8 Oct, 2014 @ 09:45
1 min read

Gibraltar’s Chief Minister condemns ‘Spanish bullying and harassment’ following latest naval incursion

THE latest incursion of a Spanish survey vessel into Gibraltar’s territorial waters has led to reiterated condemnations of Spain’s maritime behaviour as it endangered lives.

Executive actions taken by the ‘Angeles Alvarino’ vessel were denounced as ‘dangerous’ and ‘irresponsible’ as well as useless challenges to UK sovereignty after it refused to follow the Royal Navy’s orders to leave.

The ship sent out probes to ‘take samples’ of the reef at Europa Point, one of which fell onto a Royal Navy inflatable boat that had gone to investigate the defiant vessel.

“Gibraltar continues to be at the receiving end of Spanish bullying and harassment,” said Chief Minister Fabian Picardo.

“Nothing is achieved except needlessly risking mariners’ lives and wasting precious euros on diesel.”

Europe minister, David Lidington, expressed ‘grave concerns’ to Spain’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and pointed out the unlawfulness of the event.

He said: “Under no circumstances should Spanish vessels be provoking a situation that could result in serious injury or a fatality.”

There are plans to take more robust action to stop such occurrences in the future.

Jacqueline Fanchini (Reporter)

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  1. So sad that Rajoy and his cronies have to revert to ‘distraction politics.’ Spain was given the opportunity to go to the ICJ with Britain in 1969 over Gibraltar’s Isthmus, airspace, status of the territory and waters but declined. Now they have acquiesced to British possession and what was a weak Spanish case back then is non existent today. Laughable behaviour.

  2. Spotlight is on Spain re Ebola, so cue distractions to fill the front pages. The brouhaha over the Ebola couple’s dog just the kind of “news” the PP government want – anything to distract attention from their inept “management” of the situation. Pan y circo.

  3. 3 days ago I had the Spanish police hassling me. 2 days ago I saw some English being hassled by a chemist and today someone told me “spain is not for the English. Get out. Spain is for the spanish” and this is on the costa del sol. The tide is changing against the British.

  4. Yup, “Spain is for the Spanish” alright, but they are not so fussy when it comes to our money. The fourth largest economy in Europe but still a net receiver of EU handouts (ie British taxpayers money, the UK is one of only 3 out of all the member states which has only ever been a net contributor)…

  5. Distraction politics at its beat . According to the Spanish press Rajoys party is trailing all the other parties in the latest polls , plus all the Directors caught milking the accounts of Caja Madrid are PP members and of course the Ebola fiasco . Cue :- distraction .

  6. Maybe we should send our Ebola patient and suspect patients down to Gibraltar for treatment.

    With respect to the Captain of the Spanish State vessel. How are you going to arrest the man for just doing his job in Spanish waters?

  7. Cuidadanos, we couldn’t arrest him if he was in Spanish waters. But he is not in Spanish waters, is he?

    Only last December your Foreign Minister was asked in the Cortes whether Spain would press its claim over the waters at the proper legal body, the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea.

    He said that it wouldn’t. Why not, he was asked? “Because it would be extremely difficult to win” was his reply.

    So even this arch-fascist knows Spain’s claim doesn’t stand up. Therefore he recognises that the wates are British but continues to act like a pirate. Appalling.

  8. @Fred

    Sometimes in life, you need to have a sense of humor, something an arrogant anglo-saxon like you has never heard of.

    Relax and enjoy life!

    @Gary Newsham

    Your crumbling miserable nation has not got the balls or capability to do that. What is the game plan? Sink a vessel and then ask for permission from Spain to dock in NAS Rota to refuel.? What a Joke!!!

  9. You need monitoring (or stalking as you call it) Fred. Just in case a lot more Spanish people read this website. Embarrassing.

    You just derided a whole race for one comment. It’s so obviously you hate the Spanish in whatever twisted world you exist in.

    Take some advice – You should try speaking to locals more, as in learn the language more and integrate as best you can. Then you might like living here.

    But then again you say the odd phrase like you don’t live here in summer etc.

    Me thinks you’re just a troll.

  10. Gary, please elaborate how you intend to sink Spanish vessels, at the moment the Royal Navy has a mighty task force made up by a few rubber dinghies and a few fiberglass recreational boats.

    Spain will continue to provide much needed security and safety in the waters around Gibraltar.

  11. “Spain will continue to provide much needed security and safety in the waters around Gibraltar”…

    By ramming innocent fishermen, aiding thieves and shooting at jet skiers – awesome!

