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Spain Allocates One Million Euros Aid Package for Fishermen

Mon 19th Aug 2013
Spain Allocates One Million Euros Aid Package for Fishermen

The Spanish Government has allocated almost ONE MILLION Euros in financial aid to Spanish fishermen from Algeciras and La Linea De La Conception caught up in the Gibraltar dispute.

According to a press release on the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment website, the Spanish Government will pump €900,000 into an aid package to compensate and offset the loss of revenues from fishing vessels affected in the latest Gibraltar spat.

Under the aid package, Spanish vessels that can no longer fish in the area where concrete blocks have been dumped by Gibraltar authorities will be able to claim up to €30,000 between 1st August 2013 and 31st January 2014.

However, these dates may be extended if the current situation persists up to a maximum of 3 years.

Crew members and those serving the vessels will also be compensated, however this will come from vessel owners and managers.

Tensions escalated to the front pages in July after Gibraltar increased its artificial reef in the Bay of Algeciras using concrete blocks ultimately ending the ability for Spanish fishermen to fish there through fear of damaging nets and trawling equipment.

The Spanish Government promptly waded in and restricted movement through the frontier border separating the two nations and raised the rhetoric with threats of cutting telecommunications, restricting airspace and charging an entry and exit fee at the border.

However, Gibraltar has remained steadfast by stating the concrete blocks are in their territorial waters which Spanish fishermen have been fishing illegally.

It is estimated there are just over 100 fishermen affected by the escalating dispute over territorial waters between Gibraltar and Spain.

However, more than 10,000 Spanish residents are employed in Gibraltar.

As crisis hit Spain attempts to shore up its finances, news of the aid package has filtered through slowly, however it will no doubt anger Teachers, Nurses and other state employees who have had to seek alternative employment or retrain altogether in order to maintain a steady paycheque.

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Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment Press Release