Minister Miguel Arias Canete (L) at the European Council. (Photo: The Council of the European Union)
Alliance with France, Poland and Portugal to maintain aid to fishing fleet
Tuesday, October 23, 2012, 23:40 (GMT + 9)
The head of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (Magrama), Miguel Arias Cañete, Spain announced that Spain settled an alliance with France, Poland and Portugal to ensure the continuity of the socio-economic aid for fishing vessels.
In addition to this "strong common position," the four countries are seeking the support of other European nations.
The Spanish, French, Polish and Portuguese governments intend to defend the maintenance of subsidies to the temporary and permanent cessation of the fleet.
This was expressed by the minister Arias Cañete after the first debate on the proposal of the commitment of the Cypriot Presidency of the European Union (EU), held on Monday in Luxembourg, on the future of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.
During the debate, Spain also proposed to address measures directed to updating fishing vessels.
"Fortunately, after the pressure being exerted by Spain and by a group of countries with which we have alliances, we're succeeding in making the European Commission (EC) to take a more flexible position," said the minister.
Furthermore, "the Cypriot Presidency is progressing towards the priorities that Spain has in the reform process of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund," he added.
Spain wants to have scrapping aid, which is considered necessary to satisfy the objectives of maximum sustainable yield (MSY) intended by the EC, included in the final version of the Fund.
According to the Spanish minister, these grants have proved to be very useful and Spain has used them "in a very smart way."
The Spanish Government states that in the last 14 years, Spain reduced its fleet by 42.9 per cent in the number of ships and 31.8 per cent in power.
Arias Cañete said they also plead for increased budget allocations to the outermost regions, such as the Canary Islands, in favour of fisheries and aquaculture.
"There is sensitivity to these regions, and I hope that this sensitivity becomes a substantial increase in the levels of support to cover the incremental costs of production," he pointed out.
Arias Cañete highlighted that Spain should have an aid budget framework and "more reasonable" dates. That is to say, "that the aid does not run out in 2016 but is extended as time passes, and that the percentage of the European Fund that may be allocated for these annuities is substantial," he concluded.
- Spain requests scrapping aid inclusion in future fisheries fund
By Analia Murias