Motorists forced to wait hours getting in and out of Gibraltar

LAST UPDATED: 12 Jul, 2012 @ 11:11
27
SHARE
Motorists forced to wait hours getting in and out of Gibraltar

EXCLUSIVE by James Bryce

MORE border checks by the Spanish are being blamed for a long hot summer of delays getting in and out of the Rock.

Gibraltar officials have also cited an increase in tourist traffic and RAF training exercises, which have added to the long delays.

Tourists and businesses have complained to the Olive Press of waits of up to three hours each way when arriving by car.

The problem came to a head on Friday when the runway was repeatedly closed to allow military planes to land and take off, causing huge tailbacks in both directions.

“It took me three hours to get into Gibraltar,” insisted Gerard Kelly, 60, from Marbella.

“My wife ended up getting out and walking in and lots of drivers were giving up and turning round.

“I have never seen it this bad, I’m surprised there weren’t more arguments. It is very bad for tourism.

“A British policewoman told me it was air traffic and that there may have been a problem with a Hercules,” he added.

Vejer Hotelier Anna Garcia, who regularly travels to Gibraltar to collect supplies for her business, added: “The last couple of months are the worst I have ever seen it and, it has been regularly taking more than two hours to get in and out,” she said.

The final straw came when their last trip, last week, took three hours each way.

“Next time we will park in La Linea and walk in.”

The delays are being seen as bad news for both business and tourism on the Rock.

One bank executive, who asked not to be named, told the Olive Press: “This has all come out of the fishing dispute.

“The Spanish police are deliberately slowing everyone down, it is a major abuse of our civil rights and is very bad for business.

“Who in their right mind is going to return to Gibraltar when they have spent six hours getting in and out.”

When contacted by the Olive Press, a spokesman for the Royal Gibraltar Police admitted: “The frontier queues have been made worse recently by increased Guardia Civil searches.

“On top of this there is currently a two-week RAF exercise, due to end next Friday, which is causing problems. “There are 10 Tornados taking off and landing as well as the regular commercial flights so as you can imagine, it has created a huge bottleneck at the border.”

27 COMMENTS

The Olive Press are not responsible and do not moderate individual comments before they are posted. Anyone who uses racist, sexist, homophobic or xenophobic language or hate speech will be blocked.
  1. The border queues are worth it, as the price for maintaining Gibraltar’s freedom. The airport situation will improve when the new tunnel opens, but the Guardia Civil harassment will continue as long as Gibraltar chooses freedom over subservience to the Spanish state.

  2. It is pure obfuscation to insist, as the UK does, that Gibraltarians have a right under the principle of self-determination to remain British and still live in Gibraltar.

    Under international law there are territorial limitations
    to the right of self-determination for transplanted populations living in colonial enclaves where a pre-colonial claim of sovereignty exists. This is the case with Gibraltar which is listed by the UN as a territory that needs to be decolonised by the UK.

    A coloniser cannot legally disrupt the territorial integrity of another State by implanting its own population unto the territory it is colonising. In cases such as these, the inhabitants of the territory have a right to have their ‘interests’ considered but they have no right to unilaterally determine the nationality of the land they live in.

    The UN has confirmed that the principle of territorial integrity complements and CONSTRAINS the right to
    self-determination (see for example: Resolution 1514 (XV) (1960) ‘Any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and the territorial integrity of a country is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.’).

    The UN has repeatedly invited the UK to participate in discussions to achieve the de-colonisation of Gibraltar.
    Unfortunately, the UK continues to rely on a discredited interpretation of the principle of self-determination to turn a deaf ear to those requests in a clearly self-serving way.

    The reason why there are territorial limitations to the right of self-determination for transplanted populations living in colonial enclaves is because otherwise it would be lawful for a group of people from say Ireland to establish an Irish colony on the eastern coast of England and then claim a right under the principle of self-determination to have the land they are occupying declared a part of Ireland.

  3. It’s also worth noting that the current British enthusiasm for the application of principle of self-determination in the case of Gibraltar was certainly not matched by its response to the inhabitants of Diego Garcia, also a British Overseas Territory, who were evicted by the UK in 1971 against their wishes because the United States wanted the island as a military base.

