• Spain's news in English
 

Spanish King makes 'symbolic' Morocco visit

Published: 16 Jul 2013 10:08 GMT+02:00

The visit, at the invitation of King Mohammed VI, is the first by Juan Carlos outside Spain since he had back surgery in March, and is expected to reflect the close diplomatic ties between Rabat and Madrid.

The two monarchs are due to meet at a dinner banquet on Tuesday.

Also on Tuesday, businessmen from Spain and Morocco will meet to discuss ways of bolstering cooperation between the two countries.

Juan Carlos brought with him to Morocco top business executives, as well as the ministers of foreign affairs, the interior, justice, industry and development.

Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said last week in Madrid the visit was "very symbolic on the political front in light of current developments" in the region and would also focus on economic issues.

Morocco's Deputy Foreign Minister Youssef Amrani praised relations between Morocco and Spain and expected Juan Carlos' visit to open new horizons in bilateral cooperation.

Some 800 Spanish firms operate in Morocco, and Spain was Morocco's first trading partner last year.

The severe crisis that has hit the Spanish economy has seen a noticeable rise in the flow of Spaniards heading to Morocco to live or search of work, experts say.

Official figures show that 2,660 Spaniards registered for social security in Morocco last year, but the numbers actually living and working in the country are believed to be much higher.

Find out about the Spaniards who are hoping to escape Spain's crisis by moving to Morocco.

Conversely, there are 783,137 Moroccans living in Spain according to a 2013 study carried out by Spanish Muslim peak group UCIDE. 

A total of 23,408 Moroccans arrived in Spain in 2012, figures from Spain's national statistics institute (INE) show.

Moroccans are also the third largest group of non-EU nationals living within the Union. There are some 1.9 million people from the North African country living in the EU according to March figures from EU stats body Eurostat.

Many of Spain's Moroccans are currently undertaking the traditional one-month long Islamic fast of Ramadan.

During this time, Muslims over the age of 14 do not eat, drink, have sexual relations or smoke from sunrise to sunset.

This fast is particularly difficult in summer when the daylight hours are long.

Pregnant women, the elderly, children under 14 and people working in jobs where there is a real risk of dehydration are not obliged to fast.

Spain's UCIDE on July 8th asked Spain's employers to be flexible about working hours for Muslims during Ramadan.

UCIDE President Riay Tatary also told Spaniards to visit a mosque and find out about the traditions of their Muslim neighbours. This would be a "symbol of integtration", he said. 

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.es)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
'High risk of terror attack' in Spain says Diaz
Spain's Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz. Photo: Dani Pozo / AFP

'High risk of terror attack' in Spain says Diaz

Spain is facing its highest level of terror threat since 2004 because of the danger posed by jihadists, said the country’s Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz on Sunday. READ  

 Barcelona struggles with rising tide of tourists
A group of tourists take pictures next to the Spanish architect Gaudi's Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona. Photo: Quique Garcia

Barcelona struggles with rising tide of tourists

Tourists are vital to Barcelona's economy, but the 27 million people who visit each year have become a headache for the new mayor as she battles to save the iconic Spanish Mediterranean port from becoming a bland theme park. READ  

Animal rights activists protest Spanish bull run
Activists of the PETA and Anima Naturalis pro-animal groups sporting horns during a protest against bullfighting and bull-running. Photo: Ander Gillenea/AFP

Animal rights activists protest Spanish bull run

About one hundred semi-naked animal rights activists covered in fake blood on Saturday protested against the upcoming famous bull run in the Spanish city of Pamplona. READ  

Leftist Spanish parties back 'No' Greek vote
Ahora Madrid (Madrid Now) member Rommy Arce (L) , IU member Alberto Garzon (C) and Podemos member Jaime Pastor, during a press conference in support of Greece in Madrid. Photo: Gerard Julien/AFP

Leftist Spanish parties back 'No' Greek vote

Six Spanish leftist parties and platforms have backed a "No" vote in Sunday's Greek referendum on its bailout terms. READ  

The Local list
6 reasons to love Woody Allen's favourite city
Woody Allen statue in Oviedo. Tony Madrid Photography / Flickr

