9 Aug, 2014 @ 12:08
1 min read

Gibraltar’s reef is legal

gibraltar k e
Interest from Rank Group

GIBRALTAR’S controversial artificial reef does not break EU rules.

That is the finding of the EU Commission’s Directorate-General on Environment, which was unable to identify any breach of EU environmental legislation in respect of bunkering activities, the Eastside or Sovereign Bay project and, in particular, the Artificial Reef System.

Spain had complained that the projects damaged the environment, and the artificial reef had come in for particular criticism from Madrid.

Following the Commission’s decision, Gibraltar UKIP MEP Julia Reid said she was ‘delighted’ with the decision and called out Rajoy for acting so poorly towards the Rock.

In reply, the Spanish PM described the statement as no more than a ‘letter,’ not worthy of any legal action.

As a result of the findings, Gibraltar may now wish to pursue the return of the concrete block stolen from the reef earlier this year, which is said to be valued at £2,000 and is reportedly in the possession of the Guardia Civil.

Also earlier in the year, film emerged of Guardia Civil divers checking the reef, an action that prompted outrage on the Rock.

Staff Reporter

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  1. If Rajoy doesn’t recognise the authority of an EU institution perhaps he should refuse to accept any more EU cash, be it for infrastructure projects or propping up failed banks. Still as I’ve always suspected he is only in it for the money.

  2. Considering Spain’s economic blockade of the Gibraltar frontier started as due to her ” belief ” that the reef was illegal then should she not now be required to pay compensation to Gibraltar?

  3. Fred B. Interesting comments. In 1995 the UN made the right to self-determination erga omnes, this means that it places an obligation on all States to respect it. The International Law Commission adopted a motion whereby States can collectively take actions against another State that is not living up to its erga omnes obligations.

  4. Don’t know what legal action grim reaper Rajoy thinks he can take when he’s scared stiff to take the pathetic claim on the Rock and the waters to any tribunal. That’s like Franco saying Gibraltar wasn’t worth a war, not that he had neither the means, power, wherewithall nor anything to do so because he was so in awe of the Brits like Rajoy!!! Pack of nerds.

  5. Rajoy is a clown and the world knows it..Spain is a basket case cash addict of the EU ..The cheek of disrespecting the master that feeds you is beneath contempt..Spanish politicians ,the royal family,businesses and local authotities are bankrupt economically and morally .Their society is endemically corrupt, immature and unworldly .Intelligent foreign policy is non existent,they are parasitical on the EU ,they have no power and are now desperate for a turn at the UN council..Well forget it who would allow such a blatant abuser of basic human rights at the table..Time Spain grew up and behaved like a modern state only then will it be listened to seriously..Wake up Spain you are an international embarrassment…

  6. Despite your apparent contempt BritBob, a Big Issue vendor has a hundred times more dignity and worth than a beggar like Rajoy for E.U. cash. At least said vendor works for a living.

  7. The commision has issued an opinion about the legality of building an artificial reef. What it has not issued an opinion on whether the artificial reef is in Gibraltarian waters or Spanish waters. Since Gibraltar does not have any territorial waters according to the treaty of Utrecht and as decided at the UN in 1967 – the reef may be a good idea but it isn’t legal.

  8. hahahahaha Pedro you’re so funny. The EC has just given Spain three slaps across with regards the frontier and the waters saying that the queues are disproportionate and agreeing that the blocks are there legally in Gibraltar waters under Gibraltar’s jurisdiction i.e. in case you don’t understand, it is the GIBRALTAR AUTHORITIES WHO HAVE THE JURISDICTION. And now OLAF has given a Spain another blow by telling them they have to cooperate with GIBRALTAR. Please stop being so stubborn as all you are doing is coming across as extremely ignorant if you can’t see the nuances and wider picture of Spain’s humiliating defeat. You must read the OLAF report mate.

  9. Pedro you are wrong
    At the time of the Treaty of Utrecht no country in the world had territorial waters, therefore Spain could not have ceded the waters to Gibraltar. What however at that time existed was the right to defend your coast and nearby waters with cannon fire from coastal positions. Therefore in ceding the land to Gibraltar Spain also gave Gibraltar the right to defend the coastal waters.
    The concept of territorial waters came into effect in the USA in the 1790’s.
    Also Spain has signed The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) which gives every coastal country the right to claim up to 12 miles of territorial waters.

