14 Jul, 2012 @ 12:16
1 min read

Gibraltar hits back at Spanish ‘delaying tactic’ claims

gibraltar fishing dispute delaying tactics diary issue

By Helen Pierpoint

GIBRALTAR has hit back at accusations it is using ‘delaying tactics’ over the fishing dispute after a meeting was cancelled at short notice.

Representatives for Spanish fishermen in La Linea and Algeciras claimed Gibraltar was ‘making fools’ of them after a meeting between a Spanish oceanographer and members of the independent commission set up to handle the dispute failed to take place.

But officials on the Rock insist the no-show was simply a ‘diary issue’ after the Spanish gave just two days notice.

“The working group is still within the original timeframe of 60 days,” a Government spokesman said.

“When the Government receives the report, it will have the scientific basis for an informed consideration of possible action.”

Meanwhile Spanish fishing spokesman Pedro Maza said: “We want the commission to complete its report and for Gibraltar to come to a decision whatever the outcome.’’

The talks come amid continued clashes between Spanish fishermen and Gibraltar police, with Spain’s Minister for Agriculture Miguel Arias Canete vowing to continue offering ‘full protection’ to its fishermen.


  1. It’s about time that the UK relinquished its anachronistic,imperialist toe-hold in continental Europe.

    It is pure obfuscation to insist, as the UK does, that Gibraltarians have a right under the principle of self-determination to remain British and still live in Gibraltar.

    Under international law there are territorial limitations
    to the right of self-determination for transplanted populations living in colonial enclaves where a pre-colonial claim of sovereignty exists. This is the case with Gibraltar which is listed by the UN as a territory that needs to be decolonised by the UK.

    A coloniser cannot legally disrupt the territorial integrity of another State by implanting its own population unto the territory it is colonising. In cases such as these, the inhabitants of the territory have a right to have their ‘interests’ considered but they have no right to unilaterally determine the nationality of the land they live in.

    The UN has confirmed that the principle of territorial integrity complements and CONSTRAINS the right to
    self-determination (see for example: Resolution 1514 (XV) (1960) ‘Any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and the territorial integrity of a country is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.’).

    The UN has repeatedly invited the UK to participate in discussions to achieve the de-colonisation of Gibraltar.
    Unfortunately, the UK continues to rely on a discredited interpretation of the principle of self-determination to turn a deaf ear to those requests in a clearly self-serving way.

    The reason why there are territorial limitations to the right of self-determination for transplanted populations living in colonial enclaves is because otherwise it would be lawful for a group of people from say Ireland to establish an Irish colony on the eastern coast of England and then claim a right under the principle of self-determination to have the land they are occupying declared a part of Ireland.

  2. I’m sure you’re correct FB, in your technical analysis but the fact is that Gibraltar has been British territory for nearly 300 years. Its population has grown naturally over that huge period of time to include people of all races. It is not a ‘transplanted population’.
    Gibraltar has been an absolutely vital base for all of those 300 years, not just in protecting British, but European interests, starting with the war against piracy, which ensured the free flow of trade for all nations using the Straits and ending with the last war.
    Would your support for ‘de-colonisation’ have been as strong in the Franco era? If not why not and why do you think Gibraltarians don’t want Spanish masters now? How about Spain showing good faith by ‘de-colonising’ Ceuta, Melilla, the Canary Islands, etc? They all possess transplanted populations to the detriment of the indigenous peoples.
    One day political and corruption standards within Spain might rise to those of the UK, maybe then will Gibraltarians accept Spanish sovereignty.

  3. antonio2

    The current occupants of Gibraltar are the descendants of economic immigrants who were encouraged by the British to come to the Rock to service their military base over three hundred years after displacing by force the original Spanish population in 1704. They therefore meet the definition of a non-indigenous transplanted population.

    As previously mentioned, under international law a coloniser cannot legally disrupt the territorial integrity of another State by implanting its own population unto the territory it is colonising. In cases such as these, the inhabitants of the territory have a right to have their ‘interests’ considered but they have no right to unilaterally determine the nationality of the land they live in.

    Ceuta and Melilla are not part of Morocco as they pre-exist the creation of the Moroccan State – they were Spanish hundreds of years before Morocco existed. In contrast Gibraltar was colonised by the UK while it was part of Spain.

    This is the reason why Gibraltar, unlike Ceuta and Melilla, is listed by the UN as a colonial enclave that needs to be de-colonised.

  4. Spain’s continuing insitence that the situation in Ceuta and Melilla is “totally different” because the Moroccan state, as we now know it, did not exist at the time the exclaves were established is totally solipsistic. The argument is self-serving and illogical. Spain took those territories because they were strategically useful and has held on to them ever since, regardless of the indigenous population. By the Spanish argument, one could also claim that Spain, as we know it today, did not exist at the time of the Treaty of Utrecht and it consisted as a fragmented and fragile amalgam of provinces that was clearly in a period of transition. But let us rather be more objective and accept that the history of Europe has always been one of conquest and reconquest. The entire political map of Europe has changed many times and it is now the way it is. Your argument FB about Irish people (or any other people for that matter) settling in the East of England and establishing a colony is pure obfuscation, because it would not be tolerated. The fact is that Gibraltar was legally ceded to England by Spain almost 300 years ago. Any arguing of that fact is merely a typical (and cyclical) Spanish attempt to divert attention away from problems at home. The population in Gibraltar has established itself over three hundred years and now has its own heritage independent of both Spain and England. Any attempt to force Spanish sovereignty onto the occupants of Gibraltar would be a huge violation of their human rights.

  5. And talking about Ceuta and transplanted people. Was it not Spain who made sure there were enough transplanted Castillians in this city when “by popular choice” their citizens went from being a Portugese conquered territory to a Spanish “enclave” Others would still call it colony. The Ceuta flag still has the colours of Portugal and its King’s ensign today. Spain has “transplanted” many Castillians in many territories, including their own! Solipsistic is putting it mildly. Just because Ceuta and Melilla are not in the list of territories waiting to be decolonised in the UN does not detract from the fact that they too are a part of the so called “integrity” of another country, Morocco.

  6. Gibraltar is not part of Spanish “territorial integrity” in fact if we go back to how the Mediterranean basin itself was formed it is a known and proven fact that the Rock itself is more akin to that which is found in the Atlas Mountains across the Straits than to any found in the surrounding area. In fact smaller remnants of the same type of rock can be found scattered over the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsular , like for example the one off Benidorm aptly called “Calpe” funnily enough. If Mr FurtherBeyond wants to go back centuries, let him not stop at the 18th..let us go even further back..!

