The Spanish government is studying denouncing Algeria before the European Union, according to government sources. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs believes that the unilateral freezing of trade with Spain may violate the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement of 2005, which established a preferential association regime between the then European Economic Community and Algeria.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, declared this Thursday that Spain is preparing an “adequate, serene and constructive, but firm, response in defense of Spanish interests and Spanish companies” to the Algerian decision. Last night, the Government received with surprise the news that the Association of Banks and Financial Entities (Abef) of Algeria had sent an instruction to the banks of its country, announcing the freezing of direct debits of foreign trade operations of products directed or from Spain starting this Thursday.
Last night, the Government received with surprise the news that the Association of Banks and Financial Entities (Abef) of Algeria had sent an instruction to the banks of its country announcing the freezing of direct debits of foreign trade operations of products directed or originating of Spain from this Thursday. The head of Spanish diplomacy has stressed that the implications and practical scope of freezing trade with Spain at a national and European level are being analysed.
According to data from the Secretary of State for Trade, Spain exported to the African country worth 1,242 million euros between January and August 2021, (1,916 in all of 2020), while it imported from said country for 2,556 million (2,511 the previous year ), mostly hydrocarbons. Spain is Algeria’s third largest customer (after Italy and France) and its fifth supplier (behind China, France, Italy and Germany). The head of Spanish diplomacy has assured that, according to the information provided by the energy providers, this decision does not have to affect the flow of Algerian gas to Spain, which remains normal.
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Albares reiterated that the Spanish Government’s wish is to maintain the best relations with Algeria, as with other neighboring countries, based on the principles of the friendship agreement that Algeria has put on hold and which are respect for sovereignty, non- interference in internal affairs and cooperation for the mutual benefit of the two peoples. The minister did not want to reveal whether there have been any contacts with the Algerian authorities, citing the need to maintain discretion.
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