1 Jul, 2011 @ 07:41
1 min read

Former La Linea mayor Alejandro Sanchez burns more than his bridges

THE former mayor of La Linea has been accused of burning official documents just days before losing control of the Town Hall.

New mayor, Gemma Araujo, claims that Alejandro Sanchez ordered a police van to take a series of boxes to be incinerated.

Many of the documents are said to relate to possible illegal activity during the two years Sanchez controlled the council.

She confirmed that the new administration has managed to save at least one box of evidence containing fines, identity documents, receipts, electricity bills and records of drug raids.

“A police van was used to transport a series of boxes containing the documents to another part of the city where they were burned,” the mayor explained.

Araujo has also denounced Sanchez for moving a children’s playground, worth 4,000 euros and owned by the Town Hall, to the family home of an ex councillor.

It comes as Gibraltar is left breathing a sigh of relief that the Sanchez years are over.

Araujo, the town’s first female mayor, has declared that she has ‘no intention whatsoever’ of implementing ‘any toll, either coming in or out of Gibraltar’.

To this end she has already begun to dismantle the bollards built by Sanchez. She also described his policy of harassment towards Gibraltar as ‘a serious political error’.

Wendy Williams

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  1. “Many of the documents are said to relate to possible illegal activity during the two years Sanchez controlled the council.” That’s pure speculation.

    The only toll that exists today in Gibraltar is applied by gibraltarians themselves in many ways: we had the toll for the road of the Rock (which they rapidly renamed when Sanchez made his intentions public), and recntly we had an undercover toll adressed mostly for Spanish pedestrians who cross the fence. You might perhaps not know that public transport was made free inside Gibraltar, except for the bus line which is mostly used by Spanish visitors and workers.

    Nobody expects Araujo protesting about that double standard. She’s too busy doing her crowded shows, cheering tearing down a 4 inches high curb, raising glasses of champaign as if they had just teared down the Berlin wall. A pictures that looked even more ridiculous when you noticed the real wall in the background. The wall built by the British colonialists and that has divided my country for more than a century already.

    I pity the people of La Línea when their leaders are so willingly commited to return to a XIXth century way of life. A time when the “informal empire” ruled the area and nothing was done without the consent of the Governor. Good times ahead for those who sole aspiration of their town is to be the backyard of a colony, the dumping yard where everything the masters find useless finds its place, some may call it economic cooperation, i call it voluntary subjugation.

    It’s high time for a new Government in Madrid that takes real care of it’s people, specially those who fall under the interests of foreign powers. It’s time to invest in La Linea, let them feel the warmth of its country, make them independet and self-sufficient, cut down the unemployment. Political reason have stopped the emergence of a city, that together with the others towns in the Bay area could form a 500.000 people strong unity in one of the world’s strategicc spots.

  2. I look forward to the points raised by Carlos whenever Gibraltar is mentioned (for their comedic value). In most internet forums he would be considered a troll, but in in the Olive Press I’m not so sure. He really does seem to have conviction in his delusions. Either way, troll, or inferiority complex, his posts are certainly entertaining.

  3. Carlos If Spanish workers and pedestrians don’t want to pay the bus fare they don’t have too. They can walk. This charge applies to anyone, including Brits, regardless of their nationality who wish to save their legs and ride into town. Don’t like paying then don’t. Hardly an undercover toll, its a bus fare. Another failed attempt to make Gibraltar look bad. Its so silly.

    If you are so interested in money and I agree that all amounts matter. Why don’t you actively look into the serious waste of money used in illegally patrolling British territorial waters. Please don’t say they are yours because you didn’t do much to protect them during periods of conflict in 39-45 or in 82 when external countries threatened to attack shipping in the Bay. Where were the Spanish police forces then?

    If Spain wants Gibraltar to join them then it should be friendly not aggressive and constantly critical and maybe in a 100 years Gibraltarians may wish to join you but don’t hold your breath.

  4. Carlos is so interested in money because he is probably on the paro (government handouts) along with a significant proportion of his proud countrymen, and jealous of the abundant wealth in Gibraltar. All the poor “matuteros” (Gib word for Spanish cigarette smugglers) will now have to walk across the border instead of getting the bus. This shows how lazy they are, as it is less than a 10 minute walk. By the way Carlos, I have many friends in La Linea and they are very glad of the work that Gibraltar provides for them (either directly or indirectly). Carlos you suffer from the psychological condition of Crab Syndrome. In short in states that you would rather suffer than see someone else become more successful than you. The people of Gibraltar overwhelmingly want to remain British. I completely empathise with them. Carlos, could you also explain to me why so many Spanish mayors and officials are either in jail or under investigation for corruption? I suppose that is Gibraltar’s fault as well? I look forward to your reply with great anticipation.

  5. @Alan

    The fact that we not always had the means to defend our coasts doesn’t mean they weren’t ours. It’s a longstanding SPanish policy that Gibraltar has no territorial waters (BGTW?, are you serious?). Even the EU supports Spain on this one.

