• 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
Recipe: How to make Spain's summer classic gazpacho
Gazpacho is the perfect lunchtime refresher in the summer heat. Photo: Harlan Harris / Flickr

Chilled, refreshing, and delicious, a bowl of gazpacho is a must during Spain's sizzling summer months.

Model found guilty of murder of Brit millionaire ex-boyfriend
Mayka Kukucova with British businessman Andrew Bush. Photo: Facebook

A Slovakian swimwear model has been found guilty for murdering her British millionaire ex-boyfriend at a court in Malaga.

Spanish bishop demands staff get 'anti-paedo certificate'
Stock photo of priests: AFP

The Bishop of Lleida has requested all staff, including priests and monks, prove they are not paedophiles.

Beach hogger fined in Spain for saving spot with umbrella
Tourists at a Spanish beach. Photo: Jaime Reina/AFP.

Attempting to 'reserve' a spot on the beach of one Costa Blanca resort is being treated very harshly indeed.

Superfast undersea mega-cable to link US and Spain
It will be 16 million times faster than a domestic broadband connection. Photo: Oleg Zaytsev / Flickr

Your internet access is about to get a whole lot faster.

Travel chaos looms as Easyjet workers call strike in Malaga
Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP

Thousands of holidaymakers could be affected by the strike...

Spanish capital gripped by Champions League fever
Real Madrid fans. Photo: Gerard Julien/AFP

Madrid's two biggest teams will face off against each other in Saturday's Champions League final.

Colombia blames guerrillas for missing journalists
Demonstrators called for the release of Spanish journalist Salud Hernandez Mora in Bogota this week. Photo: Guillermo Legaria/AFP

The Red Cross has joined the search for three journalists missing in Colombia whose disappearance the government blamed on a leftist rebel group.

'Magical mystery tours' among top Spanish startups to watch
Rome is one of the possible secret destinations. Photo: Moyan Brenn/Flickr

A company that organizes surprise trips for people who don’t find out where they are going until 48 hours before departure could be one of Spain’s most interesting new startups.

Franco finally stripped of mayor title by Catalan town
Spanish dictator Francisco Franco. Photo: AFP

Better late than never...

Lifestyle
Top Ten: Barcelona's coolest rooftop bars
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
National
Plane forced to dodge THREE drones to land in Bilbao
National
Spain launches campaign to stop English 'invasion'
Culture
Ten unique Basque words you need to learn right now
National
'It’s time to dig up Franco' say victims of Spain's dictatorship
Lifestyle
'Severe jellyfish stings' end Brit's Spanish swim feat
Sport
5 reasons why Spanish clubs dominate European football
International
Tesco to bring British tea and biscuits to Spanish stores
Culture
Bucket list: 16 brilliant things to do once in your life in Spain
National
Spain's Civil War victims to be exhumed from Franco's tomb
National
Two mums face jail for leaving kids in car to go out drinking
Education
Students at Spanish college forced to take exorcism class
National
Ten superb reasons why you need to visit San Sebastián
Society
Abused wife saved by hiding SOS note in son's homework
National
Look up! Rare meteor shower set to dazzle skies over Spain
Politics
Why Spain is heading for a Groundhog day election
Travel
Ibiza bans drinking in street… and that includes water
National
Expats didn't 'abandon' UK so ALL Brits should get EU vote
Features
What's on in Spain: May 2016
Travel
Discover Spain's breathtaking national parks
National
Couple caught on camera having sex on metro platform
National
Spain's stunning locations for Game of Thrones Season Six
National
Ten delicious Spanish dishes you must try before you die
3,357
jobs available