Spain will participate in the bicentennial of Mexico, but does not plan to apologize

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The Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arancha González Laya, explained this Tuesday in Mexico City that Spain will participate next year in the commemoration of the 200 years of the independence of Mexico, but does not consider apologizing for the conquest, as requested by the Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

In a press conference at the residence of the Spanish ambassador in the Mexican capital, the minister recalled that in 2021 the 500 years of the conquest and the bicentennial of Mexico and that “on this anniversary Spain has promised to participate following an invitation from the Mexican Government.”

González Laya made this Tuesday a short trip to Mexico to strengthen ties in the country, where he met with his Mexican counterpart, Marcelo Ebrard; the Secretary of Economy, Graciela Márquez; the mayor of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum, and Spanish businessmen.

The minister spoke with Ebrard about President López Obrador’s controversial proposal that King Felipe VI apologize to indigenous communities for abuses during the conquest.

“Critical look”

“We we have been very transparent from the beginning: Throughout its history Spain has had a reflective look, a critical look and it has not waited 500 years to have it, it has had it throughout its history “, explained González Laya.

He remembered that fray Bartolomé de las Casas In the 16th century he was already critical of the treatment of indigenous people and that the kings of Spain visited the southern state of Oaxaca in 1990 in recognition of the indigenous communities.

Pedro Sánchez and Andrés Manuel López Obrador at the National Palace in Mexico City.

For this reason, the minister stressed that in next year’s commemorations “it would be tremendously useful Look To The Future and ask ourselves what we want for the next 50 and 100 years. “

The relationship between Spain and the Government of López Obrador started off on the right foot, with the assistance of King Felipe VI to the Mexican’s investiture in December 2018 and the visit a month after the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, who showed good harmony with the Mexican president.

But shortly afterwards the relationship cooled down when in March 2019 the Mexican president asked Felipe VI and Pope Francis by letter to apologize for the conquest, something in which keep insisting Today.

Criticisms of Spanish companies

Another point of friction has originated from the nationalist energy policy of López Obrador, who has criticized several foreign companies, Among them, some Spanish women, who in his opinion benefited from the energy reform of the previous government that liberalized the sector.

Last October, the president of the Iberdrola electricity company, Ignacio Sánchez Galán, said that rule out starting new projects in Mexico if the government of the country does not want it to continue investing there.

González Laya was on Tuesday with representatives of several companies of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Mexico, including Iberdrola, Naturgy, BBVA and Banco Santander, to get their point of view.

The minister promised to “value the work of these companies and facilitate the performance of their functions.”

The second investor

In Mexico are 6,500 Spanish capital companies that they generate in country 1, 3 million jobs. Spain is the second investor in Mexico, while Mexico is the second investor in Spain among countries outside the European Union.

Regarding the regulatory changes of the Mexican Government that prioritize the public energy companies Pemex and the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), the minister insisted that in the sector there should be “transparency, security and clear rules of the game”.

The visit also served to boost the Free Trade Agreement between Mexico and the European Union (TLCUEM), pending signing, and preparing the Ibero-American Summit of Heads of State and Government scheduled for next year in Andorra.

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