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Iberdrola

Andalusia: what unites Spain and Morocco

During the conference "Andalusia, the Euro-Mediterranean Spain-Morocco nexus" held at the Three Cultures Foundation in Seville, the aspects that unite both shores of the Mediterranean were reviewed
 “El primer problema que hay en nuestro conocimiento de nuestra historia es que no nos conocemos. Pero es que tampoco lo enseñamos, tampoco lo explicamos en los colegios, ni en los libros de historia. Andalucía tiene dos raíces identitarias. Pero solo reconocemos una”, sostuvo Jerónimo Páez durante su intervención en el último panel de la conferencia “Andalucía, nexo Euromediterráneo España-Marruecos”, organizada por la revista Atalayar la fundación Tres Culturas de la Junta de Andalucía.  “Andalucía tiene

GUILLERMO LOPEZ/ATALAYAR  -  

"The first problem with our knowledge of our history is that we do not know each other. But we don't teach it either, nor do we explain it in schools or in history books. Andalusia has two identity roots. But we only recognise one", said Jerónimo Páez during his intervention in the last panel of the conference "Andalusia, Euro-Mediterranean nexus Spain-Morocco", organised by the magazine Atalayar and the Three Cultures Foundation of the Junta de Andalucía. 

"Andalusia has Maghrebi, Muslim, Oriental and Moroccan roots", continued Jerónimo Páez, a lawyer and expert in history and international relations. The man from Granada, a former Teléfonica employee with a very active career in various Andalusian institutions, defended Andalusia's past, which is more closely linked to Morocco, in a conference dedicated to extolling what the autonomous community and the Maghreb country have in common. 

 “El primer problema que hay en nuestro conocimiento de nuestra historia es que no nos conocemos. Pero es que tampoco lo enseñamos, tampoco lo explicamos en los colegios, ni en los libros de historia. Andalucía tiene dos raíces identitarias. Pero solo reconocemos una”, sostuvo Jerónimo Páez durante su intervención en el último panel de la conferencia “Andalucía, nexo Euromediterráneo España-Marruecos”, organizada por la revista Atalayar la fundación Tres Culturas de la Junta de Andalucía.  “Andalucía tiene raíces magrebíes, musulmana, orientales y marroquíes”, continuó Jerónimo Páez, abogado y experto en historia y relaciones internacionales. El granadino, excargo de Telefónica y con una carrera muy activa en varias instituciones andaluzas, defendió el pasado de Andalucía más ligado con Marruecos en una conferencia dedicada a ensalzar lo que la comunidad autónoma y el país magrebí tienen en común.  “Cuando crucé el estrecho de Gibraltar, llegué a la ciudad del mundo que más se parece a Granada: Fez. Alguien me había contado mal la historia, porque yo no sabía ni que era Fez”, prosiguió explicando el veterano jurista andaluz. Durante su turno de palabra, Páez hizo un repaso de los grandes hitos históricos de los que los Almohades y Almorávides tiene la autoría y que perfilaron para los siglos la identidad y la historia de España.  “El problema empieza cuando con la conquista de Granada en el 1492 por parte de los reyes católicos, se abre una brecha y se enfrentan dos mundos separados”, agregó Páez. Los orígenes compartidos entre Andalucía y Marruecos es uno de los grandes motivos por los qué, a juicio de Páez, ambas regiones han de crecer juntas en el futuro. El discurso de Páez se inscribe en la corriente de entendimiento entre las dos orillas que promueve la conferencia y la fundación Tres Culturas del Mediterráneo.  Rachid Tafarsiti, historiador y escritor tangerino, coincidió con la tesis expuesta por su colega granadino. También lo hizo Francisco Javier Arroyos, director de Andalucía Global, una agencia de la
GUILLERMO LOPEZ/ATALAYAR

"When I crossed the Strait of Gibraltar, I arrived in the city in the world that most resembles Granada: Fez. Someone had told me the wrong story, because I didn't even know it was Fez", the veteran Andalusian jurist went on to explain. During his turn to speak, Páez reviewed the great historical milestones for which the Almohads and Almoravids are responsible and which have shaped the identity and history of Spain for centuries. 

"The problem begins with the conquest of Granada in 1492 by the Catholic kings, when a gap opens up and two separate worlds confront each other," Páez added. The shared origins of Andalusia and Morocco is one of the main reasons why, in Páez's opinion, both regions must grow together in the future. Páez's speech was part of the current of understanding between the two shores promoted by the conference and the Three Cultures of the Mediterranean Foundation. 

GUILLERMO LOPEZ/ATALAYAR
GUILLERMO LOPEZ/ATALAYAR

Rachid Tafarsiti, historian and writer from Tangiers, agreed with the thesis put forward by his colleague from Granada. So did Francisco Javier Arroyos, director of Andalucía Global, an agency of the Andalusian regional government. Arroyos explained the tools that Andalusia has at its disposal to promote and manage relations with neighbouring Morocco, in a relationship of a certain asymmetry, due to the lack of autonomous powers for foreign policy with a non-EU state. "Andalusia reinforces its role through the areas in which it can have competence. That is to say, culture, sports, tourism," Arroyos summarised. According to the head of the Andalusian agency, these areas are points from which it can work to strengthen relations with its neighbour, regardless of the cyclical problems that may exist between the Spanish and Moroccan states. "Andalusia can promote an improvement in mutual knowledge, which is one of the recommendations of the Elcano Royal Institute. Improving the perception of the other," Arroyos added. 

GUILLERMO LOPEZ/ATALAYAR
GUILLERMO LOPEZ/ATALAYAR

Despite the Junta's efforts to follow Elcano's recommendations, the speakers, moderated by the expert on Spanish-Moroccan cooperation, Nourdine Mouati, recalled that only the recommendations on trade, which often tends to dominate all the primes from which relations between the two countries are interpreted, have been fulfilled. 

The speakers agreed that the promotion of cultural, social and living aspects, outside of trade, should be a priority if relations between Spain and Morocco are to be in the best possible health in the future.