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Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Cooks opposition MPs seek EU lobbying over 'bad' fish deal

Divisions in the Cook Islands over a controversial fishing deal have reached a new peak with opposition MPs asking a Swedish politician to talk to the European Union on their behalf. The government is set to sign a deal with the EU that would allow Spanish vessels to fish in its exclusive economic zone for at least eight years. About 4,000 people have signed a petition against the move. The opposition's finance and economy spokesman, James Beer, has written to Sweden's minister for International Development Cooperation, Isabella Lovin, to lobby the EU. Ms Lovin is a former member of the EU parliament and experienced in fisheries. In 2013, she wrote to the Kiribati government expressing her concerns over a similar agreement it had initialled. Mr Beer says the government has been continually warned that it's a bad agreement for the Cook Islands.