Most Spaniards unconcerned with Gibraltar disputes

LAST UPDATED: 27 Jul, 2012 @ 10:23
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Most Spaniards unconcerned with Gibraltar disputes

SIX out of ten Spaniards do not think the dispute over Gibraltar is important enough to be part of the country’s foreign policy, according to a survey.

The findings come at a time of heightened tension between the UK and Spain over the issue of the Rock’s sovereignty and ongoing legal wrangling over fishing rights.

Half of right-wing voters rated the dispute with Gibraltar as ‘quite’ or ‘very’ important in Spain’s foreign policy, although this figure dropped below 30 per cent for voters on the left.

The poll, by the Real Instituto Elcano, also suggests a split in public opinion over the handling of the fishing dispute, with 44 per cent preferring to see an end to the hostilities.

However, 60 per cent of voters on the right want diplomatic pressure to be increased, while 51 per cent of liberal voters want tensions to be reduced.

37 COMMENTS

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  1. peter
    No si nos basamos en los hechos,piensa cuando pedisteis ayuda por la fiebre amarilla ,sabes que ha ocurrido después verdad eso no depende del punto de vista si no de las acciones emprendidas que ahora no podemos cambiar.

  2. Bruji, for those who cannot understand Spanish, is saying that that during the time that the isthmus was considered neutral, the Spanish government allowed the British to use it to install tents to tend the sick furing an epidemic of yellow fever, and that they (the British) then continued to make use of it.
    As usual our dear friend Bruji twists things around to suit his or her convenience.

    The strip of sand (called Neutral Ground) which joined Gibraltar to mainland was actually divided into two parts, the British part and the Spanish part.

    It was called Neutral because both governments measured it as the length a cannon ball could travel when fired from either side, and therefore would not be the ideal place for carrying out any activity without the possibility of getting one of these iron projectiles landing on one’s head. So “permission” had to be sought from the other side to install these tents away from the rest of the population, to cure these poor people. It was like saying to them “Hey guys, dont you start firing on us now, we are only trying to get the sick away from the rest of the crowd, and are not intent on any warfare tactics”

    The fact that the British were and are renowned for asking polite “permission” before contravening any agreement between two parties,(or jumping onces place in a queue for e.g.) is now seen as if the whole of the Neutral Ground belonged to them and the British authorities STOLE it!

    I shall not go into the rest of the history because I, and others have already done so ad-nauseum, the war, the, airport etc..but just to remind readers who are not familiar with the actual topography of La Linea. The Spanish side of the neutral ground commences from where the Gibraltar/Spanish frontier is situated. Their part which remained unused until after the closure of the frontier in 1969 went back right almost to what is now the Plaza de la Constitucion.. where the underground parking is which has a fountain atop it. The only overbridge there is across one of the road in La Linea was where their Customs installations were, right there. So really all the high buildings you see on their side of the Gibraltar Frontier were built on THEIR part of the Neutral ground, almost right up to where you turn right when you enter Gibraltar. That is why these blocks of flats were called San Felipe which was what they called the line of barricades they had constructed to defend their mainland in the seventeen hundreds.

    When I was a child, eons ago, you had to board a bus with Gib plates where Casemates Gates are, which took you along past the airport to the Frontier. Then you had to step off that one and once you crossed the Gib/Spain frontier and shown your pass to the carabinieri, you used to have to board another bus, this time with Spanish plates, which took you from the line of the fence right down to the Spanish customs area across their part of neutral zone which was only inhabited by cows grazing on the grasses which grew on either side of the fenced road, then you would have to go past their original Customs building.

    The actual fencing running all along the Frontier perimeter was put up by the British on request by the Algeciras military authorities to aide the Spanish Guardia Civil/Carabinieri in controlling the Spanish smugglers who used to cross in and out of Gib with goods that could not be found on the Spanish side, like penicillin and especially during and after the Spanish Civil War, like sugar, flour,bread, other foodstuffs and penicillin etc..as well as the ever hankered after tobacco.

