Spain Fails To Put Pressure On Algeria In The European Union
It seems that the Spanish government has resigned itself to the status quo in its disputes with the Algerian authorities, against the background of the deviation of Madrid’s position on the Sahrawi issue, after about a year of the life of the diplomatic crisis that has seriously damaged Spanish interests in Algeria, transforming it from the second place in 2021 to the ninth among the countries supplied by Algeria in 2022, waiting for what’s to come.
The government of Pedro Sanchez initially relied on the European Union to put pressure on Algeria, hoping to resolve the problem of Spanish exports, since Algeria has a partnership agreement with the Union that entered into force in September 2005.
To date, this has led the Spanish government to seek alternative solutions to help Spanish companies affected by the Algerian sanctions.
Among the solutions that the Spanish government intends to resort to, as stated on the website of the Spanish newspaper “The Periodico” on the Internet, is to study the possibility of providing an aid package to Spanish companies affected by the loss of the Algerian market, in cooperation with the European Union, to lessen the repercussions of the decline in Spanish exports with Algeria, which reached 84 percent.
The same source says that the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism has opened direct contacts with the European Commission to implement an assistance plan for companies that suffer directly from the consequences of the diplomatic crisis between Madrid and Algeria due to the change in the position of the Spanish government on the issue of Western Sahara in support for Moroccan makhzen regime.
According to the Spanish newspaper, “the Spanish Secretary of State for Trade is in contact with the European Commission to allow a possible invitation to help the affected companies, provided that it is not considered state aid”, at a time when the government is preparing to launch plans to help diversify markets for companies that were more dependent on sales in Algeria, especially those that had reached a third of their foreign business in Algeria.
The Madrid government has decided to help Spanish companies affected by the escalating crisis with Algeria, says the newspaper, after realising that the European Union, which it describes as “responsible” for enforcing the 27-nation free trade agreement with Algeria, is currently unable to do so. Except to obtain a commitment from the Algerian party to discuss the crisis of Spanish companies’ exports to Algeria, which is estimated at no less than 149 cases, based on data from the trusteeship Ministry.
And the Spanish Foreign Minister, José Manuel Albares, had flown to Brussels last June, abandoning a mission to the United States of America, with a complaint against Algeria, related to the existence of difficulties for Spanish companies that have customers in Algeria, but this mission angered the Algerian side, which accused the Sanchez government and its Foreign Minister, Albares personally, of trying to involve the European Union in a problem between two states.
Since then, the Sanchez government has not been able to resolve this problem with Algeria, at a time when major European countries, such as Italy and France, have tended to consolidate their economic relations with Algeria, abandoning the usual European solidarity, as Rome concluded unprecedented gas agreements with Algeria, before Paris joined in, after shuttle visits by senior officials from both countries, in a scene that frightened Madrid, which was expecting European support in the crisis with Algeria.