  7. Mr. Further Beyond, you need glasses to see whats near and very clear, 98% of the Gibraltarians have voted to stay a British Territory …..

    You evidently don’t think ETA is a problem ?

  8. Inthename

    Yes but let get further Ceuta and Melilla were Roman and Carthaginese.
    Look in to the books we were romans on the center of Spain and Carthaginese at north africa Anibal,Carthago take the city on the “Guerras Púnicas” but then the romans defeat him so was roman again is extacly same as Gibraltar.

    C. Good

    ETA is not a problem that we can,t handle and is british territory just for economy when you,ll have a bad situation or a problem ith territorial integrity none will step up for your old conquest and their will be 28.000 british people invading Spain and beyond the support for britain.

  9. Bruji,

    Your translate engine or whatever you are using is not quite getting your message across. You cant go further than the example I have given..because Gibraltar did not exist before that, it was only a big lump of rock that landed on its side from another continent, the African continent so really its not part of the landmass of Iberia at all, contrary to Ceuta, Melilla and why not, Olivenza. Our good friend FurtherBeyond seems to forget the Portugese are waiting for it to be given back as promised. And what about the Canary Islands, are those part of the Spanish territorial integrity too?

    But if I can more or less make out what you are saying…if we go back far enough..frontiers were not what they are today, the people who lived in those countries mostly are not who they were then. Can you imagine what it would mean having to go back to the frontiers that existed then? The Iberian peninsular itself was divided into different kingdoms. Spain had parts of Italy, Sicilly, Holland… England was populated by Saxons invaded by the Normans etc etc..We are talking about people here and their rights to the land they have inhabited for over 300 years, given in perpetuity to England by your country…you just cannot have it back..it isnt yours any more, you signed it away in 1714. And, no sorry, we cant marry off one of our princesses to one of your prince’s either to intergrate the territory ..that custom went out a long long time ago.

  10. It is not only Spain that insists that the UK should comply with its international law obligations and relinquish its imperialist toe-hold in continental Europe.

    As previously mentioned, unlike Ceuta, Melilla and the Canary Islands, the UN lists Gibraltar as a territory that still needs to be decolonised by the UK.

    It is beside the point to refer to the treaty of Utrecht as this treaty created the British colonial enclave in the first place. Moreover, British occupation of the isthmus and its failure to implement all of its provisions means that the UK is in breach of the treaty.

    The UK cannot ignore international law by relying on a treaty which it has itself invalidated by its own actions.

    It is pure obfuscation to insist, as the UK does, that Gibraltarians have a right under the principle of self-determination to remain British and still live in Gibraltar.
    Under international law there are territorial limitations
    to the right of self-determination for transplanted populations living in colonial enclaves where a pre-colonial claim of sovereignty exists. This is the case with Gibraltar.

    By the way, the UK’s new found support for the principle of self-determination for its transplanted population in Gibraltar stands in stark contrast with its treatment of the inhabitants of Diego Garcia, who were involuntarily, and in some cases forcibly, relocated to other islands in the Chagos Archipelago, or to Mauritius or Seychelles by Britain in 1971 to satisfy the requirements of a UK/US Exchange of Notes signed in 1966 to depopulate the island when the US constructed a base upon it.

  11. Further Beyond

    Since you seem to be so worried about the people of Diego Garcia, why didnt your country offer them “in perpetuity” the Spanish islands they have in Melanesia? Surely, since you dont use them because they are of no great value to you, you could have done them that great humanitarian favour, or maybe return the islands to Japan?


    The security of the World put on a balance scale against a few people, even though it is a great shame that they had to be re located to where there were cities with the minimal at least of infrastructure which they did not have in those islands? Even though I feel for them I think in that case the Security of the World takes precedence, just as it did during the second World War, when thousands of Gibraltarian men those who were not required for the war effort, women and children had to be moved out of Gibraltar to make way for the Allied troops until well into the 1950’s, especially with a country beside it that was sitting on the fence, so to speak. It was a sacrifice we the Gibraltarians had to make for the safety of the world against the AXIS and their allies, and it was due to our great resolution, endeavour and love for our country that we were returned to our homeland and nobody, but nobody, is going to move us out any more, just for the sake of boosting their pride and “territorial” integrity. We have right to self determination and the freedom to choose what we want to be.

    Further Beyond, what would you do without your ever present cry of “Gibraltar Espanol” in your country’s times of crisis? What would you use as a smokescreen?You dont really want Gibraltar, its just force of habit.

  12. Further Beyond…What International Law are you referring to and when was this law implemented for the first time? In 1704 when Gibraltar was conquered by Anglo/Dutch forces no such laws were not in existance. Countries invaded other countries at whim and by force…remember WWI and WWII and why the great majority of nations took up arms against invading forces? Take a look at international history books, not just the ones imposed on the Spanish people in the Franco era and which have not yet been revised..maybe if they had been…young Spaniards would have a different outlook on their own history.

  13. The USA was once a British ‘colony’, but they fought-for and won their independence, becoming the most powerful of world nations.
    Gibraltar is a British ‘colony’ of roughly the same period, but wishes to remain British.
    The difference is in size, but Gibraltar’s diminutive size cannot silence their democratic rights, in this case a decision not to become part of Spain.
    They will fight tooth-and-nail to preserve their present status, even if Britain caved in to UN pressure. A bloodbath would ensue.
    It should not be forgotten that Gibraltar was a haven for Spanish refugees during the Civil War. Also, had it been ceded back to Spain then the Hitler-Franco-Mussolini pack of thugs would have had fantastic control over the Mediterranean during WW11, quite apart from smashing even more cities in their bombing campaigns during the Civil War.
    You have to ask the simple question, “why do Gibraltarians not want Spain as their masters?”
    And be ready for some uncomfortable truths. Confronting these truths head-on might one day see Gibraltar happily reunited with Spain.
    Until that day, Spanish politicians use of Gibraltar as a sort of rallying cry, like some third-rate country in desperate need of cheap support, can only damage the whole concept of a united Europe and render agreement on Gibraltar’s future even more distant.

  14. My keyborad is getting too old sorry ,you are wrong we gave you in perpetuity yes but under the condition that can only returns to Spain do not forget this fact and what do you say of your airport or the isthmus that was signed too in 1714 you are a smart one no doubt jejejejje also we now you a little more and we now you,ll try to take more and more land jajajajaja pirates are pirates my friend no matter how they look.
    Your people been three centuries here and they been taken land since then,the rest are some excuses and justifications for the british position the day that problem will explote the british people in Spain and spanish people in Britain and Gibrltarians will be affected for it.
    Never understood why we side with you against Napoleon.

