Spain fears Trump will renegotiate the Palomares agreement

Andrew Harrer / POOL

US President Donald Trump walks out with US Vice President Mike Pence, right, during a swearing in ceremony of White House senior staff in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, on 22 January 2017.

Spain fears Trump will renegotiate the Palomares agreement


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Spain fears that Donald Trump’s administration will not be willing to clean up the Palomares site in Spain, where a B-52 bomber went down with four hydrogen bombs in 1966.

epa04983670 Spanish foreign Minister, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo (R), and US Secretary of State, John Kerry (L), sign an agreement on the cleaning of contaminated soil in Palomares, at the Santa Cruz Palace in Madrid, Spain, on 19 October 2015. Back in 1966 two aircraft of the US army, carrying four thermonuclear bombs, crashed near the coast of Palomares, southern Spain. Due to the crash, three bombs fell on the countryside and a fourth one in the sea contaminating the area.  EPA/BALLESTEROS POOL

Spanish foreign Minister, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo (R), and US Secretary of State, John Kerry (L), sign an agreement on the cleaning of contaminated soil in Palomares, at the Santa Cruz Palace in Madrid, Spain, on 19 October 2015. Back in 1966 two aircraft of the US army, carrying four thermonuclear bombs, crashed near the coast of Palomares, southern Spain. Due to the crash, three bombs fell on the countryside and a fourth one in the sea contaminating the area. EPA/BALLESTEROS POO

The area is polluted, as the non-nuclear detonators of two of the bombs exploded, contaminating two square kilometers with plutonium. In October 2015, Madrid and Washington agreed that 50,000 cubic meters of soil must be transferred away from Spain at the cost of €640 million. The United States had agreed to pay the bill.

But, then Spain went into a seemingly endless political cycle. From December 2015 until October 2016, Spain was unable to form a government. During that period, Madrid could not begin the implementation of the agreement. Then, the United States had to wait for the November 8 elections.

The cost was of the agreement meant that the Obama administration could not push forward the agreement on its way out.

Following the resignation of US Ambassador to Spain, James Costos, it is likely that the Trump administration will renegotiate the agreement, El Pais reports.

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