The Prime Minister welcomed Jose Luis Zapatero, the Prime Minister of Spain, to Downing Street yesterday. The recent events in Norway were discussed. David Cameron said that both countries had been "victims of horrific acts of terrorism in the past" and that they will be offering every support possible.
Also high on the agenda would have been the ongoing crisis affecting the eurozone. Mr Cameron said Britain and Spain wanted to see "quick, bold and practical action" to ensure recovery and growth in Europe. David Cowan wrote here last week about the very real possibility that Spain, along with Portugal, Italy and Greece, will have to default outside the eurozone and revert to old currencies like the peso.
The subject of trade was also on the table and both leaders expressed their desire for bilateral trade to increase. According to Downing Street, it currently stands at more than £30 billion per year and there will be a trade summit this autumn between business leaders and policymakers.
However, there was one item of trade which as far as David Cameron was concerned was not up for negotiation.
Cesc Fabregas is one Spaniard that I hope will not be returning to Spain!
Fabregas (pictured above with Mr Zapatero and Mr Cameron) was attending Downing Street yesterday to celebrate the graduation of youngsters from the Street Leagues Football academy, of which he is a patron. The Arsenal captain is the subject of acrimonious negotiations between Spanish giants Barcelona, his home town, and London's premier club, where he has played since he was 16.
David Cameron professes to be an Aston Villa fan but clearly for him in football as in politics, the national interest trumps tribal loyalties.
Moreover, considering the dire state of the Spanish economy, the 40 million or so euros that Fabregas might cost Barcelona could probably best be put to use at home rather than being exported to Britain. Throw the mischievous separatist sentiments of the Catalans into the mix, and the Castilian Zapatero might well have been gunning for Fabregas to stay in London too.
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