  15. You see Bruji, you dont even know your own history, except that reinvented by the Franco Regime. The British were the ones who bailed you out during the war with Napoleon my dear. If it had not been for the Duke of Wellington and the British troops you would be parlaiz-ing in Francais! Maybe with hindsight the Iron Duke should have stayed home in bed!

    The isthmus was a very thin strip of deposited sand caused by the tides from the Bay of Gibraltar and from its opposite eastern side on the Mediterranean. Look at an old map and you will see for yourself just what the isthmus was before the British build an airport to ward off the Axis from having the free reins to the Mediterranean whilst the Spanish people were licking their wounds after Guernica. The isthmus my dear Bruji was divided into two..the neutral ground until then, your country also agreeing not to build anything up to what is now the Frontier, because it was considered to be the measurement of what a canon ball could travel from either side during the Seiges to Gibraltar…minutes after the ink had dried on the Treaty of Utrecht. On our side there were gardens, and a racecourse enjoyed later in more civilised times by both Spanish officials and the British..on your side barren saltpetre marshes with a few cows venturing in to graze. Then the WWII came along, the airport was built and when the Frontier closed in 1969, when families were separated and were unable to even speak on the phone by order of the Generalisimo, your side started to build up the area too. Well enough, tit for tat, and acceptable. But dont come now saying that what you see now was what was in 1704 when Gib was taken and in 1714 when it was signed over in Perpetuity (for ever) unless Britain wished to leave, which it doesnt, and you would be given the first option…which as you must realise will never be the case.

    We, the Gibraltarians have taken no land from anybody. The new blocks of flats you can see were built inside our harbour, for our people to live in and we filled up in our British Territorial waters, just as Spain has across in Algeciras taken up and filled almost one third of what was their part of the Bay of Gibraltar, so much so that we can actually see them having their siesta in between breaks without binoculars.

    And, one last thing. Gibraltar before the Moorish invasion of Andalucia was not populated. Much like the Isle of Perejil it was merely used for goats to graze on as there were no fresh water wells and was too rocky to build on. It was only after the Moors were thrown out the second time that “a trasplanted population” of ne’er do wells and people paid for by the Castillians for “uprooting” themselves and then “transplanting” themselves came in and took over what the Moors had built. The Cathedral of St. Mary the Crowned was actually a Mosque. Hence the transplanted population that Furtherbeyond seems to like mentioning so much, were not the original residents of Gibraltar..it was first the goats, and then the Moors. The others came later and were given the choice of staying or leaving with all their belongings. Most left, some came back and fought against their own during the 13 seiges Gibraltar has endured from the Spanish and their then French allies.

    Good day to everyone. I hope I have not bored you. I rest my case and my poor keyboard.

  16. Antonio 2
    The UN are not pressuring anybody. They’d much rather, it seems, sit looking at their belly button and yawn, waiting for the storm to pass and for us to get on with resolving it ourselves. Invited to come to Gibraltar to see for themselves the reality of what is Gibraltar on various occasions they seemingly prefer to pass the buck. Seems that somehow they too have the “manana” syndrome.Must have got it from somwhere.

    Thanks for the support. Appreciated.Cheers!

  17. Your keyboard seems to work OK, Bruji.
    You did once, side with the French, that’s how Gibraltar ended up being British!.
    100 years later us British sided with the Spanish to kick out Napoleon, which we did together. But the British did not take possession of Spain, you were left to take care of your own country.
    If Napoleon had not been defeated then Spain would have been dominated by the French for very many years. Would that have made you happy?
    If you took possession of Gibraltar now, what could Spain offer?? 20% unemployment? Why do the Spanish have to go to Gibraltar to find a job? What is wrong with Spain, why don’t you provide jobs?
    If there are many Spanish with your attitude, Bruji, then Gibraltar will never choose to be part of Spain. You will have to do it with guns and swords!!
    If you want Gibraltar you will have to earn it with a total change of attitude.

  18. Inthename
    First i am not from any political wing just to let that clear.
    Second about Napoleon of course you liberated us the 2 of May in Madrid is an invention for the spanish fascist and the Battle of Bailen was fought by comonweatlh soldiers only exactly the hindu soldiers jejejejejeje.
    I do not think french could hold Spain for much longer same as british with other parts of spanish territory.
    Speaking the truth the defeat of Napoleon was too Russian winter.
    Another thing because was unpopulated before the arab invasion does not mean it wasn,t part of Spain even if they are only 2km.Strange that now are 2,8 km and who the hell are the british people to tell us what or where to build in our country you signed the fortress and the 2km nothing more it is been along these centuries you been taking land at you say “defending” your rights.
    And all the siege you talking about was all of them with the support of the royal navy in their best moments just for let that clear that it was not Gibraltar alone.
    And you conquered with a catalan traitor don,t forguet it that you didn,t take it just by force with your allies you used traitors and try to put a king in our land on the name of the british grace.
    So whatever you want you dont now if England is going to be always in the same well health but we do know that Spain will never be threated by Gibraltar alone and not sure even with England but the good thing is we can wait and it will not be our fault what will happen it was taken by force so is justified so on the truth is up to the gibraltarians we do not going to let them that 2km if they are not spanish and we can,t let England hold these and the first reason is because they could try to take more so on the end do not think british actitude is better than ours i wonder what the british will say if a piece of brighton was taken by spanish with an english traitor on their ranks.
    So untill we get a solution the best is close the fence for both sides to dont have any more trouble about it and if England want to brake relations with Spain for it all right as they wish.
    No sabía que los ingleses reclaman los territorios de su tierra pacificamente de hecho no tengo ningún referente histórico y si me preguntas cual es el problema de España es que no la conoces creo y lamento informarte que con respecto a España hay unos cuantos con mi actitud.

  19. FurtherBeyond your argument seems to be based on continuously repeating the same half-accurate statements and semi-correct facts. I suggest that you do a little more research. I would like to know how often you have read the Treaty of Utrecht and the later ratifications signed in Paris and Sevilla. And how well do you know the UN Declaration Concerning Non-Self-Governing Territories and what it seeks to achieve? Both the British and Gibraltarian governments assert that Gibraltar has been effectively decolonised and it is only Spain that opposes any attempt to remove it from the UN list. There are a number of other points I could list, but I don’t want to do your thinking for you. I suggest you try reading some non-Spanish sources and also consider what is the Spanish motivation (obsession) for reclaiming Gibraltar? Spanish pride is a delicate thing as we who live in Spain, and love the country too, all know. But it is not in itself a good enough reason for disenfranchising the entire population of a territory.

