Royal Navy warship arrives in Gibraltar as tensions increase

LAST UPDATED: 19 Aug, 2013 @ 10:27
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Royal Navy warship arrives in Gibraltar as tensions increase

HMS WESTMINSTER has arrived in Gibraltar this morning after a flotilla of more than 30 Spanish fishing boats were involved in a stand-off with UK military and police boats on Sunday.

The type 23 frigate is scheduled to spend three days on the Rock before a long-planned international training exercise in the Mediterranean and Gulf.

Meanwhile Edward Macquisten, chief executive of the Gibraltar Chamber of Commerce said the row has set relations between Spain and the territory back 40 years, and it was also having an impact on Gibraltar’s high season tourist trade, which usually sees hordes of British visitors from Spanish resorts.

The visit of the wrship comes after weeks of mounting tensions and, in particular, Gibraltar’s decision to create an artificial reef just off the Rock.

The installation of a series of concrete blocks aimed to conserve fish stocks, but prompted accusations from Spain that it would stop fishermen being able to earn a living.

In an unprecedented move, special teams of Spanish customs officials were then deployed on the border, stopping and searching all traffic and pedestrians leaving Gibraltar for contraband.

This has led to huge queues over the last fortnight as people waited up to six hours to leave the Rock in the sweltering summer sun.

The border delays were accompanied by strong words from Foreign Minister Garcia-Margallo who declared that ‘The party was over’ for Gibraltar.

In a raft of draconian measures he said he was proposing a €50 fee for crossing the border, as well as flights into the Rock being denied access to Spanish airspace

The provocation was seen by many observers as a move by leader Mariano Rajoy to divert attention away from his own domestic difficulties, including the ongoing economic crisis and his personal involvement in the Barcenas ‘black money’ scandal.

Foreign Secretary William Hague has said the UK stands ‘shoulder to shoulder with the people of Gibraltar at this time of increasing Spanish pressure.’

Recently Gibraltar’s First Minister Fabian Picardo accused Madrid of ‘sabre-rattling’ and creating a climate akin to the days of dictator Franco.

He said: “The things that (foreign secretary) Garcia Margallo has said are more reminiscent of the type of statements you hear from North Korea than from an EU partner.

“What we have seen this weekend is sabre-rattling of a sort we have not seen for some time. It is the politics of madness.”

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46 COMMENTS

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  1. The arrival of Warship at Gibraltar is a open message to Spain – Remember the Armada. Clearly, Spain can’t win a military conflict, so they will have to resolve this crisis thru diplomacy possibly taking the help of EU or NATO.

  2. Mr Rajoy must be in it up to his neck to resort to such childish distraction tactics. It mystifies me that the European press are not running banner headlines about the fraud & corruption here, that would be far more effective than warships on exercise.

  3. That’s military nonsense – the visit of these ships was planned many months ago and has nothing to do with this issue. They are en route for exercise’s in the Med and it’s
    quite possible that the Spanish navy will take part along with other friendly partners.
    The last thing we need is to inflate the issue – that would play into the hands of Spain’s right-wing Government and the Barcenas scandal (and others) will become invisible and finally forgotten.
    70 concrete blocks is all it took to provide them with massive support and a very effective smokescreen!

  4. Boy what a summer! The Royal Navy has arrived the same as it did last year and will probably do so next year. It will probably mean more queues but there you go. The typical Gibraltarian simply stays at home and spends his money locally until the situation improves.
    Meanwhile, the retailers in the campo area and further afield suffer. This is very much apparent in La Linea.
    These restrictions have nothing to do with artificial reefs, smuggling, money laundering, bunkering, on-line gaming etc. According to the daughter, who happens to work in Gibraltar, of the area commander of La Policia Nacional
    the Guardia Civil were given orders months ago to create the longest queues possible this summer.
    Democracy in action Spanish style.

  5. Antoio2 , read what I said a second time please. I stated that the warships are ” ON EXERCISE “I did not put that they are a task force,everybody knows the exercise had been planned well in advance, but hey thanks for restating the ble€ding obvious.

