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Activist protests and absent leaders mark Euromed summit

Activist protests and absent leaders mark Euromed summit
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The protesters’ slogan reads ‘No to a capitalist Mediterranean and No to War’. Thousands of people demonstrated in Barcelona ahead of the first Euromed summit which starts this evening. Security has been tight near the Conference Centre where the summit is being held, the demonstrators were headed there. Among the protesters were immigrants demanding the right to residency status.

8,000 delegates and 30 heads of state and government are meeting for talks aimed at revitalising the EU’s ties with its Near Eastern and North African neighbours. A mass stay away by Mediterranean leaders has, however, underlined the difficulties of doing that. Only two of the ten Mediterranean countries are represented by their top leaders. The summit is set to reaffirm the goal of creating a Euro Med free trade area by 2010, an aim that dates back to the founding Barcelona conference.