    So really Bruji, you are either too young to remember or you are just being as demagogic as usual.

  3. Bruji, if you cannot understand English well enough, just get somebody who does, to translate this and the above for you. Maybe that way, it will sink into your dear little head, what the history of the neutral ground really is. If you dont believe me look at old photographs of La Linea. Or just look around and see where all the older buildings of La Linea are situated, and why there are no buildings in that area with over forty+ years of age. The building which housed the Old Barracks for Soldiers in La Linea should give you a rough guide.

  4. Further Beyond, the whole bulk of the Treaty of Utrecht could be considered breached by SPAIN even before the ink had dried on the parchment the minute you tried to take what you had given back by attacking Gibraltar and beseiging it no lesser than THIRTEEN TIMES!! What on earth are you talking about!!! Gibraltar was given to Gt Britain in PERPETUITY..and whether you like it or not..for over 300 years OUR PART of the Isthmus has been considered BRITISH even by your Country until about twenty years ago when you started with this rhetoric. Even FRANCO respected it and there was never anything said about it. Did you know that Franco was actually in Gibraltar during the Civil War in your country? Bet you didnt. Its just like insisting that the Bay of Gibraltar now be called Bay of Algeciras. What the heck!! The Bay of Gibraltar is what it is called even in your maps at the Marine Museum in Madrid for goodness sake! You can see why it was called that by Jebel Tarik back in 710 because it is what stands out and commands the whole of the bay. It doesnt mean it belongs to Gibraltar alone, just as the Straits of Gibraltar doesnt belong to us. It is its proper name, just as is The Bay of Biscay, the Bay of Cadiz, etc…Repeating something time and time and time again does not make it true. Your country is in dire straits, and going on about Gibraltar is not going to make it any better.

    Why dont you put all your efforts and energy in helping YOUR Country get out of the quagmire you have got yourselves into, and leave us alone.

  5. Inthename

    You alredy give me the reason when you speaking of the isthmus well i understand english not as well as you but don,t need to anyway but in reference what you said i just demagogic look you speak of the neutral ground like you had some of it but on the treaty doesn,t say anything about it so explain me why you have any of the neutral ground and by the way GC are not carabineri dont be dramatic was given in perpetuity under the condition that can only be returns to Spain and can,t be self goverment and for Franco i think the half of Sapin is asking theirselves why we opened the stupid fence in 1982 i guess for cry of britain about it but for what i readed it,s was not a problem for us.Great Britain the only country in EU that,s does not belong to them in their words and the only one who need special requeriments.
    In fact what do you think is going to happen if Britain left EU or Spain,sholud we not back to our last status about the fence.you can try to defend the Israel colonies in Palestina i,m sure you do a good job.

  6. Inthename

    And is was not consider British we just could not pull you out on that time you not have “part” of the ishtmus you see but you think you do and build in it in my land so then you came and say no no is was ours like your part not my boy this is Spain and you didn,t conquered any more metres than the fortress the other came with the british diplomacy in occupaied land don,t know how long will take us but we,ll get it back remember the muslims been 7 centuries they said the same and see what came on the end.And you put your trust in a situation long been past Britain can not defend those land across the world forever you can put all the union flags you want the army is gone and you believe britain will allways be for you there but you don,t know that for sure nd when britain can not stand for you just suppose to be some british setlers in our land what you will say then.

  7. Bruji, the Neutral ground was not mentioned in the Treaty of Utrecht, because it wasnt territory as such. In those times it was used as a mere passage through sands, of hardly any value. Your troops set up their camp at San Felipe Barricades, so even after the Treaty of Utrecht it was physically accepted that that strip of sand was not Land. It was all filled up by the British..there were lagoons of seawater in the area called “Laguna Estate” and Glacis Estates where there were ducks..After the end of WWII Nissan huts were built for those returning from the Evacuation, and then the housing estates were built up there. You might like to take another look at CONVEMAR/Unclos again and see how the sea is divided between countries.