  6. UK is playing to a old fashioned play called Diplomacy of gun ships. The times of the Opium War have passed.

    The use of the militiar menace for the solution of diplomatic conflicts is suicide for a declining power as UK. Russia, China, India, etc. can learn of this incident and to use the same medicine against UK.

  7. Meanwhile The Ministry of the Presidency in Spain has authorised the renovation of Franco’s monument at a cost of €215,000.00, we can see where Rajoy’s priorities lie.

    “http://www.thelocal.es/20130819/franco-monument-to-receive-215k-restoration”

  8. Anselmo

    Spain is playing a very dangerous game. The last Spanish speaking country who thought that the United Kingdom was a declining power had their fingers very badly burnt.

    Argentina was humiliated before the entire world. Spain is already on the brink of financial disaster, so it will only be worse for you than Argentina, because the EU will refuse to bail out a country who’s behaviour caused one of the EU’s net contributors to leave the community.

    Yes that’s right, Spain’s actions and the EU’s inaction is persuading people in Britain that they would be better off without paying a net contribution of £33.5 million a day to the EU, so that fat Spanish people can lay about all day.

    Germany won’t make up the difference if Britain leaves the EU, they’ll leave too. As a result Spain will become a decaying country, whilst the Catalans and Basques split away to form their own successful nations.

  9. Onlooker you are wrong. This is just an annual visit. Not a call for war. What a load of overblown nonsense, and this warships visit should have been delayed given the circumstances, until this ‘cars queuing’ ABSOLUTE NIGHTMARE(?) has finished. Is there any other actual news that makes any sense or holds any interest out there?

  10. Odd that the Guardia Civil haven’t trained their popguns on HMS Westminster. Perhaps their crews are only trained to shoot at people on jetskis. Doesn’t Rajoy realise the damage he will do to the Spanish economy? Not only the livelihood of thousands of Spanish workers on ‘The Rock’,he will destroy the tourist industry on the Costas. The British ex-pats who selflessly supply the food banks in various Spanish towns simply won’t do it. And who will the Spanish Banks illegally rip off if the British don’t make their retirement homes there? The man is an idiot!!

  11. Lots of comments on this article and sister articles both in the Olive Press and other newspapers saying doesn’t Rajoy appreciate the damage he is doing to the Spanish people. I don’t think people appreciate yet that Rajoy doesn’t give a fat rats bottom about the Spanish people, he is only interested in himself and his hard line supporters. I would not be at all surprised if Rajoy cancelled the next elections saying the nation was in a crisis and continuity of his government was the only way to get out of it. Nothing this man does surprises me any more.

  12. What a sham!!!
    Royal Navy arrives.
    No queues.
    EU considers possible tolls illegal.
    Cameron requested EU observers last week. Today Rajoy asks for EU observers himself, something Gibraltar has been requesting for years.
    Spain officially complains to the UK about the Eastside Project, a project that was shelved in 2008!
    Spain complains about Gibraltarian bunkering methods forgetting they gave permission in June for a company to carry out bunkering in El Ferrol using the same procedures.
    Official papers now revealed state that the Spanish king did not want the Gibraltar issue resolved too quickly because Morocco would increase its pressure in recovering Ceuta and Melilla.
    Spain, who claims to be environmentally in charge of the area where the artificial reef has been created, wants the blocks removed so that fishermen can use techniques illegal in Spain!!
    If it hadn’t been for all those innocent civilians suffering in the queue, this is quite a comedy script.

  13. NIgel Smith – you are seriously very narrow minded. 2013 Heads of Commonwealth State will be held in Colombo Sri Lanka despite the international protest against the humanitarian Crisis inflicted onto the people of Sri Lanka by the Brits and in addition because your head of state the Queen of England with all the other heads of States from the Commonwealth continue to protect a war criminal – Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa who has publicly reasonably vowed to wipe off his opposition – 50-thousand civilians which he has trapped in a tiny coastal area.
    Yes the Brits have humiliated these 50 000 civilians by denying them any protection or just against a war criminal – any means justifies the end – as long as the Brits get their way that is all that counts which is what is happening to Gilbraltar.

