CHIEF Minister Fabian Picardo has slammed a Spanish plan to create a special conservation area in the disputed waters around Gibraltar.
The proposal – affecting nearly 27,000 hectares – would ban any environmentally dangerous practices including ship refuelling (bunkering), a major economic activity for the Rock.
Picardo insists the action would cause a ‘serious international confrontation’ and compared the current Spanish government to Franco’s fascist regime.
“Let them try, because there are bunkering stations throughout the bay and that will be a serious international confrontation,” Picardo said.
“However much they say they will tighten the screws on Gibraltar, we have to say that this has been tried already.
“That is the policy of the past, the failed and sterile attempts by Franco’s fascist government.”
Spain had earlier attempted to defend the idea of a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), insisting that the plan had nothing to do with the recent fishing dispute.
“It can’t bother anyone to see EU legislation applied to protect the environment,” a Spanish government source said.