Madrid is preparing an emergency plan for its enclaves suffocated by Rabat

A report revealed by the Madrid newspaper El Pais reports the preparation by Spain of a strategic plan to support the autonomous cities of Ceuta (Sebta) and Melilla hard hit by the crisis and “the policy of confinement” orchestrated by Morocco. Commissioned by La Moncloa, the plan includes both economic and security safeguards measures Spain will cease to be on the defensive in Ceuta (Sebta) and Melilla. This is demonstrated by a strategic plan to fight against the “economic asphyxiation” of the two autonomous cities by Morocco, drawn up urgently by Madrid, reports El Pais. For the first time, a Spanish official document clearly warns against the rapid deterioration of the social situation in the two enclaves located on Moroccan soil, notes the Madrid daily. Along with the “economic disconnection” with the Moroccan border area, which Spain attributes to “a constant and inalienable national objective” of Rabat “to annex Ceuta and Melilla”, the executive headed by the socialist Pedro Sanchez, emphasizes guard against “demographic change” due to migratory flows and the growing population of Moroccan origin residing in the two cities irregularly. The document thus highlights the “socio-demographic challenge” in Ceuta and Melilla, which results in “increasing polarization” and a worrying “social divide”, we can read from the document. The report is also concerned about a certain “detachment from the state” with inferior public services, which many of the inhabitants of the enclaves attribute to the fact that health, education and social services are “available to foreigners”. “This powder keg has existed for a long time, but until now, Spain preferred to close its eyes in order to maintain good relations with Morocco”, comments El Pais. An attitude that is part of the past, he believes, recounting the episodes of the Brahim Ghali affair and the migratory wave in Ceuta. Spanish Foreign Affairs recalled that this crisis now obliges Spain and Morocco to speak much more clearly about the Western Sahara issue, “a national priority for Rabat”, but also about Ceuta and Melilla, which have become “a Spanish priority, with a plan. strategic which will be ready before the end of the summer, ”according to Spanish government sources. Inclusion in the EU sphere, reception of Frontex… Pending this plan, the report already proposes a roadmap of Spain’s intentions, with a battery of short and medium-term proposals. The socio-economic data for the two autonomous cities are among the worst in Spain, with unemployment of around 30% in Ceuta and 20% in Melilla. However, notes El Pais, the per capita income of the two enclaves is six times greater than that of the closest Moroccan regions, “one of the keys explaining the migratory pressure”. “Public services are on edge, admits this study. And nothing indicates that Rabat will give up its strategy of economic pressure which suffocates the two autonomous cities ”, warns the analysis of the government. Commissioned by La Moncloa, a socio-economic rescue plan is already underway, with at least half a dozen measures. Spain is studying the inclusion of Ceuta and Melilla in the Customs Union and the reform of the economic and social regime of the two autonomous cities The document aims to maximize the tax advantages “to promote new sectors of activity”, in particular tourism (with cruise ships as the objective) and online gambling. It also aims to improve links with the Peninsula and generate an area of ​​”shared prosperity”, a term that the Executive also uses in relations with Gibraltar. In addition, he recommends revitalizing port activity, which suffered in the case of Melilla due to competition from the neighboring port of Nador. The rescue plan concocted by the Spanish Ministry of Territorial Policy provides, in addition to these measures, the inclusion of the two cities in the European area without borders or the Schengen Treaty, which would amount to requesting a visa from all Moroccans living in neighboring provinces wishing to enter Ceuta and Melilla. And he also plans to allow guards from the European Border Agency (Frontex) to access the two towns to “give visibility to the fact that their limits correspond to the southern border of the European Union”. But the economic package, Schengen and Frontex, is only part of this strategy, adds El Pais. Spain also intends to oppose Morocco in other areas. The report warns, for example, that “gradual demographic change, with a sharp increase in the population of Moroccan origin, is accompanied by an increase in the political and religious influence” of Rabat. “Many frauds related to effective residence and rights are one of the elements that fuel the susceptibilities between communities and contribute to polarization and difficulties of coexistence,” note the drafters of the government report. © ️ Copyright Pulse Media. All rights reserved.Reproduction and dissemination prohibited (photocopies, intranet, web, messaging, newsletters, monitoring tools) without written authorization