CHIEF Minister Fabian Picardo has blasted the United Nations for ‘consistently thwarting’ Gibraltar’s fight to be removed from the list of non-self-governing territories.
In a fiery New York speech, the Rock’s leader warned the UN that the Spanish were acting like the ‘last colonists of Europe’ in ignoring Gibraltarian wishes.
He also emphasised that Gibraltar has repeatedly invited the Fourth Committee of 24 members to send a mission to the Rock, but has never even received a formal response.
“We are better prepared to be removed from the list than many who have already been removed,” he insisted.
“It is only because of the objections of the Spanish Government that we remain on the list of non-self governing territories.”
His address came just days after Spain’s foreign minister Jose Margallo told the UN’s General Assembly that Gibraltar is a colony which ‘plays unfair’.
Strongly refuting Margallo’s words, he slammed the PP government’s ‘neo-colonial and expansionist approach’ and reminded the committee that Spanish ships had trespassed in
Gibraltar waters 119 times in September alone.
“There is no impediment to our delisting other than Spain insisting that the inalienable principle of self-determination should not apply to us as a people,” he said.
“Our nation is the third largest in the world in GDP terms per capita. And our financial services are among the most highly regulated in the world.
“Our sales of tobacco are also the most highly regulated in Europe, despite the annual criticism.
“But on each occasion I have come here I have heard, like today, the baseless accusations of the distinguished Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain,” he added.
In an equally feisty speech earlier in the week, Margallo complained to the UN that Gibraltar’s government is damaging the Campo de Gibraltar, Spain’s treasury and the European Union.
He said: “Spain cannot accept that the Gibraltarian authorities play unfair.”