Zapatero has chance to patch up relations with Morales
4 January 2006
MADRID — Spain rolled out the red carpet for Bolivia’s president-elect Evo Morales who arrived on his first visit to Europe.
In his first diplomatic visit outside Latin America, Morales was to meet King Juan Carlos and José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.
Morales has come from visits to fellow Left-wing leaders Hugo Chávez of Venezuela and Fidel Castro of Cuba.
The Spanish premier will welcome the chance to patch up relations with Morales after a radio spoof shortly after his election victory last month.
A presenter from Spain’s Radio Cope rang him posing as Zapatero to congratulate him on the result.
Morales chatted happily for several minutes live on air.
Only later did the station admit it was a hoax, causing a minor diplomatic row.
As Radio Cope is owned by the Vatican, Spain summoned the Papal nuncio to demand a rectification.
Cope has since apologised.
The government was acutely embarrassed and had to apologise.
However, the two leaders will spend most time discussing property rights.
Repsol, the Spanish-Argentine energy company, has huge investments in Bolivia it does not want nationalised, as Morales has threatened.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news