    Bruji its not nice to threaten people you know. You and some of your countrymen are threatening us all the time. Dont get too complascent…we wont stand idly by and neither will Britain.And as to the army, my dear Bruji, we have our own Royal Gibraltar Regiment here and they are part of the British Army, with our men trained in warfare all over in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan..warfare eh! not on peacekeeping missions like yours. In fact most are covered in medals won overseas. We even have a Military Cross in our ranks, the highest honour for bravery that is awarded in the British Army. So they aint any pushovers.

    Would you be a good little boy and look at what Paramilitary brings up on google? Run along then.

  8. Bruji- listen –

    UK and Gibraltar were in the EU from 1972.

    The frontier was closed then.

    Spain wanted to be allowed into the European Union.

    They could not because they had a border closed with a EU member, British Gibraltar.

    Felipe Gonzalez PSOE had to open the Frontier so that Spain could be accepted into the European Union in 1984/5.

    Clear?

  9. inthename My my my!!! why don´t you just admit it the British kept the neutral isthmus!! you are full of it. man!! you have to be a bloody politician! But I also blame the Spanish as they had a great opportunity to retake Gibraltar but their
    good heart betrayed them.The same thing happened when Nelson tried to take the Canary Islands, he had his arm blown off was captured but again the Spanish looked after the wounded and sent The Admiral back to England. Kind hearted these Spanish.

  10. Aussie are you for real? The British kept their half of NEUTRAL GROUND. You know what NEUTRAL IS? If you dont I will tell you…No man’s Land. And they did it for a very good reason…WWII… Okay? By the way if you look at your flag, it has a Union Jack in the corner, and we had plenty of Aussies in Gib during the WWII. Part of the Allied War effort.

    About Nelson, pull the other one, its got bells on! Kind Hearted you say, you obviously havent read anything about the Civil War, they were still killing people in the 1950’s and still trying to dig them up to give them a proper place in their history. The Japanese, closer to home to you, might have been kinder to their POW’s that some of these kind hearted people were to their own kinsmen.

  11. aussie sunshine
    Maybe you are right.

    Inthename
    All right big man jejejejeje so you think the Gib regiment can hold a full spanish invasion by their own but i guess is not more than 20.000 Gibs we dont even need to fight anyway but you going to stop us and about the medals we are so peacefull than we are in iraq and in afganistan with you if you do not remember Blair.But anyway if you are sure on your on what,s the trouble with closing the fence wasn,t Cameron who said something about the frontiers and you can trust in your medals against spanish will work perfetcly and doesn,t need to be a paramilitary or a military to fight.
    And big man is not nice to be invaded just by the way you can look your books and see what british do.
    Remember you always had the british support do not forget never that.Imagine than in the future you do not have it for whatever reason you want to imagine and then think on the situation ok brave man.

  12. Inthename

    I’m glad that you accept that the Treaty of Utrecht’s validity is questionable. Spain does not recognised British sovereignty over the isthmus and the waters of the Bay of Algeciras.

    Spain’s sovereignty over the disputed waters is bolstered by the European Union which has included those waters within the EU marine conservation area maintained by Spain. Under EU law, only the member State with sovereignty over the land or sea in question can apply for it to be designated an EU conservation site.

    Moreover, the fact that the UN has identified Gibraltar as one of the territories that still need to be decolonised means that British sovereignty over Gibraltar, notwithstanding its other problems, is increasingly questionable on any grounds.

    You should also be are aware that the trend in international State practice is for enclaves (and yes exclaves also) to return to their mainland, irrespective of a any valid treaty cession (see the following recent examples: Goa; Hong Kong; Macau; and Walvis Bay).

    This trend is supported by ICJ case law. For example, in the Western Sahara case the ICJ found that some pre-existing legal ties of a third state to the territory colonized by some other state could in principle affect the decolonization of the territory (see para. 162 in particular).

    On the facts of that case, the Court did not find that such legal ties existed between Morocco and the Mauritanian entity and Western Sahara, and therefore it did not specify what the precise effect of such ties could be. Arguably, however, if a third state had title over the territory, which was usurped by the colonizer, this would have an effect of limiting the right of a people of that territory to internal, rather than external self-determination, as is indeed normally the case.

