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Spain Reveals Economic Losses After Trade Crisis with Algeria

Spain Reveals Economic Losses After Trade Crisis with Algeria

Monday, 3 October, 2022 - 10:15
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez (Asharq Al-Awsat)

The Spanish government revealed the financial losses incurred as a result of Algeria’s decision to halt trade Madrid in March, part of an escalating dispute over the status of Western Sahara.

Spain’s Trade Ministry revealed on Sunday that business owners have incurred losses that amount up to 4.4 million euros per day since March.

Financial losses in July exceeded 127 million euros, while June registered losses worth 234.6 million euros.

According to Spanish newspapers, many sectors were affected, including the food industry and livestock meat.

Algeria’s decision followed Spain’s shift in its stance on the disputed Western Sahara conflict between Morocco and the Algerian-backed Polisario Front.

Algeria decided to suspend foreign trade in products and services with Spain as of June 9.

The move came after the country suspended a 20-year-old friendship treaty with Spain that committed the two sides to cooperation in controlling migration flows, and also banned imports from Spain.

Algeria is a key gas supplier to Spain, but Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has previously said he would not break the supply contract.

Last year, Spanish exports to Algeria reached 1.8 billion euros ($1.95 billion) while imports amounted to 4.7 billion, almost all of which was gas supplies.

Morocco and Algeria have long been at odds over the disputed territory of Western Sahara, where the Algiers-backed Polisario Front is seeking independence from Rabat's rule.

The disputed status of Western Sahara -- a former Spanish colony considered a “non-autonomous territory” by the United Nations -- has pitted Morocco against the Polisario Front since the 1970s.

Rabat, which controls nearly 80 percent of the territory, is pushing for autonomy under its sovereignty. The Polisario Front demands a UN-sponsored referendum on self-determination.

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