  14. SydneyChick
    I think Victoria Bitter is going to your head!.
    How can you blame the Brits for a humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka?
    The Tamil Tigers were no saints and were defeated by the central government.
    How can you possibly compare Sri Lanka’s civil war with Gibraltar?
    Sheila you just don’t like the Brits.

  15. >SydneyChick
    Your lack of knowledge of matters related to Sri Lanka reveals your true intentions.

    Britain had no involvement in the civil war in Sri Lanka at all. Ceylon became independent in 1948. The civil war started in 1983 due to ethnic tensions – Britain had NO involvement.

    All you are attempting to do is attack the United Kingdom by blaming them for wars that had nothing to do with them. Your true intentions are transparent as is your prejudice. No intelligent person would consider that Sri Lanka is connected with Gibraltar in any way.

    You are delusional – go see a Psychiatrist!

  16. we need to surport Morocco in their claims aginst the 2 enclaves and several islands that Spain occupies

    if Spain is raising the tension with Gib
    then raise the tension in Morocco

  17. Today, the UK has no militar means to defende Gibraltar, on term of surface fleet Spanish Navy is more than in match for Royal Navy, at least until 2020 when u guys get your new carrier.

    Royal Navy submarine fleet is far superior but then agaiin in close environment is useless. And the proximity of Gibraltar to Spain will give us an overwhelming land fire power and our Typhoons parked in Moron would have the upper hand. Nuclear armament is out the of the question.

    UK know this. They also know that far more important economical interest are shared by both countries, spanish government fails to realize this, spanish multinationals have lot of investment in the UK, why upsetting british authorities.

  18. DS – I was referring to the initial comment by Onlooker, which should be quite obvious.
    Try to keep your comments relevant by not attacking contributors.
    Can someone also comment on SydneyChicks interesting diversion on Sri Lanka? I have no knowledge of this.

  19. >Lezo
    I very much doubt that you would be an Admiral, because an Admiral would never make the mistake of suggesting that the Spanish Navy is in any way superior to the Royal Navy. Spain lacks the ability to defend against any concerted attack by SSNs. They may have used a torpedo to sink the Belgrano, but they don’t carry only torpedoes. In the Kosovo and Libya conflicts, Royal Navy SSNs were attacking targets deep inland.

    As for the rest of Spain’s armed forces, the United Kingdom has more, qualitatively and quantitatively than Spain.

    Britain also has a strategic deterrent. However, if any nation were to carry out an attack on the UK mainland (or Gibraltar), the British public would expect an overwhelming and decisive response.

    Spain is playing a very dangerous game. By continuing this dispute, Spain is risking breaking apart internally, as well as jeopardising any financial aid desperately needed from the EU.

  20. @rob
    The important point is that Spain persistently refuses to hold a referendum in Ceuta and Melilla on their status, as Gibraltar did in 1967 and again in 2002.

    Many ethnic Moroccans living in these enclaves feel marginalised by their pure Spanish neighbours. The Berbers are forced to live in the outskirts of the towns, are despised by the Spanish people and treated as unwelcome.

    It is possible that the population would vote to return to Morocco. King Juan Carlos genuinely feared the possibility that if they continued Spain’s claim on Gibraltar, then eventually Morocco would demand the return of Ceuta and Melilla (and all the islands) and the UN would agree that a plebiscite should be held.

    Spain’s reluctance to hold a referendum suggests that they would lose the vote.

  21. Admiral Lezo
    Talking about an armed conflict in a densely populated area between two European and NATO countries is just unthinkable!
    Your second point is definitely worth considering.

  22. Admiral Lezo – whoever or whatever you are, such talk is stupidly irresponsible. Only a nutcase would consider a military outcome to this minor dispute.
    Britain and Spain are friends and Britain would stand in defence of Spain in any major conflict.
    Spain will one day receive back Gibraltar – but never while your country is racked by corruption and racism.