    With reference to the reef when the commission cleared Gibraltar of any wrongdoing it did so using the Gibraltar law with reference to “Sites of Special interest” had they considered the reef to be in Spanish waters then they would have had to use the Spanish law Lugar de Importancia Comunitaria which the reef contravenes.

  10. Pedro. No one had territorial waters in 1713. Utrecht didn’t specify Spanish waters either. Now everyone has territorial waters. If S pain wants to delimit Gibraltar’s territorial waters then they can’t do this without taking the case to arbitration. Even Margallo ‘doubts whether Spain can win case over Gibraltar’s waters’

  11. Pedro, if Gibraltar has no waters because they were not ceded by Spain then explain please how Spain claims territorial waters for Ceuta, when these were not specifically ceded to Spain by Portugal in the Treaty of Lisbon of 1668? Portugal only ceded the city of Ceuta, not even the harbour, so explain also how Ceuta has a harbour.

  12. Yeah……. the Spanish look stupid…..again, and again, and again. Thy are getting used to it i think

    Basically the Spanish can keep up this argument forever, words are free remember.

    Catalunya and Gibraltar, will win in the end.

  13. Well JIB employs between 20 to 30,000 people from Mainland Spain, Do you want us to close the boarder, this will cause added problems for Spain that is all ready on its uppers. The song and dance about Gib is to distract the nice people that live in Spain from the country’s problems. The exchange rate is a good sign of how the country stands the employment is running at a true rate of 35% plus GDP is down and it will be much longer if we in the UK come out and the EU will collapse in to its self. SO HANDS OFF.

  14. End of the day. Words are cheap. The longer spain go on about Gibraltar (which they will never have), making themselves look stupid and reminding the world exact how much they have moved from Franco (not much) we all win. Anything more seriius from the Spanish would probably not sit well with the expats here, infact im sure Spain would probably go up in smoke.

    Boycott spanish goods forever and ban all flights …. they would come begging, but our fascist govenment are used to that by now.

    Catalunya and Gib unite against Spain…..true democracy for all, not this spanish mickey mouse version they pipe on about………idiots

  15. fab “Boycott spanish goods forever and ban all flights …. they would come begging, but our fascist govenment are used to that by now.”

    It is time a concerted effort was made to inform the British population what is really happening at Gibraltar and try to persuade them not to holiday in Spain.
    Without the British tourists Spain would be on it’s knees in days.

  16. Hear hear Fred B…..i agree. An aggressive campaign is needed, the media should really get behind it and help put weight to it.

    Although banning flights to spain would cause uncertainty to the aviation sector (to start). We are talking about ryanair and easyjet etc, they would soon find new destinations to give to the people. Soon having the volume of passengers again. Places like portugal and italy are wonderful, they deserve it more than the fascists in this tin pot country.

    Campaign now. We would win in the end. To see Catalunya amd Gibraltar allied against spain (politically) and free from their harassment would be a great victory for the people.

    Final point……. back tot the topic of this articule. Ive searched and search, cant seem to find much coverage in the 5pan1sh media propaganda, oh sorry i mean media outlets….. Brainwash anyone?

  17. Maybe someone should remind the Spanish of the following:-

    Tratado de Utrecht. Cesión de Gibraltar a Inglaterra
    Articulo X. 13 de Julio de 1713:
    “El Rey Católico, por sí y por sus herederos y sucesores, cede por este Tratado a la Corona de la Gran Bretaña la plena y entera propiedad de la ciudad y castillos de Gibraltar, juntamente con su puerto, defensas y fortalezas que le pertenecen, dando la dicha propiedad absolutamente para que la tenga y goce con entero derecho y para siempre, sin excepción ni impedimento alguno

    Or in English


    The Catholic King does hereby, for himself, his heirs and successors, yield to the Crown of Great Britain the full and entire propriety of the town and castle of Gibraltar, together with the port, fortifications, and forts thereunto belonging; and he gives up the said propriety to be held and enjoyed absolutely with all manner of right for ever, without any exception or impediment whatsoever.

  18. Thank you Fred.

    They know this treaty very well.

    Unfortunately, when you have a very unsafe understanding of democracy, rule of law and deep down are still a fascist with millions of brainwashed follows…….you (Spain) tend to do what you (spain) like anyway.

    That is where we are in Spain 2014.

    Keep up the good work fred. (Thumbs up)

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