14 September 2023
The Ambassador of Spain to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Mr José Pascual Marco Martínez, visited Jersey this week. It was his first official trip to the Island, taking part in a series of engagements meeting with a cross-section of Ministers and senior officials, primarily focusing on taxation and transport.
The Ambassador was accompanied by his wife Mrs Geraldine Dufort-Ravier, and one official, Mr Antonio Casado Rigalt, Political Counsellor at the Spanish Embassy in London. The visit was also marked by an official dinner hosted by the Bailiff, and an informal gathering with members of the Spanish community in Jersey at the St Helier Town Hall.
As part of his programme, His Excellency made a poignant visit to the Slave Workers' Memorial at Westmount Cemetery. There he laid a wreath at the plaque dedicated to the Spanish Republican forced workers who died in Jersey during World War II. The ceremony was also attended by descendants of former Spanish forced workers, and the Assistant Minister of External Relations and Minister for Treasury and Resources, Deputy Ian Gorst.
Upon the conclusion of his visit, Ambassador Marco Martínez, said: "I was delighted to visit Jersey for the first time. I held productive meetings with government officials and encounters with the civil society which made me more aware of the reality of the Island and its concerns.
"I also greeted the Spanish community and paid an emotional tribute to the Spanish Republicans who died in the Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War. My visit will allow us to improve our contacts and explore avenues of cooperation."
The Assistant Minister for External Relations, Deputy Ian Gorst, said: "We were delighted to welcome His Excellency Marco Martínez to Jersey. The visit, marking the Ambassador's first to Jersey, was an important one for the Island, during which we enjoyed productive meetings on matters of mutual interest. We were also pleased to introduce the Ambassador to the Spanish community on Island, who continue to make a significant contribution to Jersey's cultural and economic life.
"Going forward, Jersey is committed to ensuring open dialogue with Spain continues, and to strengthening and deepening the relations between our two jurisdictions."