Sunday, March 05, 2017

Trade Follows the Flag--Or Else

Morocco has weaponized the migrant and refugee flow into Spanish territory:

On Monday, February 6, Morocco’s agriculture minister, Aziz Akhannouch, released a statement warning that any obstacles to his country’s agriculture and fishing exports to Europe could renew the “migration flows” that Rabat has “managed and maintained” with “sustained effort.”

If friendly Morocco could do this, is it really hard to imagine that Russia and Assad have weaponized migrant flows to harm Europe?

Note that this migrant crisis with Spain is also related to the Western Sahara issue that I recently noted. From the initial article:

The backdrop to the recent spikes in mass breakthroughs at the border are legal challenges to Rabat’s trade deals with the EU. A case is currently being heard at the Court of Justice of the European Union brought by the Polisario Front, which has been fighting Morocco’s annexation of Western Sahara for almost four decades.

It's more than a battle over trade policy. So Morocco is playing hardball.

I have no idea if the legal challenge puts Morocco's control of Western Sahara territory at risk, but Morocco doesn't seem like it is willing to take a chance.

And in related news, I'm reasonably sure these talks were basically about how many zeros would be on the German check:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Egypt's president on Thursday to discuss ways of slowing migration to Europe.

At least Europeans don't deal in pallets full of cash.