  20. Bruji

    So far you have called us pirates..and not having set foot on a ship with a black patch in my eye and a hook as a hand, neither I nor any of my fellow gibraltarians, fit the bill. So I will pin it on your absolute ignorance of what Gibraltar and its people represent.

    I would like to ask you what land it is that you are so afraid we might take away from you? Gibraltar itselt is an Isthmus ie surrounded by its seas except by one small strip. Are you thinking we might take over La Linea? I have read many a Linense’s comments wishing exactly that! But no, let me ease your mind. We have absolutely no intention of doing so.

    The sea which surrounds Gibraltar is acknowedged by the Convention of the Seas law, also, I am afraid to tell you countersigned by your government, as British Territorial Waters, and since then it has been ratified over 60 times in the preceding years. You can claim to high heaven but things are what they are in this 21st Century that we live in, although you and those you think the way you do, seem to still be living in an age where sabres rattled and gunpowder smoked. There is no need to tell me which political inclination you adhere to because, for one, I never asked, and for the other, it is obvious to all who read you and people who think like you.

    And just to put you on the right track again…Napoleon was thrown out of your country, especially Andalucia, with the help of British troops under the command of the Duke of Wellington, who like I said before, on hindsight, should have minded his own business, because unlike Spain the French are democratic enough to respect a small spanish town like Llivia right in the middle of France and dont continuously harass their inhabitants for a territory which also, by your standards, should be part of France’s territorial intergrity, and never mind anybody else’s rights!Vive la France democratique! Y Viva Gibraltar Britanico! You still have a lot to learn my friend Bruji.

    I wish the good people of Spain the best of luck in these troubled times they are living in.

  21. Inthename

    Seems the way you describe facts tht we didn,t be command by gerneral Castaños and their 27000 spanish people didn nothing on Bailen.

    About the does the matter what Gibraltarians think or say about it is the british who decide on the end so your intentions could not be facts against british desires.

    The conventions of the seas just suit you so you speak of it everytime but when the EU does not suit you beging complain about it so is funny how you react to it.

    I do not especulate about what would happen to Spain without the british help but you didn,t help us for nothing you allied with us because is was your enemy an a big one jejejeje we were poor an in a bad time but your empire was at the moment imagine to have the half of the battles than we had on Spain in England land and you,ll find why you “help” us.
    Finishing about the patch eye,do you remember the odyssey marine exploration you are pirtes but like you said from 21 century.
    The people of Spain really appreciate your wishes and wish the best with all the descolonization problems you are living in.

    love the country too
    We had enough jokes for one day my friend jejejeje.

  22. Bruji, Gibraltar has existed as a British colony for 300 years and your language is from the same date. Spain is a valued ally of Britain and the rest of Europe. Neither Britain nor Gibraltar will ever pose a threat to Spain. WE ARE FRIENDLY NATIONS. But your Government chooses to make Gibraltar an urgent problem, because it wants to make the population think about Gibraltar and not the economic problems of Spain. It is a typical third-world Government tactic.
    “Close the fence” you mean stop 7000 workers from Spain going to work in Gibraltar?. That would be very clever and cost your Government many millions of Euros to support an extra 7000 unemployed workers. What Spain needs is 20 Gibraltars around the coast to support the Spanish economy, similar to Hong Kong and Singapore, very wealthy.
    Spain did nothing in the last war to help stop Hitler, Mussolini and the Japanese. Britain with the Commonwealth, France and America lost many hundreds of thousands of men, women and children defending Europe (which includes Spain). Gibraltar was a vital base.
    Can you not have at least a tiny bit of gratitude for your freedom, won with other people’s blood?
    Be more friendly and maybe Gibraltar will join Spain. It has no use for enemies.

  23. Poor Bruji, what a big chip you have on your shoulders.

    What would the big problem be you say? Obviously you are in a good job, probably with lots of spare time to be in many t message boards spewing your own particular way of thinking onto your other less fortunate 5 million unemployed.

    Over 7,000 Spanish workers would be overjoyed to lose their job in Gibraltar, 4,500 employed full time and just as many if not more working free lance. 6,000,000 Euros which are brought into your economy by the full timers every month, and goodness knows how much by the free lancers to invest in your shops, your economy.

    Wasn’t it 30,000,000 euros spent by Gibraltar in your country in 2011 alone and 7,000,000 euros investment by Gibraltar again in 2011? Those are your own own government’s figures. Apart from that all the other millions which Gibraltarians spend in your country buying, eating, holidaying etc…and you ask what is the big deal?The millions earned by your countrymen doing business with Gibraltar ever year, providing goods, services etc?

    Really, Bruji, you must get out your calculator or maybe you would rather play some music and forget the rest of your countrymen. I seem to recall someone else in the history books who used to do that, at least in the history books I have read. Their joining the queue of the unemployed seems no big deal to you but I am absolutely sure it does mean a lot to them, why dont you ask them?

  24. Bruji, I have just re read your last but one commentary, the one in which you mention the Odyssey. Did you know where the gold came from, in the first place? Yes? And do you know how the private gentleman and his family were travelling in two ships,one carrying his very own private treasure, himself and his son, and the other ship carrying his wife and the rest of the family? Well it so seems that only one of the ships sank, the one where the gentleman, his son and his private treasure were sailing. And did you know that this gentleman’s family, the ones that survived had descendants who also put in a claim for the treasure, but heard too late, so were unable to put in their claim in time to claim what they say was their ancestor’s property?

    Ok…well after the Miami courts granted Spain what your lawyers argued belonged to Spain..the decendants of those that survived in the other ship came to Gibraltar and claimed the part of the Treasure the Odyssey people had not taken with them to Miami and had apparently left in a rented storehouse in Gibraltar, sealed!

    So, neither the Government of Gibraltar nor the Gibraltarians knew what was in those boxes, in fact they did not even know the boxes were stored in a rented storehouse at all. This is all very much like Spain doesnt know what is held in any or all storehouses in your country unless somebody tells them first, like the Odyssey people did during the hearing of the case.

    I’m telling you this about your country not knowing what is stored in which storehouse and where, because only last week the Guardia Civil were apparently on the backs of some drug dealers who brought in the stash from Algeciras and lo and behold they found the drugs in a storehouse in La Linea. So you cant really go about calling the people of La Linea pirates because the drugs were stored in a warehouse there, now can you? Of course not!

