• Spain's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Spanish King makes 'symbolic' Morocco visit

AFP/The Local · 16 Jul 2013, 10:08

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.

Story continues below…

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
Madrid LGBT group takes action over ‘gay cure therapy’
Madrid introduced anti-homophobic laws earlier this month. Photo: AFP

A Spanish pressure group that fights against homophobia has filed a complaint against a therapist who offers “to cure homosexuality”.

Expat Spain: Warm, friendly and brilliant for family life
Spain is one of the best nations for expats. Photo: theinterngroup.com/ Flickr

A great climate and friendly locals make up for the lack of career opportunities in Spain, according to a survey ranking the quality of life for expats around the world.

La Tomatina: Everything you need to know about epic fiesta

Every year on the last Wednesday in August the town of Buñol prepares to get seriously messy when it stages what has become the world's biggest food fight.

Costa del Sol beach closed over shark fears
The Civil Guard patrolled the beach looking for the shark. Photo: Pedrator_desert/ Twitter

Thought jellyfish were a nuisance? Fuengirola just got a lot scarier.

The Local List
15 amazing Unesco World Heritage sites to visit in Spain
The town of Ávila. Photo: Chroniron/Wikimedia Commons.

Spain has an impressive 45 locations listed as Unesco World Heritage sites for their cultural significance or natural beauty, including some that are entire towns. Here's a look at some of the most stunning.

Rajoy says forming new government ‘a wish’
Spain has been subject to a political deadlock for the past eight months. Pierre-Philippe Marcou / AFP file picture

Spain's acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warned Saturday ahead of parliament's confidence vote for a second term in office that the formation of a new government remained "more of a wish".

Spanish police smash Chinese immigration ring
The Chinese nationals paid the ring about €8,000 to get a fake work contract. Photo: Cristina Quicler /AFP

Spanish police said Saturday they had smashed a major ring allegedly providing Chinese nationals living illegally in the country with fake contracts as domestic staff so they could get residency permits.

Gallery
10 super Spanish drinks everyone should try
Photo: Ignacio Palomo Duarte/Flickr

While we've all been tempted by the Spanish holiday classic of a chilled glass of sangria, Spain has much more to offer when it comes to tantalizing tipples.

Property
Buy your own Mediterranean island paradise for just €5m

Got a spare €5 million? Then this Mediterranean island paradise could be yours.

Vamos a la playa! These are Spain's top ten beaches
Playa de Ses Illetes, Formentera, Europe's best beach. Photo:Photo: Ismail Mia/Flickr

Spain has five beaches in Europe's top ten. The Local gives you a tour.

Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
Shocking video shows torture of young calf during fiesta
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Police launch appeal for Costa Blanca hit and run driver
Politics
What political deadlock? Spain economy forges ahead
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Features
Eight reasons to spend your gap year exploring Spain
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
International
'We won't ban burqinis on our beaches' insists Barcelona
National
British dad drowns saving daughter on red flagged beach
National
11 Spanish words that English must adopt right now
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Lifestyle
Justin Bieber just bought an amazing new pad in Lanzarote
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Lifestyle
Recipe: How to make Andalusian Ajo Blanco soup
Travel
Keep passports safe: Typical pickpocket scams revealed
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Travel
Ten touristy types you'll meet in Spain: Which one are you?
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Lifestyle
Ten top tips to avoid looking like a guiri when in Spain
International
Don't miss this spectacular meteor shower over Spain
Travel
Desperate Ryanair passenger chases after missed flight
Travel
What's on in Spain: August 2016
National
Get your kit off! Spain's ten best nudist beaches
National
German firestarter blames blaze on 'toilet paper mishap'
National
Flashmob prank sparks 'terror attack' panic in Spanish resort
Culture
Croquemon Go: Spain invents twist on game to 'eat 'em all'
Technology
Six free apps to simplify your summer in Spain
National
Spanish parents fight for right to name their son 'Wolf'
National
Beach closed after shark attack in southern Spain
National
Spain ups security at tourist spots as terrorism fears grow
3,160
jobs available