    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).

    Nevertheless, 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.

  13. Marcelo 16 years of closure didnt make us think the way you want us to think and we were never in jail, we visited more countries that you could possibly think of, you know why? We saved the billions of pounds we used to spend in your country and used it for worldwide holidays. Close the Frontier and see the world, was our motto then. Problem is that your many thousands of countrymen working in my country will have to suffer the consequences of your anachronistic mentality. Where are you going to find them employment? With over 5.6 million out of work and growing in your country, you tell me.

  14. FB

    Its the Bay of Gibraltar….but you can call it whatever you like if it turns your lights on. For me, I prefer to call the bay by its Proper Name.

    And I didnt say the Treaty of Utrecht is invalid, if it were you would have to return Menorca and Florida back to UK. What I am questioning is the no jews, no moors, slaves, no sea no sky. Because These days, 2012, none of these are valid any more or do you want to return to the “Ley de Pernada” .

  15. Further Beyond: Lets talk posessions, theft, and murder.

    719 that was the date the Moors captured Gibraltar and from there the rest of Andalucia up to Cordoba. Look at the legacy they left you. If it had not been for the Andalusi Epoch what would you show the tourists? Miles of beaches?

    And now I ask you What about returning what you took away from the Sephardi Jews, their homes, their posessions,their lands and what about what you took away from the Andalusis the Arabs? How about asking for all that money,land, homes, castles, mosques, synagogues, jewels, gold. How about the millions your Inquisidores killed Further Beyond, why dont you apologise to their descendants for that? How about it Further Beyond???

    Then once you have apologised and returned everything, we can start talking about Gibraltar, ok?

  16. El que reciba de que muchacho, la excusa es cuando dices que los demás españoles pensemos en nuestros compatriotas que trabajan allí, piensa lo que quieras jajajajaj ,si yo además pienso que es mejor cerrar la verjita ,para no tener que seguir aguantando como lloras a los ingleses además ya que sois completmente independientes jejejejeje pues nada ,hay que ver como te quejas chico.
    La verdad es lo mejor que podemos hacer cerrarla y no abrirla hasta que se hable de soberanía que no se habla por vuestra parte pues no se abre así de sencillo sin problemas y sin demgogias.
    Puede que no vea el Gibrltar español ,tampoco lo esperaba, pero si la estúpida verja cerrda y así nos olvidamos de vosotros y viceversa todos felices nosotros en nuestro país y vosotros en vuestra roca como le decís.Take it easy big man.

  17. Inthename
    I ask you What about returning what you took away from the Sephardi Jews, their homes, their posessions,their lands and what about what you took away from the Andalusis the Arabs

    You re so funny man jjajaja how you twist the facts you wrote about the ivasión of the Omeyas but then you asked us for sephardi and arabs but you wrote before about their invasión what about the arabs in 719 what they stole when they came and you wrote by yourself take the point.

    Why don,t you spek about the british royalty and what they returned and done to their people jajajajajajaja.

    And for your info Inquisition was not only in Spain.

  18. paco

    A franco te lo puedes meter en el culo que utilizaba moros para matar españoles por si lo has olvidado la república usaría extranjeros pero eran europeos toma nota.

    Ni de izquierdas ni de derechas hay que ser para ir a la guerra.

  19. Inthename

    What no mention of the English Inquisition? Why do keep trying to raise irrelevancies that have nothing to do with the facts at issue?

    As recently as the late 1890s the Australian Aborigines were being hunted for sport by the British. During the same period they completely exterminated the Tasmanian Aborigines. However, like your references to the Spanish Inquisition, they have no relevance to the fact that the UN lists Gibraltar as a territory that still needs to be decolonised by the UK.

    It is the UK, not Spain that needs to shed the last vestiges of its anachronistic empire.

    Are you still smarting from the fact that the EU has chosen to recognise Spanish, not British sovereignty over the Bay of Algeciras (Spain does not recognise UK sovereignty over the bay and it therefore has a right to call it whatever it likes)?