    So, after the Odyssey people said it was here and the Gibraltar government and we (your so called pirates) found out, your country claimed what was in the boxes. But what they were entitled was the items that were listed on the original claim made by your lawyers, some bits and pieces the Odyssey people had managed to recover from the wreck too. And these bits and pieces were duly handed over to your Government’s representatives..sealed, delivered and signed for.

    The rest of what remained, and which was not on the list of your country’s claim, is awaiting our Courts decision after the case of both the decendants of this gentleman’s family and the rest of the claimants is heard.

    I hope that to the best of my knowledge of the case I have explained in simple terms, as you would a child, how it is that Gibraltar now holds in trust of court a small part of what it took the Odyssey years of hard work and money to recover from the sea, which if they had not done so, would still be there for the fish and the crabs to see as they had been doing since the ship sunk.

    I am not saying the Odyssey were right or wrong, not up to me, but what you cannot do is accuse us of being pirates, dear Bruji, because we certainly are not.

    Good night, sleep tight and dont let the bed bugs bite!

  25. Have you read anything about spanish civil war?.
    The fascist been fight for the spanish people on Spain before any other part of the world and alone but they loose.
    And you say you save us from the nazis but on the truth as decided on Russia you seems to forguet that i can understand that let on a second place on that war but the Vermag was beat on Russia you destroy the luftwaffe and the kriegsmarine but the big of the German army was their tanks and their ground forces.

    And about i have a part time job so i do not swing on money as you believe you talking bout the jobs in Gibrltar like is a necesity of Spain ut is bigger than that british economy is not bad but is not at their best too now,the 7000 workers on Gibrltar does not have compatibility with spanish tax with Spain my time in Manchester do see it for yourselves on the other part we broke 70000 Spanish i sorry for them but if we never opened we will not have the problem now and tourism will keep safe Spain still the sun and that is what people from the north of Europe want you can try to find it in England.
    You think germans u french dont want to came to Spain because gibraltarians or british you are wrong i think in fact i had a british neighbor from Arbia Saudita who fuck all the time as well as other students that i have in front all the day drunk and make noise so get your tourists whenever you want do not care about the money.
    On the end Spain has near to 45.000.000 millions of population you should think than my chip is the “old spanish position” but you are wrong is the british ho does not change their mind over Gibraltar you can not be a country.
    Imagine than Gibrltar is attack by other country an does not have the support of Spain,England what they do answer me.
    So you can not be a country by your own.

  26. Inthename
    About the Odyssey probably you are right but they choose your country for something i guess and i know where the money is coming from i believe Peru or Bolivia.
    I would like to take of some years of me body jajjajaj i really do but sadly i can,t.
    And when i accuse you of piracy is just a way of of talk a bit humor is needed on this life don,t you agreed.

  27. Bruji, not too sure about what you are trying to convey with the Civil War etc.. Who was trying to save Spain? Because, I know quite a bit about it having had first hand information and read quite a bit about it too in the two languages in which I am fluent, English and Spanish, and to my knowledge, the side that won was not the legitimate side..ie. voted in by the people in legal elections, so who saved who from what? You also forget the Columna Internacional from all over the world including Brits who came to the aid of this legally elected Government and the Spanish people who voted them in. But let us leave that alone for the moment too complicated to discuss unless we were allowed to write in Spanish in a newspaper which is for English speakers.

    Gibraltar is part of NATO as is your country. So there is nothing to talk about there either.

    And let me congratulate you for at least having a part time job. Five million in your country dont even have that, so maybe you would understand that if you had that part time job in Gibraltar you would not be too happy about your country closing the border as you so happily suggesting they do. Imagine the 7,000 plus that do have jobs either full or part time in Gibraltar if the government followed your suggestions.

    Bruji, have you considered the fact that Odyssey came here because of the language, the port and the airport? You end by saying now that calling us pirates is a bit of humour, yet the “humour” of it is now running a bit thin. Peru was indeed the country where the gold from the Odyssey originated, but far apart from the fact that the gold was theirs in the first place and that Spain did not conquer Peru in an amicable manner, and that it is not part of the territorial intergrity of Spain, the sunken gold belonged to a particular who had family in Peru..Ok.. so the Spanish lawyers put in a claim in the first place and the family of the deceased owner didnt get to know till it was too late.. and Spain got the greater part of it..good for you..but think a bit on it..why are you calling us pirates, what do we have to do with any of it?

    Oh and you really should not put all the Brits in one basket, dear Bruji, just like we dont put all the Spaniards in the same one as those who call us every name under the sun, because we know that 60% of you dont think the way you do.

    Bye Bruji, hold on to you part time job, enjoy the sun, the sea and live your life and let us live ours in peace.

  28. Inthename
    They was trying to save theirselves you love and wrote before that we did nothing to stop the fascist on Europe it,s true we got our own war and and others countrys in Europe allied with the nazis but you seem only to remember us and i am not arguing about the international but you forguet thn oyher spanish helps you as well.

    About the Odyssey i am not sure the compatibilities about their methods and the spanish law.

    For what i remember we been terribles rulers but we did not exterminate them as happen with natives on the north of the continent.

    We don,t now how longer will exist the NATO but we do with Gibraltar.

    About the spanish working in Gibrltar you can ask their fellows in Andalucía.BY the way think how funny sound when your country call us ally and friend and hold a piece of our country.
    And i relly do not put the british in any basquet but i been some years living there if the goverment have that opinion about Gib they got some support of british people.How much i do not really know.
    Bye Inthename, i hold on to it as long as i can let fishermen live theirs.

  29. Bruji, you really are persistant aren’t you?
    The Spanish fishermen want to fish in British Territorial Waters using illegal nets and raking the sea bed.

    They can fish using legal nets but no raking either as it destroys the seabed and all and every poor baby clam or fish who is trying to become an adult by staying in the sea long enough to be able to reproduce.

    They complain,are invited by the Gibraltar Government to come to Gib to discuss things, are offered the chance to allow the Gib Government to try and get them further subsidies from the EU for not fishing with illegal nets and rakes, whilst they are waiting for experts reports,because they say that if they cannot fish in Gibraltar waters, which are about three miles around, they refuse and go off in a huff and demand that the Guardia Civil or the Armada protect them from the nasty Gibraltarians who want to let them go hungry, even though they are already getting subsidies from the EU for not fishing in Morroccan water where they are no longer allowed to fish at all.

    Next..Mr. Margallo, the great diplomat, goes off to UK to urge the UK Government to force Gibraltar to allow his fishermen to carry on fishing regardless that they would be dessimating what little fish stock there is in our waters, and which they have already done in theirs. But Mr. Margallo got a surprise when he was told by the Brits that Gib had the right to protect the waters and he came back saying then that Gib and the fishermen should discuss the issues between themselves, which is really recognizing that the waters are indeed British Territorial Waters, but not saying as much in as many words.

