is, against international law) of a government, of a president, should put the brakes on fraternal (and commercial) relations in the history and development of our two countries.
The relations of friendship and coexistence that Algeria and Spain have maintained for centuries cannot be cut short by a passing government that makes the wrong decisions. Algeria and Spain are bigger than all that.
I think it is now better and more effective to continue building bridges and maintaining ties of communication and friendship at certain levels so that, when the current Spanish government is no longer in power, relations between our two countries can be rebuilt quickly and effectively, so that businessmen, traders and the population in general on both sides can benefit from commercial and personal exchanges and our two countries can finally focus on a friendly, loyal, sustainable and long-lasting partnership. Algeria and Spain, the Algerian people and the Spanish people deserve the best of futures.
© All rights reserved