  4. FurtherBeyond I love Spain and have had property on the Costa del Sol for over 20 years. There have been these tiresome posturing delays for that time and beyond. How far do you want to go back in history. Relatively recent history would show that whilst the Spanish were sitting out WW2 Britain and it’s allies were dying in hundreds of thousands fighting world wide fascism. Were it not for the British holding Gibraltar the official Spanish language, for those left alive, might currently be German and talk of territory totally spurious
    Really what is the problem? Spain has re-held Iberia for not so many centuries and the future democracy depends on European nations protecting the continent from threats from those outside. Britain is once more fighting those threats world wide and Spain is or should be part of that fight.
    Bringing up the subjects of Ceuta and Melilla seems to provoke a strangely different kind of argument from the Spanish, when the principles are the same

    From an economic point of view I’ve personally found that ‘duty free’ prices are no cheaper than from High Street UK stores and without worthwhile guarantees. The main stores are licensed and do not carry UK guarantees and the supermarket prices are nothing to write home about. If the Spanish find them to be too competitive then they should do something about their own prices which have escalated beyond belief on the mainland. The UK and European community is trying to sort out the financial loopholes – even this week seeking to grab tax back from a gaming company it feels has avoided tax illegally.
    So that leaves the attraction of tourism which is important for both countries. This is being damaged once again by Spain that suggest Gib is a UK colony, which is seen as bad, and seeks to colonise Gib for itself
    It’s a mad, mad world!!

    This is just flag waving to obfuscate the domestic issues

    Get over it and move on.

  5. Further Beyond – while your factual description of the legal whys and wherefores are quite impressive, it’s conclusion can only be considered a ‘fail’.
    The current population on Gibraltar haven’t been recently bused in from London and Manchester in order to declare Gibraltar their homeland and be a part of the British Empire. They’re NOT a transplanted population. The current population are the product of many generations of Gibraltarians who, yes, were mostly all descendent from British (and other) settlers. Read up a little more on the history of the Gibraltar! Spain formally ceded the territory in perpetuity to the British Crown in 1713 as part of the peace treaty of Utrecht – and this was agreed to and signed by the Spanish in Seville as part of the end of the war of succession. Whether this was right or wrong is of no significance. The fact remains that today the current inhabitants of Gibraltar are the product of generations and have a legal right to be there. Obfuscation seems to be a talent of yours Further Beyond. Times have changed, and so to have acceptable behaviour norms. What do you propose for the Gibraltarians….shipping them back to the UK? or perhaps temporary gas chambers could be erected in La Linea so that they could be disposed of once they had been evicted from Gibraltar. Things should be dealt with from a contemporary perspective, and fascist and colonialist mistakes of the past should not be fought with more of the same now.

  6. glynn

    The fact is that we should close the fence a perpetuity like the treaty and british position and you miss the part that you been taken land since then.To stop go over and over again closing the fence should resolve all the problems for both sides british are proud of their land here,fine but let them with their own troubles too.It is fair enough for both

  7. You can’t ‘put up a fence’ as a member of the European Community. Because you have disagreements with France do you want to put up a fence there too
    Really what is your problem? The La Linea workers want their jobs in Gib, and the Gibraltarians bring tourism to Snouther Spain. Why complicate matters
    Methinks you protest too much and have not defended your position in ‘Morocco’

  8. Glynn you should be more circumspect with your hyperbole as it significantly undermines the force of your argument.

    No one is suggesting that the current occupants of Gibraltar should be removed, let alone removed through the use of force (even though this is exactly what the British did to the Spanish inhabitants of Gibraltar in 1704).

    As previously mentioned, under international law the current occupants of the British colony have a right to have their ‘interests’ considered but they have no right to unilaterally determine the nationality of the land they live in. That land is Spanish not British.

  9. Mr Simpson I suspect that you would be less willing to ‘get over it and move on’ as you quaintly put it, if the shoe was on the other foot and Spain had established a colony on the south east coast of England by displacing the local population and transplanting it own population in its place and then insisted that colonial enclave should remain a part of Spain.

    As previously mentioned, under international law a coloniser cannot legally disrupt the territorial integrity of another State by implanting its own population unto the territory it is colonising. In cases such as these, the inhabitants of the territory have a right to have their ‘interests’ considered but they have no right to unilaterally determine the nationality of the land they live in.

  10. Again no mention of Melilla and Ceuta where Morocco disputes Spanish sovereignty. Gibraltar, Spain and the UK are full members of the European Community and as such live and let live instead of raking over old claims.
    I live in the west of England descended from all kinds of northern European nations and does it matter – nah!
    Let Spain deal with it’s debts and it’s appalling corruption. Do we in the UK hear thanks from Spain for contributing so much to it’s infrastructure through excessive contributions to the EU budget whilst having Spanish industrial fishing in our traditional fishing waters? No!
    Gibraltar is a token issue for the Spanish who should be looking to foster relations with it’s European partners. Just because they can field a good footballing team doesn’t make them God’s Own
    Whatever argument FurtherBeyond (what nationality RU?) puts forward does not hide the fact that an agreement was signed in perpetuity and it’s no good contradicting it now
    I am sure that if they had been a damn sight more friendly, over the decades, the Gibraltarians might have been more inclined to take part in tri-party talks. As it is they quite rightly look upon the Spanish as being bullies. The Britishness in them does not take kindly to coercion and that leaves Spain with a problem which eats away at it – like a wasp that doesn’t fly away. Don’t try swatting it though as you may live to regret that

  11. Mr Simpson it’s not a matter of ‘raking over old claims’ as you assert. The UN continues to list Gibraltar as a territory that still needs to be decolonised by the UK.