    They then go back to the negotiating table, agree to wait until the 31st of July for experts on fisheries and the ecological system to come back with a report. But as always, the Algeciras fishermen, egged on by what are political motivated entities, now say that they were not in the meeting and dont agree to anything other than they want to fish with the nets and rakes which are not allowed in Gibraltar.Feeling, as if they are being traitors to their country if they dont join up with the Algeciras fishermen, the La Linea ones too are now also not prepared to wait until the experts have come back with the report.

    Funny isnt it when you consider the thousands of miles of sea that they could fish in, yet they insist that the only fish they want to fish are those in our waters! Yet they respect that they cannot fish in waters off Tarifa up to Cadiz because they are Spanish protected ecological sites and they would either get arrested by the same Guardia Civil, have their boats confiscated, their licences revoked and get one hell of a big fine to boot!

    What is not one bit funny is the fact that the Gibraltar police are being accused of harassing the Spanish fishing boats when they insist coming in to fish with illegal tackle when they do their duty in trying to stop them casting their illegal nets and we have to contend with incursions into our waters every day by the Guardia Civil on instructions from your Government’s political entities.

    By the way whilst all this is happening in Gibraltar , your fisheries ministry is trying to educate the fishermen by giving seminars on the need to allow the fish, clams etc.. to spawn and reproduce by not raking the sea bed and letting the algae and Posidonia plants grow in the seabed and which serve as breeding grounds for the fish to breed by not raking, so its really all a bit confusing, isnt it?

  30. Well at least now we know why this (and many others) conflict will hardly ever be solved ……….

    Everybody is talking and no one is listening never mind thinking before responding ……

    The big problem seems that this new age phenomena is not only happening on forum level but government level as well ……

    Somehow it seems that the more communication means we have available the less we actually communicate.

  31. Inthename
    Sorry but i went yesterday to the manifestation in Madrid i couldn,t answer, about Margallo you are right, i am agreed with you about the ambiental problem but i still repeat been 50 fifty years of the convention of the seas which i suspect you been prefered member and we signed in 1982 and that,s don,t give us a solution about Gibraltar.

  32. Saynomore,

    The whole problem is quite simple really. Spain wants Gibraltar, and the Treaty of Utrecht gave it in Perpetuity to England in exchange for Menorca and Florida. There were no laws of the Seas back then no were there any aeroplanes to give anybody rights to overfly countries either.

    The People of Gibraltar consider this their home after 300 years and are quite happy to be under the Union Jack which is the democracy we have been bred and educated on, and we feel as British as a Londoner does or as someone from Jersey, or the Isle of Man does. The fact we speak fluent Spanish too is understandably the same as any other frontier city. Switzerland may be a comparable case as far as bi linguilism goes. We mix both languages together, which is also common in other frontier zones, especially when there are mixed marriages, but English is our first Language and that used in schools and business.

    We are in the OECD white list of regulated countries and our waters are British Territorial Waters as designated by the International Convention of the Seas to which Spain, who was a late member, signed into.

    Gibraltar is not a problem to anybody but Spain who know all this but since the Franco era, when they used it as the “smokescreen” it has now become the “patriotic problem” to divert the population of Spain’s attention from any severe political, and economic problems.

    All we want is to live in peace and harmony with our neighbour, but will Spain ever be democratically seasoned enough to let us?

    That is the long and the short of it.

  33. PS The Algeciras fishermen have been in receipt of subsidies for not fishing in Moroccan waters until and if they get permission from that country to fish there and they get 100 euros a day for the Patron, or captain of the ship, and 45 euros each per crew member. Their boats have been fitted with GPS’s to monitor their movements. La Linea Fishermen are continuing to fish with Gibraltar approved tackle. So who is going hungry?

  34. Just a suggestion for Inthename and other Gibraltarian contributors – how about inviting Bruji to Gib for a drink and meal, to experience a thriving, bustling economy at work?.
    Trouble is, he’ll be even more determined to get it back!

  35. antonio2

    Difficult to change one track minds. These comments in English are quite restrained, you should browse through other online media in their own language.

    There are, I am happy to say, quite a few people who see beyond the smokescreen, but it will take new revised history books in schools and generations for some to realize the world has evolved since the 18th century and people have the right to determine their own future even in Gibraltar.

  36. Inthename

    You are right about Utrecht but you forguet something we gave you in perpetuity under the condition than can be just return to Spain if British do not want to stay and we both broke the treaty since then about the centuries i doubt than for these 300 yers gave you any more right than the people of San Roque so in the end you use the facts of history than suit your speech but not all of them and remember the british had negociate before about Gib we did not we tried to recover it but that,s it.

    Don,t worry about me man enjoy it you are on the top of the world, congratulations.

  37. The problem that folks like bruji have is that they are great at ignoring 1st world facts while preaching their 3rd world opinions ……..

    One of the main reasons why things are the way they are …..

  38. Stoopsolo

    You’re the one that should do some basic research. There are legal criteria for determining which groups may legitimately claim the right to self-determination. Gibraltarians’ right to self-determination is dubious for the following reasons:

    They do not constitute ‘a people’, and only ‘a people’ is entitled to self-determination under international law. Their status as ‘a people’ has never been recognized by the UN, who have consistently called them a ‘population.’ Moreover, they are not a population indigenous to Gibraltar, but were settled there by the UK displacing the Spanish population that previously existed there (after the capture of Gibraltar by Anglo-Dutch troops, only 70 out of the original 5,000 Spanish inhabitants remained in Gibraltar).

    Under the principal of territorial integrity which according to UN Resolution 1514 (XV) (1960) complements and constrains the right to self-determination ‘…any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and the territorial integrity of a country is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.’

    The UN General Assembly has passed two resolutions on the issue (2231 (XXI), ‘Question of Gibraltar’and 2353 (XXII), ‘Question of Gibraltar’). The resolutions on the decolonisation of Gibraltar focused on the ‘interests’ and not the ‘wishes’ of the Gibraltarians. The latter resolution states that ‘…any colonial situation which partially or completely destroys the national unity and territorial integrity of a country is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and especially with paragraph 6 of Resolution 1514 (XV) of the General Assembly’.

    That resolution also calls for ‘… Governments of Spain and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to resume without delay the negotiations provided for in General Assembly Resolutions 2070 (XX) and 2231 (XXI), with a view to putting an end to the colonial situation in Gibraltar and to safeguarding the interests of the population.’

