POLICE have arrested a trio of men for selling ‘entry tickets’ to gullible tourists queuing to get onto the Rock.

It comes as the new La Linea mayor highlighted the worrying levels of criminality involving so-called ‘frontier gangs’.

Gemma Araujo slammed the area around the border as an ‘epicentre for scoundrels, creating image problems for the jurisdiction either side of the border’.

Moreover she revealed her concerns that locals were being increasingly exploited by organised gangs of smugglers, in part due to the economic crisis.

“This is large scale smuggling that has no link to La Linea,” she said.

“This is not about people eking out a living.

“It creates an image that is prejudicial for both La Linea and Gibraltar and I think it is positive that we get rid of that image.”

The strong comments come after the Socialist Mayor met with Chief Minister Peter Caruana in their first official meeting in the Spanish border town.

In what marks a key turning point in relations the two leaders agreed to promote close cooperation between the administrations.

“It is an important gesture of a mutual desire to improve cross-border relations both at an institutional level and to bring our communities closer together,” explained Araujo.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Gemma Araujo is right, greater cooperation between La Linea and Gibraltar is essential. They are neighbours and should be friends. Now that the idiot Alejandro Sanchez is gone perhaps they can start to rebuild their relationship. Criminals have been exploiting the lack of communication and co-operation between the two sides for far too long and it has indeed tarnished their images. If the people of La Linea see the benefits of Gibraltar as a neighbour perhaps their demagogue politicians like Sanchez won’t be able to exploit the tensions.

  2. There is a simple solution to this problem. All Gibraltar has to do is impose EU tax on tobacco. Bam! instant solution – no more need for ridiculous border queues, no more gangs smuggling cigs all day long.

    But they won’t do it. You know why? They get huge income from the sale of tobacco to the smugglers. And it’s not only the official import tax that they get. There is also under-the-table exchange going on. Don’t believe it? Try opening a business in Gibraltar. As a tobacco seller. It is impossible, because your not in their “family”. You are able to buy a (very cheap) business licence, as if it’s a perfectly normal non-discriminatory EU government. But then you won’t be able to open a bank account in any of the local banks for your new company. This effectively prevents you from entering the market and competing with long-established “familia” that runs that pseudo-country.

    Now I’m not Spanish, don’t take me wrong. I have no interest in bashing Gibraltar and praising Spain. Spain’s side doesn’t play nice as well. With their stupid petty political games, discriminatory practices and overall negligence they are their own enemy. Campo de Gibraltar could have been a very beautiful and prosperous resort. It was a really nice attractive place. But look what have they done – with all those nasty oil refineries, electrical plants, steel works. And then they’ve build this ugly stinky town called “La Linea”. It’s such a miserable place and they’re themselves to blame.

  3. Lets face it, La Linea is a dump. I am an ex pat living in Spain, and La Linea town centre isn’t bad really, but away from those few streets the tourists would see, and us ex pats use, it is falling apart.
    The local authorities live in the dark ages, and I get a real impression that it is almost like a “mafia” set up.
    Its not what you know, but definitely who you know in Spain.
    Rules are imposed for some, and not others, and as for foreigners… well, there seems to be no appreciation of just how much money ends up in Spain frm ex pats of many european countries, and witout Gigraltar on the doorstep, La Linea would be a gost town.
    In terms of their own Spanish goverment employee’s… I thought it was illegal to withold pay under any circumstances in the EU? Why isn’t Europe stepping in?

  4. I cannot believe that this area is promoted as a great place to buy a property! How do the Spanish hope to extend tourism if they do not get their own local government under control. If I make an investment I am looking for support and development in the area to make it more attractive to would be renters or buyers?
    I agree with Scorpio952, do something about it!

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