    Where were Spanish forces in 82? Let me enlighten you. You defenitely have to read about Operation Algeciras. If it weren’t for Spanish Police llanitos would have enjoyed the most massive firework they could remember. Yet another proof of Spanish good will towards Gibraltar that wasn’t really appreciated.

    And yes, the waters are Spanish, but we don’t patrol it just for that. Someone has to take care of the drug smugglers! When was the RGP last serious anti-drug operation? Not to mention tabacco which is smuggled by sea in daylight under the Gib. authorities noses.

    It’s been 30 years already of politics of rapprochment, and what have we got? Nothing really, the gibraltarians are more stubborn than ever in their attachment to the status quo. On the big lines nothing has really changed, if anything, we only see gibraltarians leaders strenghtening their rethoric.

    The old promise of a newer generation to come that would make things easier -used by Hassan, and then Caruana- has been proven to be nothing but a delayment strategy. In fact the newer generations are tougher than the older ones.See Picardo’s latest speech at the UN. That’s what Spain appeasement policies have taken to.

    A 100 years? Not even a 1000. No matter what Spain does, at the end of the day there will always be a reason to blame Spain for anything. Hispanofobia is often a perfect excuse to hold on to their privileges, but in many cases it’s inbred since childhood.

    The only possibility to change that is to rewrite the law to adquire Gibraltarian citizenship, at the moment it’s so hard to get that one might very well get the Vatican citizenship first. Look at the Morrocans that have lived there for 30-40 years and will have to return when their labour age is over.

  6. And one more thing, you can also walk into Gibraltar from the other side of the fence, so why calling Sanchez’s proposal a toll? You have still not got that it was an enviromental tax.

  7. @Tomi nabo

    Well so now we have here some hybrid of Sherlock and Freud wannabe.

    Fail guess, all of them. Rather than unemployed, I’m in fact over-employed, so you better check your intuition antennas.

    Envy from Gibraltar? How can anyone envy a country that fits into a postcard.

    If any feeling for the people of La Línea who work in Gibraltar that is of pity. Pity for seeing my fellow citizens at the lowest level of the labour scale. Pity to see how after decades of hardwork they receive a miserable retirement pay. Pity to see how they don’t have any social benefits at all once they cross the line. Pity to see how the colonial machine has managed to absorb their futures cutting any chance of self-development. Pity to see how their claims to improve their conditions are ignored with arrogance. Pity that they get their salaries in a currency that proudly depicts their ancestors dying in the water. Pity to see they have to leave any Spanish symbol at home if they don’t want trouble… Let’s leave it there.

    Crab syndrome? Oh yes, I can’t resist a cocktail de marisco. Appart from that no relation at all. Nice try Freud-o.

    Anyway, 3 fighting 1, and you had to resort to ad hominem at the first round. Shows the strenght of your arguments.

  8. Carlos. You miss the point that when entering Gibraltar you have choices take the car (no toll), take a motorbike/scooter (No Toll) Walk (no Toll) take a bus (a Bus fare 60p). The former mayor of La Linea wanted to toll everything except walking. This would form an effective method of taxation on Gibraltar residents who wish to visit another member state. Illegal under EU rules.

    As for territorial waters the EU does not recognise Spain’s territorial claim at all, but does accept that a dispute is taking place. It did approve a document which is disputed by Britain about looking after the environment in the area of the Bay. However that is under review at Strasbourg. As for spanish workers rights they have the same rights as any EU citizen working in another Member state. They have the right to work and earn a living. More than their own state can offer at the moment. Yes Gibraltar does have some strange rules but they affect non residents equally. Brits and Spanish alike.

    The situation is not made better by suggesting things that are not true. Yes Spain is seen by many in Gibraltar as the bad guy, but many in Spain fail to understand that without Gibraltar many in La Linea would have no money or pensions at all.

    If you really wish to stand up for the residents of La Linea. then you should campaign against the illegal rules imposed on local Spanish residents by the customs team on the border. Everywhere else in Europe local citizens can make daily use of lower taxes and duty in neighbouring state, but not in southern Spain you can make a purchase only once every three weeks. All EU citizens have to be treated equally except in southern Spain, where you can make up new rules that seem break EU law.

  9. I missed your comment on Operation Algeciras so I thought that deserved answering.

    You mean when they were arrested because a local car hire manager thought they were Basque terrorists because they were paying for everything in US dollars without credit cards and called the police. That was a month after their operations in the costa del Sol and costa de luz began. When it was discovered they were Argentine Military operating in a neutral country. Of course they were not interned as they should have been. They were rushed out of the country at high speed to avoid a clash with parts of the Spanish speaking world and to avoid any likelihood of Spain being rejected of membership of the EU.

    Please don’t make it sound like a clever police action. It was simply an observant member of the Spanish public who called them. What was wrong was London was never told of the threat.

  10. Back to Sanchez for a moment …

    It appears he didn’t manage to burn his official Ayuntamiento credit card receipts in time. While municipal workers remained unpaid for months, he and his deputy were clocking up expenses on petrol (€285.000), car hire (€78.000), restaurant bills (€8000+), take-away pizzas (€689) – and miscellaneous expenses of €13,200 including a Nestle chocolate bar for €1.15.


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