6 reasons to love Woody Allen's favourite city

Woody Allen claims it as his favourite city in Spain, but the northern city of Oviedo remains one of the lesser explored of all the country's regional capitals. Here are six reasons why that should change. READ  

Woody Allen drops in on his favourite Spanish city
The US film director was in Oviedo, Asturias this week. Photo: Rafa Rivas/AFP

Woody Allen drops in on his favourite Spanish city

While the US film director's first love is famously New York City, he chose to holiday this week in his second: the Asturian city of Oviedo. READ  

Catalonia independence movement loses support
Photo: AFP

Catalonia independence movement loses support

Support for an independent Catalonia is waning, according to a new public opinion poll, and only 42 percent would vote "yes" in a referendum on whether to split from Spain. READ  

Costa Brava beaches closed over shark fears
A stock photo of a blue shark, the species spotted on the Costa Brava on Thursday. Photo: Mark Conlin/Wikimedia

Costa Brava beaches closed over shark fears

Police on the Costa Brava were forced to close four beaches on Thursday after sharks were spotted in shallow waters. READ  

Tennis
Nadal doubts future after Wimbledon thrashing
Rafael Nadal crashed out of Wimbledon in a shock second-round defeat. Photo: Patrick Novarik/AFP

Nadal doubts future after Wimbledon thrashing

Spanish tennis ace Rafael Nadal has hinted at retirement after his shock second-round defeat by German 102 seed, Dustin Brown. READ  

Games of Thrones
Game of Thrones add a surprise Spain location
Extras from Game of Thrones during filming last year in Andalusia. Photo: AFP

Game of Thrones add a surprise Spain location

The hit television series have added Navarra as a third location in Spain to their September filming schedule and are looking for tall, slender men and women with a dark complexion to be extras. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Travel
What's on in Spain: July 2015
National
The ten most repressive points of Spain's gag law
National
Spain celebrates ten years of gay marriage
Travel
Top ten tricks to survive the Spanish summer
National
Woof! The top ten dog-friendly beaches in Spain
National
Driver fined €80 for biting fingernails at the wheel
National
Castle for sale, one-time pad of mad queen, €15 million
National
And the most beautiful plaza in Spain is...?
Politics
Spanish mayor's rogue little toes go viral
Top that! Italy snatches pizza title from Spain
National
Diphtheria is 'Russian roulette with real bullets'
Bupa
Sponsored Article
Healthcare: 9 questions every expat should ask
Politics
French PM takes flak for taking his kids on state jet to footy final
National
Spain's little 'prince' shamed for racist rant
National
Spain world's second best for work-life balance
Travel
Barcelona most bike-friendly city on the Med
National
British expat fury over EU referendum snub
Politics
Madrid goes mad for radical mayor Manuela
10 super Spanish drinks everyone should try
National
Are these Spain's ten most powerful women?
National
Horse deaths reveal dark side of Rocio pilgrimage
Travel
Six of the best gourmet burger joints in Madrid
Travel
The ten best places for foodies in Barcelona
Education
7 reasons for Spain's newfound love of English
Features
7 reasons why Spain's the best place on earth
National
The perks and quirks of having a baby in Spain
National
Iceland revokes order to 'kill Basques on sight'
National
Five reasons why it’s good to be gay in Spain
National
Job creation? The truth behind Spain's figures
National
Spain among ten best countries to be a mum
National
The ten greatest things about Spain (in the UK)
National
British expats fall victim to NHS clampdown
Features
Top ten: Madrid's best rooftop bars
Travel
Benidorm: Cultural wonder of the world?
National
King Juan Carlos led 'double-life' with lover
Features
Ten best UNESCO world heritage sites in Spain
Features
Happy book day! Top ten Spanish literary gifts
Features
All the fun of the fair: Seville's Feria de Abril
National
Off with her hair! Queen Letizia debuts new do
National
Barcelona bans tourists from famous market
National
Rockers pen 'We don't love Ryanair' ballad
Travel
Location tours start for 'Game of Thrones' fans
National
Top ten things to do in Castellón
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,353
jobs available