  23. Oh come on Admiral Lezo.Knowing the total incompetence of all things Spanish (Iberdrola in New York,Bankia and Santander everywhere, monstrous waste of EU grants,the Ferrovial Group at Heathrow, the Spanish Inheritance Tax,the LRAU laws,the cretins you voted into power)your Typhoons parked in Moron (how apt)would probably shoot up La Linea using their ‘Google’ maps. You couldn’t organise a booze-up in a Bodega. Come on,calm down,stop sabre-rattling. The Spanish people are great. Your PP politicians are loonies. The PSOE aren’t far behind. This is a storm in a tea-cup.

  24. Nigel:

    Nigel:

    Is a fact that the times of the pax britannica passed after the I WW.

    To play to the militar menace with allied nations is a big mistake.

    Nobody wants to take Gibraltar, those times have passed.

    The Spanish economy is in a very bad situation, but I sorry to say that UK economy is surviving by the printing of pounds, a road to the disaster, and in Spain there arent´t fiscal paradises.

  25. Nigel, ‘so that fat Spanish people can lay about all day’, that sort of language is not going to help the situation. I think Admiral Lezo is correct, it would not be too difficult for the Spanish to invade the rock by land even if they took a few thousand casualties. Maybe they could just shut the border. It will cost them much more money to do this in lost revenue / tourists that it would be difficult to see a normal person carrying this out but I have said that about knocking houses down so who knows what way they think as they are not normal financial people,l most are corrupt. How many of the businesses and people would to stay under the Spanish state with their red tape?

  26. Admiral Lezo,

    Why don’t you say that the “Jewel” in the Spanish Navy’s crown has only been out of the Bay of Cadiz once in her three years, and that was on a joy trip to Turkey. Now lets talk about the active service of the current HMS Illustrious and all your batallitas will sink to the bottom of the bath tub.

    Or what about the millions Spain has spent on a submarine that doesn’t float?

    Moron? are you referring to the USA air base there? Yea right.

    No tienes NPI!!

  27. Latest, Spain wants the EU to inspect the guns, and dirty money as the reason for the queues – Coming IN to Gibraltar!!!!!!!!

    Beware anyone carrying a pea shooter, a packet of aspirin or £50 to buy Irish churned butter at the local supermarkets!!

  28. Reap
    Spain’s unemployment problem is mainly a product of Madrid’s financial mismanagement. It seems they were happy to take as much money as the EU offered without thought as to how it should be invested.

    Most of the new housing estates and airports built cannot be occupied. Spain invested heavily in development without thought as to who would purchase the housing. Maybe it was because the politicians were too busy taking the bribes and kickbacks that the building companies were sending them.

    Little consideration was given to the building standards either. Many properties built to sell to foreigners as second or retirement homes were substandard, prone to defects and many condemned. This ‘rip-off’ of British ex-pats gave Spain a terrible reputation – that they were only too willing to ‘steal’ the life savings of retirees.

    Spain’s current problem is massive unemployment and little will from Madrid to solve the problem. Madrid expects the EU to come up with the money, free of charge. I suspect that part of Rajoy’s intrasigence over the dispute is that he is seeking a fat payout from the EU to forget about Gibraltar.

    It would be foolish in the extreme for Spain to invade Gibraltar by land. You know what happened to Argentina. The EU and NATO would simply not allow Spain to keep Gibraltar and Spain would suffer greatly as a result. Both militarily and financially. It would also cause the break up of Spain, because catalonia and the Basque countries would seize the opportunity to obtain independence. Morocco may even copy Spain and seize Ceuta and Melilla.

    I sincerely doubt that Spanish forces would be able to take the Rock anyway. It is one of the biggest natural fortresses in nature. It would take months for Spain to try and remove the forces inside the Rock and by then, the United Kingdom, United States and other European states would have intervened to stop Spain, who would then be forced to pay crippling compensation to Britain and the Gibraltarian people killed in the act of aggression.

