Madrid – Some European Union (EU) countries have reportedly expressed their intention to have sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe for nearly two decades lifted.According to the state-owned Herald newspaper, some countries under the EU were considering advocating for the lifting of the sanctions in response to recent political developments in the southern African country. The honorary consul for Zimbabwe in Spain, Jose Maria Camallonga was quoted as saying that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s optimism and enthusiasm towards reforms had convinced some countries in the European block to request regional executives to lift the sanctions imposed on the African country. The EU and the United States imposed sanctions against Zimbabwe in 2000 after they accused ex-president Robert Mugabe of trampling on human rights, rigging elections and repression of press freedom - accusations that the veteran leader denied. The sanctions led to devastating economic challenges, with the country reportedly now sitting with about 85% unemployment."The lifting of the sanctions would mean a substantial boost to Zimbabwe’s economy, especially in terms of foreign investments. Once the sanctions have been lifted and reforms are under way, Zimbabwe can start to attract businesses to carry out investment and projects in numerous sectors such as mining, tourism and infrastructure," Camallonga was quoted as saying. This came almost a month after the Mnangagwa's government slammed the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance for reportedly advocating for the continuation of the "ruinous" sanctions.A delegation from the MDC Alliance reportedly urged US lawmakers in December to maintain the same policies against Zimbabwe.