  12. @Derek, methinks you work for the Spanish propaganda department. I’ll tell you why, because even when Spain makes a massive cock-up like the ebola incident for example, or the recent U-turn on the abortion law, you stay quiet. That is called denial, Derek, and it has caught you out time and time again on this blog. I live in a Spanish community btw, and taking a summer holiday is also quite normal lol.

    @Ciudadanos, joking about something as serious as ebola shows just how warped your sense of humour is.

  13. @Fred, methinks you really have a psicological sindrome against spain.
    Everyone knows gibraltar is a hideout for terrorist and smugglers, let the spanish police do their job, someone has to enforce law at the straight, obviously gibraltar lacks the means to do it.
    Maybe Picardo should direct more assests to cooperate with spanish security agencies instead of just harrasing poor spaniards doing their job.

  14. Fred

    You really have nothing better to do?? Its curious how you only post in news that are negative towards spain, never a comment when positive things comes out.

    Maybe you can enlighten some english press too, and care more about your isles, where clearly you dont fit anymore, and thats why you had to flee

    You are the class of people that give english tourist a bad name, a rascist old man that belongs to a different century…
    Cant tell you to go back to UK, coz you dont belong there anymore

  15. Ciudadanos.I guess our fibre glass boats could drop a few magnetic mines off the Rock for ‘experimental testing purposes’ but very much doubt we’d ever go to such barbaric lengths.Don’t underestimate us nevertheless.Your current ‘Caudillo’is a pale imitation of the Generalissimo.
    We anglo-saxons love the Spanish people but not your Government or indeed your inept,corrupt banks.Then again, the Spanish people are not exactly happy about Rajoy and the PP as demonstrated in the recent EU election results.Especially those who cross the border to earn their living in Gibraltar.Of course they will wave banners extolling ‘Santiago!’ and ‘Jaime 1’ as their families starve under Rajoy’s idiocy,won’t they?

  16. @Jonhytheninja, many thousands of Spanish people work in Gibraltar. Why is Spain harassing their own people? As for the waters around Gibraltar, let Spain go to an International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea, as others have already stated. If you are so sure of your legal position, why are you scared of attending the tribunal?

    @BetterFred, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so thanks for that. Btw, I find that people who call others racists, without even understanding the very meaning of the word, have the weakest arguments. Pathetic.

  17. Ciudadanos, you frequently write about this subject, what is it that you want from Gibraltar? It will never be handed over to Spain so why can’t you just learn to live with it because you are not going to get any change out of anyone.

    If the UK is a “crumbling miserable” nation, why are Spaniards going over there in such huge numbers for work? Why would they want to go there if it is such a terrible place – don’t you think that is just a tad hypocritical?

    What about all the Spaniards working in Gibraltar, do you think they should be barred from working there?

    I cannot understand why you are so hell bent on damaging Spain’s relationship with the UK and Gibraltar, it is not in your interest to do so and it won’t get you anywhere in the long run.

  18. @Johnytheninja

    I can’t see anything less accurate than the drivel you wrote here.

    “Everyone knows gibraltar is a hideout for terrorist and smugglers”

    – utter drivel. The terrorists arrested last year were living in Spain; all the drug smuggling goes directly to Spain (described by the CIA as the “drug smuggling and money laundering centre of Europe); and the overwhelming majority of those smuggling tobacco from Gibraltar are Spaniards.

    Example: the Spanish started their “searches” last July. It still took them 6 weeks to arrest a smuggler who was not Spanish, so they could parade him on national TV.

    “Maybe Picardo should direct more assests to cooperate with spanish security agencies instead of just harrasing poor spaniards doing their job.”

    So we had the news yesterday that the ruling PP had ordered the Guardia Civil to stop attending their regular “working together” meetings with the Gibraltar Police in case this “recognised British sovereignty”.

    Tell me – who is preventing Spanish police from doing their job, and who is it here who is causing problems with law enforcement in the area?


  19. Dear Jane,

    First of all, thank you very much for your comments!

    I personally have nothing against Gibraltar or the Gibraltarians and I certainly have nothing against British citizens who are all very welcome in Spain.

    The issue with Gibraltar, is that we are not following the treaty which governs the legal basis by which Gibraltar is a British Colony. Gibraltar is a very small territory linked to mainland Spain with a different tax regimen which makes smuggling impossible to control unless you close or serious restrict border crossing. This problem was foreseen in the Treaty of Utrecht 300 years ago and the problem persists today.