    Unlike Gibraltar, Ceuta and Melilla are not considered to be colonial enclaves by the UN. They pre-exist the creation of the Moroccan State – they were Spanish hundreds of years before Morocco existed. In contrast Gibraltar was colonised by the UK while it was part of Spain.

    It is beside the point to refer to the treaty of Utrecht as this treaty created the British colonial enclave in the first place. Moreover, British occupation of the isthmus and its failure to implement all of its provisions means that the UK is in breach of the treaty.

    The UK cannot ignore international law by relying on a treaty which it has itself invalidated by its own actions.

    It is pure obfuscation to insist, as the UK does, that the current occupants of Gibraltar have a right under the principle of self-determination to remain British and still live in Gibraltar.

    Under international law there are territorial limitations
    to the right of self-determination for transplanted populations living in colonial enclaves where a pre-colonial claim of sovereignty exists. This is the case with Gibraltar.

    A coloniser cannot legally disrupt the territorial integrity of another State by implanting its own population unto the territory it is colonising. In cases such as these, the inhabitants of the territory have a right to have their ‘interests’ considered but they have no right to unilaterally determine the nationality of the land they live in.

  12. By the way Mr Simpson you should really get off your high horse about corruption and debt in Spain. If you care to be a little more balanced you will see that the UK has its fair share of corruption and debt issues.

    For example, just one item from today’s news: ‘HSBC was forced to apologise publicly today before the US Senate – and saw its compliance chief resign – over facilitating a multi-billion-dollar money-laundering operation for drug gangs, terrorists and rogue nations worldwide.’ Perhaps you should remember not to throw stones when you live in a glass house.

  13. I withdraw as I don’t have the certainty of FurtherBeyond and have a life.

    As to the banking system then that is another can of worldwide worms. As abuse of banking etiquette and misappropriation is endemic and globally intertwined in that system we can draw no national comparisons

    In the UK though it is not normal for entire local councils, lawyers, constructors, police and planners to be at the trough.

  14. Sorry Fred read “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HSBC”
    I am sure you will be challenged by FurtherBeyond on it
    Hong Kong has of course been returned to the Chinese at the end of it’s long lease. Gibraltar wasn’t the subject of one

  15. Just for the record and to clear up comments preciously made by Fred and John. HSBC Holdings plc (commonly known as HSBC) is a British multinational banking and financial services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom.

  16. Sorry Mr Simpson but your assertion that corruption is not ‘normal’ in the UK is not borne out by the facts:

    The amount of money laundered through the UK each year is estimated to be £48 billion (2% of UK GDP). Source: Money Laundering Bulletin, June 2011

    71% of UK citizens think corruption is a major problem in the UK. 64% of people think corruption is part of the UK’s business culture. 33% of people think that bribery or abuse of power is widespread among the police.
    Source: The European Commission, Special Eurobarometer 374: Corruption, (2012). Click here for more information

    Fraud is costing the UK around £73bn a year
    Source: The National Fraud Authority, ‘Annual Fraud Indicator (AFI) Report’, (2012)

  17. I bow to your superior research and probably intelligence. Someone else want to take up the cudgels for Gibraltarians or let the topic expire?

    Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
    Caught in a landslide, No escape from reality
    Open your eyes, Look up to the skies and see,
    I’m just a poor boy, I need no sympathy
    Because I’m easy come, easy go, Little high, little low
    Any way the wind blows doesn’t really matter to me, to me

  18. Honk your horns in protest.Maybe the La Linea residents will feel incovenienced by all the noise.
    The Spanish have Ceuta and Mellila and the Canary Islands to name a few.Hypocrisy is part of the Spanish culture.

  19. John Simpson sir; You have no idea of Spanish history. The only thing you do in Spain (after 20 years) is drink beer in the local bar. You say “while Spain was sitting it out Britain was defending….”. Spain had a civil war (did you know that?)
    and in that civil war 1million Spaniards died and the economy totally destroyed (did you know that??) and do you think Spain was about to enter WWII with these results?? keep drinking beer!! you probably can´t even speak Spanish.

HAVE YOUR SAY...