    Using force would be futile, because Spain cannot win in the end. Closing the border would not help either. That would merely make more Campo people unemployed and they would resent Madrid for this. Gibraltar can always get more workers from the UK if they need them. They survived perfectly well when Franco shut the border, but La Linea and Andalusia suffered as a result.

  29. Rajoy has fallen for it line, hook and sinker. Gibraltar has always wanted either UN or EU observers to come to Gibraltar so they can judge for themselves.
    We know
    1. Bunkering follows all the required procedures otherwise it would have been stopped.
    2. Financial regulations are as tight as they can possibly be. I, personally, cashed in local government bonds in order to buy a car and when I went to deposit the money I had to provide proof it was legitimate. We have our own tax system but this is approved by the EU.
    3. The queues are indiscriminate and illegal.
    4. Tolls in order to enter Gibraltar are against EU regulations.
    5. We are entitled to territorial waters.
    6. Gibraltar is the competent authority when it comes to local governance.
    7. Online gaming companies are legitimately registered.
    8. We only make use of Spanish hospital facilities when required as any other EU nationals.
    We have always argued the above but it carried little weight because our opinions were disputed by Spain. However, if it is the opinion of international observers then Spain can no longer keep up her accusations.
    No, it’s not a gamble because we deem our case is watertight assuming the observers are not biased.

  30. “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sri_Lankan_Civil_War”

    Read the origins and evolution – the British were the creators of the civil war in Sri Lanka like Fiji. The Sri Lankans lived in peace before the British came along again like Fiji, the Aboriginals of Australia and the list goes on.

    The President of the International Commission of Jurists has stated that the war crimes committed in Sri Lanka must not go unpunished – however they do because the commonwealth lead by the Queen of England protect the President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapksa, who has been accused of war crimes.

    The Queen of England endorsed and is attending the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka 15 to 17 November 2013 despite the international call for all Commonwealth Heads of State to boycott CHOGM 2013.

    I have nothing against British people however I do when the style adopted is a ruthless politics’ of taking other peoples lands by force and causing collateral damage to other cultures!

    Nigel Smith – you need to get your facts right and stop insulting others! Gibraltar is just another British Colony that will only bring more unnecessary disputes to another region of the world.

  31. >SydneyChick2

    Your prejudice is obvious. By your logic all humans are guilty of murder since the first ancestor killed another caveman.

    The British did not institute the fighting that started the Sri Lanka civil war. The natives did.

    Trying to blame the British for something they didn’t do has been a common reaction to all empires. Even the Romans were blamed for things they were not responsible for during the Roman empire.

    Well I have news for you – the British Empire no longer exists. The nations were given their freedom – including Sri Lanka – and what did they do with their freedom – they waged war on one another.

    Next you will be blaming the British for giving them their freedom!

    Gibraltar was once a colony, but it was made totally self governing. The people of Gibraltar run their own country. They want to be British by Self-Determination – maybe you should accept their choice.

  32. Nigel, You could be a polictitcian as you made no reference to the fat people comment. I have been going to Spain for 20 years and have lived there so I am well aware of what you state but calling the Spanish fat, you should take a look at the UK nowadays, I think it is worse than Spain. I think you would like a war. As for the Amercians coming to help, I doubt it.

  33. Seriously though – look at this “http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14114627”
    The fact that Spain still has two enclaves on the North African coast makes a mockery of any Spanish territorial demands to Gibraltar. If Spain and Argentina are to unite, perhaps Britain and Morocco should too. Ceuta and Melila for the Moroccans!

  34. Nigel Smith,
    I like a lot of what you say until you started talking about Sri Lanka.

    Unfortunately you need to deprogramme yourself of all the lies you were taught at school.

    When the British finally managed to take Khandi and steal Sri Lanka from the indigenous population, these people refused to work for the invaders so what did the British do – they imported from southern India the Sri-Lankans deadly enemy – the Tamils. When the Empire began to collapse after WW11 they ran from Sri-Lanka (then known as Ceylon) leaving behind a simmering and bloody conflict in the making.

