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.