Staff Reporter

JOSÉ Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the Spanish Prime Minister, will present the New Economic Forum 2008 prize to the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, in Palma on January 31.

The presentation will take place in La Llonja. The awarding of this prize coincides with the bilateral summit on the same day between Spain and Germany.

Nothing is yet known of the agenda for the meeting between Zapatero and Merkel but tourism, immigration and closer business links are expected to be among the topics discussed.

The last meeting between the two countries was in September 2006, when Zapatero and Merkel met in Mersburg (Germany) to talk about the bid by the German company EON to take over the energy company Endesa.

It is thought that the Spanish Government chose Palma because of the attraction it has for German tourists.
In the year 2000, when Zapatero was the secretary general of the PSOE (the Spanish Socialist Party), he had a meeting on Majorca with the then German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, in a meeting arranged by the then leader of the Balearic Government, Francesc Antich.

Schroeder had chosen Majorca for his holidays and the meeting with Zapatero was the first international support that he had received.

The meeting, which will take place at the end of this month is a great publicity boost for the city and for the Balearics in general, as Majorca is the leading tourist destination for the German tourism market.

The New Economic Forum prize is being given to Angela Merkel for her contribution to social cohesion and economic development.
Many well known personalities, institutions and business people have been invited to the presentation ceremony.


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