    Exactly the same can be said of India where over 7 million people died because the Brits simply ran away without overseeing the huge movement of Moslems moving out to form Bangladesh or to the newly created Pakistan.

    The British knowingly put minorities into power in creating both Iraq and Syria, they also armed the Jewish fanatics who were determined to steal as much Palestinian land as they could.

    All these terrible conflicts are the direct result of British (ruling class) stupidity. Don’t forget it was a public school British general who refused to accept the democratic election of Ho chi Min – and so began the Vietnam war.

    Sidney Chick is a hypocrite, unless of course he is an indigenous person not a white alien but the comments he made about Sri-Lanka are correct.

    None of this has anything to do with Gibralter but it is important to speak up when lies are being spouted – both the Spanish and British Empires were brutal, rapacious organizations, unfortunately too many Spanish and Brits are too cowardly to turn and confront the truth – Gibralter is just the latest example of this cowardly insanity.

    Self determination is the only benchmark to use in the Gibralter dispute, all the rest is pure b/s mostly created by lawyers to make money – let’s see if this post gets deleted.

  35. >Reap
    The fat jibe maybe a cheap shot, there are just as many fat people in the UK nowadays, but far less unemployment.

    As for the United States, the last thing they (or the EU) need is a conflict between two European states. They were concerned enough at the possibility that Britain would leave the EU for Obama to call Cameron about it. Not just them, but the Japanese too. You see, America doesn’t really have any allies in the EU other than the UK and if Britain left, the US would find it very difficult to influence European politics & trade.

    Conflict would also cause the irretrievable breakup of the EU. Without Britain’s contributions, Germany would find it next to impossible to fund the EU’s current budget. The plans for the Fourth Reich would have to be shelved indefinitely.

    The last thing any soldier (or sailor) wants is war. However, the Royal Navy is probably one of the best prepared armed forces in the world, precisely because we practise as we would fight. Many United States Navy personnel have been through FOST (Flag Officer Sea Training) and called it the most intense exercises designed to prepare forces for combat. One of the reasons why we did so well in the Falklands.

    We know that the Spanish are a little too free with their firearms. One tried to steal a Jet Ski with one in June. It is entirely possible that the Guardia Civil may trespass once too often in an aggressive manner. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that, but I suspect it will.

    In the meantime, Cameron is taking the slow approach. He’s using the EU to twist the screw on Spain. Denying them the positions they need in Brussels and persuading the EU that Spain’s actions are against community law. If the EU doesn’t reign Spain in, then come the Euro-elections, the EU may find a lot of UKIP representatives elected who will then proceed to block all forms of Euro business until the Gibraltar situation is normalised. The last thing that the EU needs is a successful UKIP elected to Government and taking Britain out of the EU.

  36. Stuart
    It seems that you are also confused about history. One of the great things about history is that rarely does anyone stumble on the full facts, because history is written by the victors.

    With this in mind, many countries when they were given independence, re-wrote the history to highlight the evils of Empire, whilst ignoring the good things the Empire brought to them.

    Whilst I agree that the Empire did move people from one country to another to assist with labour, they mostly did so because the natives were unwilling to do the work. There are frequent complaints that the Chagos people were moved from Diego Garcia to allow the Americans to build an air base, but the truth is that these islands were not the native home of the Chagossians. They were moved to the Islands to work on the plantations. When the Americans arrived, the inhabitants were offered money to move elsewhere, because the Americans needed to ensure the security of their nuclear weapons. So Britain gets blamed because the few that refused to go were evicted.

    The Tamils in Sri Lanka may have been moved there by Empire, but the civil war could have been avoided. Long after Empire ended and any influence from the UK diminished, they decided to go to war and atrocities were committed by both sides. You cannot blame the UK for this, they did it of their own free will, long after they were made independent. Or are you suggesting that the UK should have forceably evicted the Tamils, as they did the Chagossians? If so, then you are suggesting the UK is to blame whatever they did and that is denying the responsibility of those who choose to wage war on their neighbour. The UK had nothing to do with that choice.