    Gibraltar could easily increase tax on tabacco and alcohol which are both heavily taxed in the UK due to the health risks associated which their consumption but Gibraltar will never do that. Screw all health concerns when there is money to be made from poor Spaniards trying to make a living!!

    Spain has never recognized BGTW and thanks to Mr. Picardo dropping concrete blocks in disputed waters, we have now been forced to take a stand. Spain does not want a conflict of any sort with the UK but you are completely mistaken if you think what you call “incursions”, are going to stop anytime soon.

    The UK has been playing a silly game with Spain on the issue of Gibraltar, if the UK Government serious wanted to solve the problem of Gibraltar, they would not have allowed Gibraltar to have its own Constitution or Gibraltarians to have full British Citizenship.

    The UK probably went down this route to protect the strategic capability to dock nuclear powered submarines without the local population of Gibraltar protesting. The RN can’t even do this back in the UK.

    The Governor of Gibraltar and the UK Ambassador to Spain both come across as gentelmen and statesmen, with a clear role to defend British interests and all British citizens in the region, not only the interests of 30000 selfish opportunists who have managed to end up with a Constitution and a passport giving then more rights that British citizens back in the UK.

    Thanks to the big month of Picardo and other prominent Gibraltarians, both the Governor and the Ambassador are learning quickly about the bizarre little monster the UK has help create and that Spain has to put up with on a daily basis.

  20. @Ciudadanos, thanks for the sensible reply regarding Ebola. Let us hope it can be contained and eliminated, in all countries. As for Gibraltar, well this little monster is not going to go away, so best make an agreement and try to live in harmony, or otherwise fight forever. Gibraltar can never give away the rights of its people to have self determination, please understand that. You must admit that the fracas has got worse since Rajoy took power. He’s a real liability for your country, Cuidadanos.

  21. What should Fred apologise for Derek? At least he talks some sense! All you do is keep berating what he says at every opportunity possible. Please will the Olive Press remove Derek from this blog? He is adding nothing to the debate – he never engages in conversation and he is totally obsessed with Fred!

  22. Thanks Lasse, but I rather like having Derek on here because his denial syndrome exposes much of the Spanish way of thinking. I mean, who on earth would not agree that bringing Ebola to Spain was a mistake? Derek, for one.

  23. Derek I do not belive you live in Spain I base that on your comments in Olivepress chat.
    My experienses is more like Fred’s. I am not English so sorry if I misspel some times.

  24. Why would I be interested in this site kb if I didn’t live in Spain. This country with all its problems means a lot to me.

    I’d definitely ‘get a life’ otherwise.

    I stand by every comment I’ve made on here. A lot are against doomsayer Fred. He’s the main guy on here going beserk every single day 24/7 against Spain and the Spanish race.

    HE should be the one removed from this blog.
    He’s always like a petulant child going on and on and on and on and on.


  25. Derek, you are going on and on too, aren’t you? You have a hard time accepting that other people have opinions, that’s your problem.

    I have not said anything against the “Spanish race” and if you had half a brain, you’d realise that the Spanish are not a race. Spanish is a nationality; you mean the Hispanics, which are an ethnic group – something you clearly don’t understand, and even more ironic since tomorrow is a bank holiday – for Día de la Hispanidad lol. Are you sure you live in Spain because you know sod all about it.

  26. Ciudadanos, so your main problem is booze and fags. Andorra, the Canary Islands, Ceuta and Melilla, for example, all have lower taxes on these products so it is not just Gibraltar, it is the way of the world and you are right, Gibraltar will not increase the taxes on these items to please Spain or anyone else.

    I fully appreciate that taxes raised on alcohol and tobacco are a massive source of revenue for governments all over the world and they all want people to buy these products in their country because they desperately need the money.

    That said, it could be argued that booze and fags are cheaper in Spain than other parts of Europe (definitely the UK) and I know that plenty of foreign tourists load up with these items in Spain and take them home so you are benefitting from this too.

    I am somewhat baffled as to the terrible problems you are facing on a daily basis. When I visit Gibraltar, I always spend time in La Linea and spend money in shops there too. Hotels in Gibraltar are very expensive so most people stay in hotels just outside the border in Spain meaning restaurants and other local businesses are benefitting from extra business they would not otherwise have.

    I think you need to change your mindset and make the best of what should be a mutually beneficial situation to both Spain and the UK. Try to view Gibraltar as a unique tourist attraction that boosts tourism in neighbouring parts of Spain, provides jobs and creates economic activity and business opportunities to Spaniards in the surrounding area.

