MADRID, March 30 (Xinhua) -- Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced Thursday he would host a meeting here with leaders from France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Cyprus, and Malta on April 10 to discuss the effects of Britain's forthcoming exit from the European Union (EU).
The news of the meeting was reported in the Spanish press the day after British Prime Minister Theresa May officially triggered Article 50, setting in motion the two-year negotiation process which will end in Britain leaving the EU.
The meeting will be the third meeting of southern European counties following those held on Athens in September 2016 and in Lisbon on Jan. 28 this year.
It also follows French President Francois Hollande's recent visit to Malaga for the Spain-France bilateral summit on Feb. 20, during which he and Rajoy discussed plans for increased European cooperation and unity issues such as fiscal policy.
At the Madrid meeting, the leaders will give their opinions on the negotiation process that will eventually culminate in Brexit, and discuss the future of the EU without Britain and the possible effects on their respective economies.
A recently-leaked Spanish government report published in El Pais newspaper highlighted that Brexit could have important effects on the Spanish tourism industry and also on the agrarian sector, which exports a high percentage of produce to Britain.
Meanwhile, several peripheral Spanish regions such as the Canary Islands and the Region of Murcia could find EU funding reduced due to Brexit.