2 Feb, 2012 @ 14:01
1 min read

British minister’s Gib comments spark angry Spanish response

SPAIN’S Foreign Minister has waded into the latest spat over the sovereignty of Gibraltar by accusing Britain of breaking agreements.

Jose Garcia-Margallo claims that Britain’s refusal to change the Rock’s status without the consent of Gibraltarians breaches both the 1984 Brussels Agreement and the Treaty of Utrecht.

Margallo was responding to statements made by Europe Minister David Lidington during the British politician’s visit to Madrid.

The Spanish minister vowed to raise the issue in person, despite Lidington only being scheduled to hold talks with Inigo Mendez de Vigo.

Answering journalist’s questions on the thorny issue of sovereignty, Lidington said: “The British Government has a very clear position.

“Our position on sovereignty is well known as is the Spanish Government’s position.

“We will not agree to a change in the status of Gibraltar, unless that is with the freely expressed agreement of the people of Gibraltar and we will not take part in any process of sovereignty negotiations unless that is done with the agreement of Gibraltar.”

James Bryce

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  1. Has anyone seen his face while posing his vision, his tone changed completely and couldn’t help a nervous drink of water after stating his position.

    Maybe he had in mind RN’s 2 destroyers deployed in the Gulf and the Falklands, compared to Spain’s brand new 4. But still , there’s air capability. Oh wait a minute! I forgot about the scrap of harriers.

  2. please Spain do not repeat not talk about legality with English when you have blindly robbed and scammed us for years . put your own bloody house in order before you dare start on us .

    your not getting Gibraltar unless gibraltar wants to go …. and it doesnt

  3. Pal, I do not think there is anything Sober about anista!
    As for Gracias-Margallo, amazing that such an arrogant and inelegant chappy has floated to the top of Spanish diplomacy. He is as subtle and well informed as Sumo wrestler’s jock strap!

    A esto ha llegado Espania?

    Thank goodness that at long last the UK Government is sending a clear message – hope they have some staying power!

  4. For those few Spanish readers of Olive Press who support Spain’s acquisition of Gib without a mandate from the population, here’s just one reason it may never happen.
    To name but one issue, (the list would be too long), it is the huge problem of property ‘illegality’, possibly the most ‘refined’ example of total corruption in Spain.
    It went like this: Junta ignores local town halls who take upon themselves the granting of building licences to Spanish builders on rustic land, (for a hidden fee of course, some of which gets back to planners within the Junta). The house gets completed and is advertised by mostly Spanish agents. Unsuspecting foreigners come along, buy the property, which is handled by Spanish lawyers, the papers are then formalised at the Spanish Notary.
    Note: no foreigners except the buyer have been involved in this illegal swindle, they are just victims.
    Some years later, when the Spanish countryside is filling with illegal properties, someone takes note and denuncias are sent out. But who do they go to?? The Spanish Builder, Spanish Town Planner, Spanish Estate Agent, Spanish Lawyer, Spanish Notary?? No, they go to some poor pensioners who have invested life savings in their last home for retirement. They will live out the rest of their lives in fear of the bulldozer.
    We won’t go into the Andalucian Junta’s ‘slush fund’ being used for parties, drinking, drugs etc. Is it any wonder the average Spaniard evades tax on income? He knows where some of it will go.
    To call Spain a third world country trashes those countries honestly struggling to survive and would welcome foreigners with open arms.
    The stench of corruption is almost always strongest in ex-totalitarian regimes such as Spain, perhaps the European parliament should be given the power to intervene?

  5. antonio2, We have internal problems, but Gibraltar is a piece of spanish mainland….and it should be return back someday….When the british need a spanish support, when spain will stronger than Royal navy or when Spain will richer than England….llanitos will move their feelings….
    I understand the english´s reasons (strategic) and the llanitos´s reasons (economics). But the UN, EU and utrech is with Spain. Self determination in not an option.

  6. AA. All Brits living in Spain want to be viewed as friends of the great Spanish people. We are all European and we all hope that one day Europe will be a united continent with common standards in every country.
    Until that day, when corruption in Spain hopefully falls to its European levels, Gibralter will want to be part of the British system.
    Maybe the next generation will see Gibralter part of a united Europe, not just part of Spain.
    Remove your corrupt politicians of all parties, via the ballot box, and maybe Gibralter may want to be part of Spain.

  7. Gibraltar exists as a home for smugglers and off shore companies avoiding tax. High time we put an end to this. Self determination is not the main issue. The main issue is should Europe put up with tax dodgers on it’s door step?

  8. AA, I completely agree with you. Spain has the right to be upset because current Gibraltar’s political and economic status is unfair, as far as Spain is concerned and, therefore, it damages the good relationships between Spain and the UK.
    The UK politicians know that Gb is a headache for them, and the issue on Gibraltar will have to move on sooner or later. They still don’t want to ‘grab the bull by the horns’ because of the unrest in Gibraltar. The problem is that now UK depends more on Europe than a century ago (Britain is no longer an empire) and a fall in exports to Europe implies a worsening economic status for the country (higher unemployment rate, cuts on public spending, etc.) and this will damage Gibraltar even more. In addition, the rights on sovereignty are on the Spanish side in terms of international law and it clashes directly with the EU regulations and prospects.

  9. Spain feel Gibraltar is theirs because it’s joined to them and they want it.. Now… Ask a spaniard about ceueta and Melilla and the canaries? They are joined or next to morocco.. Of course they want that too..now they know how the morrocans feel.. This is all hypocritical

  10. Broker, you are comparing oranges with watermelon… Ceuta and Melilla, as well as the Canary islands, have always been Spanish since the birth of the nation. Even before the concept of the nation called Morocco. If I use your terms of comparison we could ask, for example, why not ceding Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland? Wasn’t the isle of Ireland politically unified in the Middle Ages under an Irish nation and kingdom before the English conquered it? Or why not ceding the isle of of Wight to France or the isle of Man to Ireland, aren’t they close to them respectively? Hypocritical is everything related to imperialism and colonialism and we the British know a lot about it.

  11. james, well even argentina wasnt a nation when the british had the falklands but they want that dont they, so what do you think of that case?..gibraltar deserves to be protected and treated exactly the same as argentina..half my family is gibraltarian, i am english myself, these people deserve to chose who they want to be, and having a spanish passport forced on them is like you having a french one forced on you, they have had votes on weather they want to be british or spanish and several times they have unanimously voted against spanish, their wishes should be respected, its nothing to do with imperialism, because its the gibraltarians who got to chose, not a forighn power who if you ever spent every day living in gibraltar you would realise how they are bullied by the spanish, at the borders, in the sea, blackmailed etc, and yet the spanish locals dint give a toss about who owns what cos gibraltar gives them jobs too, its al the suits in madrid and its pathetic. with respect, your ideas sound more spanish governmental attitude than english..

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