Spain and Morocco are progressing with the construction of a 40-kilometer tunnel that will join the two nations beneath the Strait of Gibraltar, as per La Razon from Spain.
Raquel Sanchez, Spain’s Minister of Transport, was expressing that the two countries will energize the investigations of the project, which has been in progress since 1979.
Sanchez stressed that this project is of great importance to not only Spain and Morocco, but also for the whole of Europe and Africa.
At a high-level meeting between Sanchez and Moroccan counterpart Nizar Baraka, the project was discussed and brought back to life. The two conferred during the meeting and the progress of the project was once again set in motion.
The Spanish-Moroccan joint declaration of 1979 is the origin of the plan for the tunnel.
Even though the World Bank, European Investment Bank, and African Development Fund provided ample funding for the project, it continually got stalled because of the diplomatic issues between the two countries.
Now that diplomatic ties have been strengthened, the project appears to have been revitalized.
In March 2022, Spain voiced its backing of Morocco’s Autonomy Plan in the Western Sahara situation, and the two countries have been trying to boost their collaboration since then.
Last week, the Prime Ministers of both countries convened in Rabat, where they agreed to 19 different bilateral cooperation accords.
If the tunnel project comes to fruition, it is anticipated that it will yield advantages to both sides, including more efficient utilization of storage and transport networks, in addition to decreasing the costs of transporting goods between the two nations and of traveling.
Aziz Akhannouch, Morocco’s Head of Government, stated that the project offers an opportunity to “construct the future”, a future he believes will be a “genuine revolution” in many ways between the two countries, according to La Razon.
Morocco has been functioning as a bridge between Europe and Africa, thereby enhancing their current relations. This has enabled European countries and investors to gain access to other African countries.
Though it is anticipated that the Strait of Gibraltar’s depth, wind, and wave patterns will prove to be challenging during the tunnel’s building phase, it remains to be seen how it will affect the cost and timeline of the project.
It was anticipated that the commencement of the project would take place in 2030 as of October 2022.
Despite this, investigations and experts agree that the tunnel is “possible”, and with ever-increasing relations between the two nations and the possibility of more trading, it could be one of the most expansive projects to come.
In addition, La Razon reported that the United Kingdom, which holds sovereignty over Gibraltar, has expressed a desire for a tunnel connecting the city to Morocco, due to the increased collaboration between the two nations.
The Moroccan government has aspirations to draw in more British sightseers and investors by way of this initiative, as well as uncover a fresh method for pushing its products, particularly agricultural goods, to the British market.