Battered Spain hosts Ibero-America summit pinning hopes in its success
The XXII Ibero-American summit which takes off Friday in the city of Cadiz will be focused on the Euro zone crisis and the need to boost investments in Latin America of which Spain can become the “vertebrate axis” said Spanish Foreign minister Jose García Margallo.
The event expected to re-launch the role of Spain as a ‘bridge’ between Europe and Latinamerica in the southern city of Cadiz will also be attended as special guests by the EU High Representative for Foreign Policy, Catherine Ashton and Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission.
Spanish president Mariano Rajoy will open the talks on the Euro-zone crisis in his contacts with Latam leaders, a region which has managed to challenge the current global slowdown in much better conditions that the European Union.
Spain’s King Juan Carlos will preside over the Ibero-America summit which will not be as attended as expected since the presidents from Argentina, Venezuela, Cuba, Paraguay, Guatemala and Uruguay, for different reasons will not be present.
Garcia Margallo rejected any “second intentions” in the absence of President Cristina Fernandez who was on line with President Rajoy to apologize her absence on medical recommendation.
“The Argentine president, as all of us has virtues and defects, but one of her virtues is that she is plain clear about what she thinks. If she wanted to be rude with Spain she would have no qualms about it”, said the minister discarding point blank any link of her absence with the ongoing conflict over the nationalization of Spain’s Repsol YPF branch.
“We have much to discuss with Argentina which will be represented by the Vice-president and the Foreign Minister, and they are also very much interested on a statement, joint declaration regarding the Malvinas, so there is no room for speculations”, insisted Garcia Margallo.
The summit will address the need to create jobs, both in the Iberia peninsula and Latam, promote infrastructure, a sector in which Spain has much to offer because of its international corporations as well as promoting trade. On the sidelines of the summit deliberations there will be business conferences and forums and numerous bilateral meetings between attending leaders.
Spain’s Rajoy is scheduled to meet Colombia’s Juan Manuel Santos; Chile’s Santiago Piñera; Honduras, Porfirio Lobo and Ecuador’s Rafael Correa. Minister Garcia Margallo is also expected to discuss with his Cuban peer Bruno Rodrigues, the situation of Spanish citizen Angel Carromero imprisoned in Cuba.
The meeting in Cadiz will take off on Friday at the Saint Philip Neri Oratorium, where 200 years ago was proclaimed Spain’s first constitution also known as ‘La Pepa’, when the King in Madrid had succumbed to the invasion of Napoleon forces.
The Spanish 1812 liberal constitution of Cadiz established for the first time the rule of the law, the concept of national sovereignty, individual rights and freedoms, the independence of government branches and all are the same before the law.