    Gibraltar also conducted a referendum in the late 1960s. However, that referendum was declared invalid by the UN when it adopted Resolution 2353 (XXII), which observed that the referendum was contrary to the various resolutions which had been adopted by the UN General Assembly requiring the UK to decolonise Gibraltar.

    This is the reason why the United Nations includes Gibraltar among those Non-Self Governing Territories which still need to be de-colonised.

    It is beside the point to refer to the treaty of Utrecht as this treaty created the British colonial enclave in the first place. Moreover, British occupation of the isthmus and its failure to implement all of its provisions means that the UK is in breach of the treaty.

    The UK cannot ignore international law by relying on a treaty which it has itself invalidated by its own actions.

  39. Stoopsolo

    It is beside the point to refer to the treaty of Utrecht as this treaty created the British colonial enclave in the first place. Moreover, British occupation of the isthmus and its failure to implement all of its provisions means that the UK is in breach of the treaty.

    The UK cannot ignore international law by relying on a treaty which it has itself invalidated by its own actions.

    A coloniser cannot legally disrupt the territorial integrity of another State by implanting its own population unto the territory it is colonising. In cases such as these, the inhabitants of the territory have a right to have their ‘interests’ considered but they have no right to unilaterally determine the nationality of the land they live in.

  40. El enemigo, you need to know that Franco and Hitler are dead, your two armada’s to attack and subjugate England failed and that we are all Europeans.
    Spain would be a better place without your nationalistic nonsense, which caused your own primitive civil war.

  41. Further Beyond
    ‘…any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity and the territorial integrity of a country is incompatible with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.’
    So explain to me how that sits with the disintegration of Yugoslavia, as just one example? The destruction of Yugoslavias ‘territorial integrity’ was presided over by the UN.

  42. FurtherBeyond

    OK, maybe I was a bit harsh on you in my previous comment. But you still persist on ‘interpreting’ international law and other arguments to fit your agenda. To be fair, you are not alone in doing this. It is a valid form of discussion. But let us be honest, as you are obviously a very intelligent person, a lot of what you say simply does not hold water.

    Let me explain what I mean. Let us start with the displacement of the original inhabitants. 5000 is a generous estimate, and let’s be honest it is an estimate because there are no reliable figures from that period. But let us assume, for the sake of argument, that it is true. There is nothing unusual about conquerors displacing the people in the territories they conquer. You may not like this description, but of course it is how Europe ended up the way it did today. One ethnic or national group fought another over territory and the winners kept the spoils. In our enlightened age, of course, this unacceptable. But it is ludicrous to demand that we turn the clock back. Where would it end? Practically every state in Europe would end up fragmented if not destroyed completely, including Spain of course. Clearly that is not a realistic situation.

    In addition, you fail to take into account the ethnic Spanish population that is a large part of the Gibraltarian population today. You repeatedly claim that the United Kingdom transplanted an artificial population to the rock, but surely even you can’t believe that any of these were Spanish people. Or that they are all descended from the alleged 70 people that remained after the British takeover.

    You also make an important reference to international law. Of course, no one wants to see international law being ignored. But you cannot backdate laws to suit your needs. Or at least, there is a limit to how far you can backdate laws. Otherwise, Germany and other countries would still be demanding reparations from the French for the Napoleonic incursions, and so on and so on. At some point you have to draw the line or everything descends into chaos.

    You claim that it is “beside the point to refer to the treaty of Utrecht as this treaty created the British colonial enclave in the first place”. Apart from the fact that it is an exclave (sorry, nitpicking), I don’t see how it is beside the point. It was a legal agreement drawn up to establish sovereignty over a region. There have been many throughout the course of history. You also repeatedly claim that the treaty has been “invalidated by [Great Britain’s] own actions”. I would be interested to know which actions you mean. Strictly speaking, the treaty prohibited Britain from allowing Jews to enter the territory, but I’m sure an enlightened fellow such as yourself is not referring to something like that. As far as I can see, the basic tenets of the Treaty have been upheld. And later ratifications have made amendments to take changes into account. But feel free to correct me (extensively, if you absolutely must).

    Treaties, unless I am very much mistaken, are the basis of international law. So if you are claiming they are not valid, then your point regarding international law has no substance.

    You have also repeatedly mentioned that a state “cannot legally disrupt the territorial integrity of another State by implanting its own population unto the territory it is colonising”. Yes, that is quite right. But I fail to see how this applies. We are talking about British territory. There is no disruption of Spanish territorial integrity because it is not Spanish territory. You may argue this, but I feel it is a valid argument. Again, this sort of behaviour is no longer acceptable, but it is how the world map came into being. The Spanish, English and French (and to a certain extent, the Dutch and Portuguese) did this extensively. And although most of the territories conquered by the colonial powers are now self-governing, nobody could claim that the colonisation did not destroy the national identities of the indigenous populations. And when it comes to national integrity, what about the enclave of Llivia and the exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla? You seem to have gone quiet on those issues since your original spurious argument about Ceuta and Melilla not being part of sovereign Moroccan territory because the state of Morocco did not exist at the time they were occupied. I presume, on the basis of your extensive arguments about territorial and national integrity, you advocate Spanish abandonment of these territories too? No, probably not. One rule for Spain and another for GB? That doesn’t seem to make much sense.

    Finally, you have rightly mentioned, a couple of times I think, that the resolutions “on the decolonisation of Gibraltar focused on the ‘interests’ and not the ‘wishes’ of the Gibraltarians”. This is very noble and I have nothing against it. But I fail to see how you think that the integration of Gibraltar into Spain would be of benefit to Gibraltarians. I would say that Gibraltarians are doing rather better for themselves, per capita, than Spaniards (and probably the English too, for that matter). So what benefits do you envisage for the Gibraltarians? It’s a good argument but it falls flat on its face. Especially in the face of the fact that the sovereignty issue always seems to flare up during crisis periods in Spain.

    Apart from some temporary benefit to the wounded Spanish national pride, there is no reason to change the status quo in Gibraltar.

    I have enjoyed reading your reasoning, but it has failed to convince me in any way that it is based on anything other than a clichéd desire on behalf of the Spanish to deflect attention away from domestic problems. It shows no interest in the “interests” of Gibraltarians.

  43. Stoopsolo

    I too appreciate a thoughtful, well constructed argument and I especially appreciate that you are not just blindly mouthing slogans (or worst).

    My argument is based on the critical fact that Gibraltar is listed by the UN as a territory that still needs to be decolonised. This is no accident of history, the UK specifically requested that Gibraltar be included on that list. It is also fundamental.

