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European-Moroccan pact loosens fish, food trade

RABAT, Morocco (AP) – The European Parliament has approved a divisive new fishing and farming accord with Morocco that will reduce customs costs and boost trade across the Mediterranean.

The parliament approved it 369 to 225 in a session Thursday in Strasbourg, France.

Supporters say it will maintain European access to a key market and show European support for Morocco as it undertakes democratic reforms prompted by the Arab Spring uprisings.

Critics, who include European farmers and environmental groups, say it will hurt family farming in Spain and France as well as Morocco and favor big European food conglomerates.

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