    As for India, Britain tried extremely hard to come to a solution which would not force the eviction of muslims and hindus. Indian politicians wanted Britain to go and go as soon as possible. They did not want Britain to oversea the separation, they would handle it and they made a mess of it. That blame cannot be attached to Britain.

    I accept that Empire made some silly mistakes – we lost the American colonies simply because we failed to give them proper representation, the Spanish Empire made equally bad ones by committing genocide in South America, but Gibraltar was not a mistake.

    The people of Gibraltar were given the ability to run their own community and they have been overwhelmingly successful in the face of Spanish hostility. Nothing Spain can do will ever change that or force the Gibraltarians to give up their right of Self-Determination.

  37. SD, I read the article,and it really did make me laugh. Kids in a playground comes to mind with these politicians. The Spanish politicians must think they can tell their population what they want and they will believe it.

  38. Let’s get real here about Ceuta.It is a 7.1 square mile autonomous city of Spain. A recent poll resulted in 87.9% of the people there wanted the status quo. The Berbers go hang. Fair enough. Democracy rules -o.k.? 98.9% of Gibraltarians want Gibraltar to remain British as do the thousands of Spanish workers who ply their trade on the Rock.We don’t say ‘go hang’ -they are welcome because they do a great job and don’t ‘lie around in the sun getting fat’ Democracy doesn’t rule errrr…. OK? Maybe a trip to Gib for Prince William and his wife should be in the offing. After all, King Juan Carlos and Rajoy have both visited Ceuta.

  39. Stuart Crawford – I am not a hyprocrite and I admire your intelligent summary.

    I hope there is a peaceful outcome for the Gibraltar because there are a lot of innocent people caught up in stupid diplomatic row ie the Fisherman of la linia and all the other people that have to queue up for hours just to cross the boarder etc etc

    NIgel Smith – your cheap shots against the Spaniards just escalates this situation into a racial crisis between two EU countries. The last thing I want to see in Spain is what happened in Australia – Cronulla riots “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_Cronulla_riots”
    Your account of history is so wrong.

  40. This is getting ridiculous now.
    The Spanish government says it is going to open up two fishing grounds to safeguard the livelihood of local fishermen.
    1. Why haven’t they done this before?
    2. The proposed western fishing ground is a sewage contaminated area which is a reason why Gib’s Western Beach is regularly closed.
    The second on the eastern side is supposed to be a Spanish area of conservation.
    The Spanish government has issued a writ against those responsible for selling the sand of Valdevaqueros to the Gibraltar Government for the restoration of Sandy Bay.
    1. The sand used in Gibraltar was sold because a drift had obstructed the main road and the municipality had to get rid of it.
    2. The mayor of Tarifa authorised it and he happens to belong to the PP!
    Extra checks are now necessary because the central government believes Gibraltar is involved in gun running.
    Now tell me the truth, if you were a gun runner or indeed a drug smuggler would you try to get your illicit goods across one of the most strictly controlled borders in the EU with all the thousands of miles which make up the Spanish coast at your disposal?
    The central government wants to impose a congestion charge for La Linea similar to the London one.
    1. Traffic heading into and out of Gibraltar does not go through the centre of La Linea.
    2. Even less people would be encouraged to visit the already impoverished frontier town.
    This all sounds like episodes of Yes Minister Spanish style.

  41. Add another one.
    The Civil Guard are investigating the clandestine dropping of concrete blocks at night by the Gibraltarian authorities. This is supported by Landaluce the Algeciras mayor(PP of course)
    1. Fishermen reported ripping their nets near Punta Carnero. This happens to be around the corner from Tarifa and right across the bay.
    2. Spanish night observation devices and radar cannot be that good in this very congested shipping route.
    Another episode but maybe this time from Fawlty Towers.

  42. on a personal and rather small scale i have visited Spain every winter for the last 6 years. Each winter i spend several thousand euros in Spain. I will not be visiting Spain this winter as being British i do not feel welcome..Spanish economy loss about 8000 Euro. Need another 10,000 brits to do the same

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