Spanish company demands MAD 4 billion in damages from Morocco for failed Tamesna project

A Spanish company has filed a request for arbitration with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) to settle a dispute with Moroccan authorities over investments in the “New City of Tamesna” project and a real estate complex in Tangier.

Spanish company Comercializadora Mediterránea de Viviendas SL (formerly Marina d’Or Loger) has filed a request for international arbitration to the center under the World Bank, claiming no less than 407 million euros (nearly MAD 4 billion), through law firm B. Cremades & Asociados.

The case goes back to several years ago, as the company says it “tried to negotiate with the Moroccan government to withdraw its investments (…) but without success,” according to one of the company’s lawyers explained to Confilegal.

The company had invested in the “new town of Tamesna,” building a series of residences. The Moroccan government had promised at the time a series of infrastructures to promote this new city. But, “this never happened (…) the city is now an unhealthy and abandoned place,” claims the company.

The other investment concerned the “Pearl of Tangier,” “a project that has been stopped by a series of contradictory decisions of different Moroccan institutions.” The real estate project “was confiscated and sold at auction,” the law firm claimed.

“The Spanish company was the victim of an administrative blockade resulting from internal conflicts between Moroccan authorities, recognized by the Moroccan Court of Accounts itself in its special report of 2014, which resulted in the irretrievable loss of the total planned investment,” the lawyer explains.

“In Morocco, there are disturbing abuses towards Spanish investments,” said lawyer Bernardo Cremades Jr, referring to “the violation of the investment protection treaty between Spain and Morocco.”

For the time being, the Moroccan government has not commented on this case.

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