CHIEF Minister Fabian Picardo has accused the Spanish Foreign Minister of ‘lying’ to his country over Gibraltar.
The PP’s Jose Garcia-Margallo announced last week that his policy on Gibraltar – ultimately returning the British territory to Spain – was ‘bearing fruit’.
However, Picardo has issued a scathing defence, claiming Margallo is ‘pulling the wool over the eyes of the Spanish people’ as relations between the two sides sink to a new low.
“Gibraltar is British and is going to stay British forever,” argued the former barrister. “It is game over on the issue of sovereignty in Gibraltar.”
“If I were exercising my previous profession, I would put it to him (Margallo) in cross-examination that he is lying: not only in the many things he says about Gibraltar, which are demonstrably untrue, but in suggesting that his attitude has somehow borne fruit… Who in Spain is better off because of the way Margallo has dealt with Gibraltar?”
Picardo further suggested that the annual dredging up of the Gibraltar sovereignty issue by PP politicians could be a ploy to divert attention from their own corruption scandals.
“It is the third August in a row that we’ve seen Gibraltar hit the headlines,” he said, “and it’s the third August in a row that there are plenty of allegations of corruption against the PP that might otherwise have hit the front pages.”
In recent years Gibraltar has faced many accusations from Spanish officials that it is a haven for money laundering and drug smuggling, charges which Picardo resolutely rejects.