    By the way, if you’re going to raise irrelevant issues you might consider being a little more balanced.

    For example, you talk about the Spanish Inquisition but you neglect to mention what the English did to the Jews during the York Pogrom of 1190 AD.

    You should also be more careful about who you choose to exalt in your irrelevant references. Bear in mind that the first large pogrom against the Jews in Europe (over 3,000 massacred) was carried out by your heroes the Moors in 1066 while occupying Spanish Granada. Maybe that legacy should also be considered as well.

    My references to the historical record are simply a response to your references and are only meant to add balance to your otherwise very slanted view of history.

    Despite your many protestations to the contrary, you’re the one that is actually refusing to acknowledge today’s reality.

    It is not ancient history that the UN still lists Gibraltar as a territory that needs to decolonised. Those resolutions are not 300 years old. They are the present day reality that you and those of your ilk continually refuse to acknowledge.
    Gibraltar’s current status as a colony also serves to distinguish it from the other territories you have mentioned (Ceuta, Melilla, Yugoslavia etc).

    That status also put into question the UK’s claim to sovereignty over Gibraltar. In addition to the several UN resolutions requiring Gibraltar’s decolonisation, there is also the fact that the current trend in international State practice is for colonial enclaves to return to the mainland, irrespective of a valid treaty cession (see the following recent examples: Goa; Hong Kong; Macau; and Walvis Bay).
    This trend is supported by current ICJ case law. For example, in the Western Sahara case the ICJ found that some pre-existing legal ties of a third state to the territory colonized by some other state could in principle affect the decolonization of the territory (see para. 162 in particular). On the facts of that case, the Court did not find that such legal ties existed between Morocco and the Mauritanian entity and Western Sahara, and therefore it did not specify what the precise effect of such ties could be.
    Arguably, however, if a third state had title over the territory, which was usurped by the colonizer, this would have an effect of limiting the right of a people of that territory to internal, rather than external self-determination, as is indeed normally the case.

    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).

    While you may have a right to have your ‘interests’ considered in the discussion over sovereignty between the UK and Spain that the UN has called for, as an occupant of a colony that needs to be decolonised you have no right to unilaterally determine the nationality of the land you occupy.

    Unpleasant as this maybe for you and your ilk – those are the facts.

  20. Chamberland who? The ex UK Prime Minister? Rofl no no please far from it. I wouldnt even think of selling my country dont the river. If you think I am Chamberland the gentleman who writes in the Panorama and the Chronicle, what an honour. He writes very well and knows his subject. But no, sorry to disappoint you. Im neither. Im much younger than Mr. Chamberland if that is the one you are referring to, but much like he and others like him, I have been on the receiving end of Spain’s “friendly” overtures towards Gibraltar from an early age. I have had the great honour of working with the best of Gibraltarian..??…God rest his soul… (now wouldnt you like to know). Something good is always prone to rub off on you.

  21. I live in Brazil as a British Ex-pat. Throughout the 400s years of colonial era it was by far Spain and Portugal that commited 80% of colonial crimes related to forced occupation, human brutality, total genocide of the aztecs, incas and 98% american indians (100 times worse than Hitler ever achieved) and the set-up industrial enslavment and murder of millions africans. The spanish and portuguese were the chief operators and owners of the slave industy – not the british whom were simply paying customers, a considerable crime in itself but petty in comparison and numbers.
    However in the years that follows both their demise, one would think humble pie and dignified reflection would be needed for the spainish consciencness. But it is only Spain and its most loyal and similar-in-cultured ex-colony – Argentina that do the most shouting against for disputes over tiny pieces of land that were acquired by Britain under very legal, peaceful and fair means.

  22. Gib & Falklands have made it clear, very clear by way of a referendum vote…and the wish of the people has to be respected… so to one and all …the flag keeps flying… ! Spain / Argentina etc…. should simply accept the fact that these people have no wish to change…END OF STORY…. move on….!!!!

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