    This fact can be used to distinguish the other territories you have mentioned (Ceuta, Melilla, Yugoslavia etc).

    It also puts into question the validity, in international law, of the Treaty of Utrecht. That treaty might have validity otherwise, although there is a valid argument that British occupation of the isthmus and its failure to implement all of its provisions means that the UK is in breach of the treaty. However, the fact that the UN has identified Gibraltar as one of the territories that still need to be decolonised means that the treaty’s validity today is even more questionable.

    I do not accept your assertion that ‘treaties are the basis for international law’. For example, under Article 53 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, any treaty that conflicts with a peremptory norm is void: ‘… a treaty is void if, at the time of its conclusion, it conflicts with a peremptory norm of general international law. For the purposes of the present Convention, a peremptory norm of general international law is a norm accepted and recognized by the international community of states as a whole as a norm from which no derogation is permitted and which can be modified only by a subsequent norm of general international law having the same character.’

    The number of peremptory norms is considered limited but not exclusively catalogued. They are not listed or defined by any authoritative body, but arise out of case law and changing social and political attitudes. Generally included are prohibitions on waging aggressive war, crimes against humanity, war crimes, maritime piracy, genocide, apartheid, slavery and torture.

    As an example, the ICJ has regarded the principle that it is impermissible for a State to acquire territory through war as a peremptory norm.

    You should also be are aware that the trend in international State practice is for enclaves (and yes exclaves also) to return to the mainland, irrespective of a valid treaty cession (see the following recent examples: Goa; Hong Kong; Macau; and Walvis Bay).

    This trend is supported by ICJ case law. For example, in the Western Sahara case the ICJ found that some pre-existing legal ties of a third state to the territory colonized by some other state could in principle affect the decolonization of the territory (see para. 162 in particular). On the facts of that case, the Court did not find that such legal ties existed between Morocco and the Mauritanian entity and Western Sahara, and therefore it did not specify what the precise effect of such ties could be.

    Arguably, however, if a third state had title over the territory, which was usurped by the colonizer, this would have an effect of limiting the right of a people of that territory to internal, rather than external self-determination, as is indeed normally the case.

    No one is suggesting that the current occupants of Gibraltar should be removed, let alone removed through the use of force (even though this is exactly what the British did to the Spanish inhabitants of Gibraltar in 1704).

    As previously mentioned, under international law the current occupants of the British colony have a right to have their ‘interests’ considered but they have no right to unilaterally determine the nationality of the land they live in.

  44. Stoopsolo

    Just for the record, the majority of Gibraltarians are not of Spanish descent. The demographics of Gibraltar reflects Gibraltarians’ racial and cultural fusion of the many European and non-European immigrants who came to there over three hundred years.

    The majority are British, Genoese and other Italians, Maltese, Jews and Portuguese. They are the descendants of economic migrants that came to Gibraltar to service the naval base established there after the original Spanish population was displaced by the British in 1704.

    By the way, it’s all very well to be concerned about the ‘interests’ of the current occupants of Gibraltar, but what about the ‘interests’ of the 5,000 Spanish inhabitants and their descendants who lost everything when they were displaced by force by the British?

  45. The Treaty of Utrecht says that the fence must be closed.
    Why is it open?. Spanish Government ought to be sued for not close it.
    UK is not fulfilling the Treaty either, has expanded to Spanish tetorritory and not being confined in the spots signed in the Treaty.
    Spain can and must do the life impossible to the 30000 colonialists in Gibraltar. And the Government ought to be sued for high traition for not doing it. A modern siege is their duty.

  46. “By the way, it’s all very well to be concerned about the ‘interests’ of the current occupants of Gibraltar, but what about the ‘interests’ of the 5,000 Spanish inhabitants and their descendants who lost everything when they were displaced by force by the British?’

    Ah yes, the old Irish pastime of ‘whatabaoutery’.

    Well, their descendants set up a new Gibraltar in San Roque, called ‘La Ciudad de Gibraltar en San Roque’ – they seem happy there and haven’t been demanding the right of return.

  47. FurtherBeyond – “By the way, it’s all very well to be concerned about the ‘interests’ of the current occupants of Gibraltar, but what about the ‘interests’ of the 5,000 Spanish inhabitants and their descendants who lost everything when they were displaced by force by the British?’”

    They don’t have “interests” because no one is alive that was here 300 years ago. This is only applicable to individuals who are alive – or who can be proven to be descendants who lost something of value during the displacement. Only living people have interests.

    Similarly to Native Americans in the USA, you have to show proof that you are an actual descendant of a displaced group. Maybe if the foreign Spanish fishermen in Gibraltar’s waters can prove that their ancestors were displaced fishermen – and that they were not later immigrant who moved and took up the trade – they would have a leg to stand on. But, until that day, they are just as ‘foreign’ as anyone in Gibraltar.

    FurtherBeyond – “They do not constitute ‘a people’, and only ‘a people’ is entitled to self-determination under international law. Their status as ‘a people’ has never been recognized by the UN, who have consistently called them a ‘population.’”

    The UN is not the source of what defines a “people” or an “ethnicity.” By anthropological definition, they are, in fact, a unique ethnicity and people.

    I think that you need to get outside the box, the limited idea, that the UN is what defines international law, or particularly that the UN is what defines scientific, or anthropological, concepts such as ethnicity or peoplehood. If the UN fails to recognize a unique people or ethnic group – which it is doing assuming your interpretation (also disputed among legal scholars, cited previously) is true -then it is both scientifically and morally wrong. You still have to justify the UN decision on its on merit; it doesn’t have merit simply because it is the UN. Not any more than “it’s the law” in Singapore that you can be executed for minor drug possession, or “it’s the law” that ‘colored’ people must be segregated and use separate water fountains.

    The whole position is authoritarian and falls back on the legal fallacy; the idea that legality is ‘right’. You’ve go to justify the UN definition first. Why should I accept a UN political decision on who a “people” are when anthropologically they are, in fact, defined as a people and a unique ethnic group?

    FurtherBeyond – “There are legal criteria for determining which groups may legitimately claim the right to self-determination.”

    You actually have legal philosophy and theory backwards. It is, in fact, the primary assumption that individuals have innate rights to self-determination. Not that legal decisions give them those rights. The legal decisions are designed to enforce what are are believed to be pre-existing, innate human rights. If the law does not do that, it is an immoral and wrong law.

    There have been many “legal criteria” throughout history that discriminate against ethnic and cultural groups. If the UN fails to recognize Gibraltar as a “people” (again, which is your interpretation – there is no actual binding UN resolution that says such) then it is acting immorally and against the innate human rights of that ethnic group.

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