  27. I am not defending Fred but were does he attac the Spanish race?
    I really think he is pointing out a lot of Spains problems.
    If he can not who can.
    Why I say that you do not live in Spain is that you all the time defend all the stupid things who is going on here.

    And there is people who takes pleasure to comment and play games on website commentary chats just because they like it.

  28. @Jane

    Andorra, The Canary Islands, Ceuta, Mellilla, do not have easy access. You can’t walk there and then walk back again across the border in 20 min like you can with Gibraltar. If the Isle of Man or the Channel islands were linked to mainland Britain, in other words not Islands, then the UK would impose very strict border crossing measures.

    The way forward is to limit cross border trade in accordance with the Treaty of Utrecht, find a legal way of imposing a congestion charge to drive from La Línea to the border, and set up a ferry service between Gibraltar and Algeciras as the main point of entry into Spain.

    With respect to the waters around Gibraltar, let us agree to disagree for the greater interest of security and safety for both communities. Joint policing should take place while leaving the issue of sovereignty out of it.

    Spain does not and never has recognized what you call BGTW. The European Union doesn’t recognize BGTW. If they did, what you call illegal incursions would be dealt with by the EU but no action is taken because there are no illegal incursions by Spain, just Spanish state vessel patrolling Spanish waters providing safety and security.

    The PP is a corrupt political party but they are right on their approach to the issue of Gibraltar.

  29. The citizens of Gibraltar do not have and never have had the right to self-determination. Not even the British Government recognizes this right because of the Treaty of Utrecht.
    I accept that it is a fact that the UK will not enter sovereignty talks with Spain without the consent of Gibraltar, but that does not mean that Gibraltarians have the right to self-determination to become an independent nation.
    Gibraltar con continue to be a British Colony or alternatively become part of Spain.

  30. I thought Derek was young and enjoying life in Spain at every opportunity. The reality is that he is here on the blog moaning about other peoples posts. The youth of today eh?

  31. @Ciudadanos, there is easy access to Andorra, and how many cigarettes do you think it’s possible to smuggle on foot? No many…

    The Treaty On the Functioning of the European Union is subsequent to and therefore replaces any previous treaties, the Treaty of Utrecht, for example. Cross border trade between territories and states of the EU is governed by the TFEU, not Utrecht. Free movement of goods applies. Get used to it or leave the EU!

    Agree to disagree about the waters? Spain ratified UNCLOS. You agreed. Stick to your agreements for once! You have been challenged to a day in court about the waters, the isthmus and the Rock itself, but you ducked out. That speaks volumes.

  32. Yes, Gibraltar is a tax haven. Many Spanish politicians and businessmen no doubt have their off-shore tax accounts based on ‘The Rock’. So maybe this is what the ‘squeaky clean,incorruptable’ Mr Rajoy objects to. If so I can somewhat appreciate his motives and maybe the Vatican will put his name forward for ‘Sainthood’ since he has performed two miracles. Firstly the eradication of unemployment in Spain and secondly his steadfast cleanup of the Spanish banking system.In Yer Dreams,hypocrite.

  33. We are all in the European Union together, if Spain is violating the sovereignty of another nation, then the EU should intervene.

    The fact is that most of Europe does not understand the existance of Gibraltar in the 21st century or that the colony may have territorial waters.

    I love it when you hear the British Foreign Secretary say that the UK is confident of British sovereignty over Gibraltar. If You were really confident, there would be no need to make such a statement.

  34. Europe does not understand the existence of Gibraltar? Is that why the 28 member states of the EU recognise Gibraltar as a seperate EU territory? That includes Spain, by the way, which just is yet another example of Spain’s national schizophrenia when it comes to Gibraltar.

    The British Foreign Secretary has never said he is “confident” of British sovereignty. He has said he “has no doubt” about British sovereignty.

  35. @Cuidadanos – why is a Spanish radical like yourself even bothering to READ an English publication – let alone comment on it. Gibralter will ALWAYS stay in English hands – why would the Gibraltans want to end up run by Spain!!? – the most corrupt, backward and useless country in the EU!!

  36. @lindsie

    Thank you very much for your pleasant reply!

    It could be that we are talking about different parts of the world. I am talking about Gibraltar, a place where Gibraltarians live. The colony where the Gibraltans live must be one of the worlds best kept secrets.

    Just for the record, there are no UK waters around the Spanish coast line.

    Spain will continue to provide much needed safety and security in the waters around Gibraltar.

  37. Reap ‘Tell us more stories about having your cup of tea by the beach.’
    Unfortunately I’m not doing that today Reap no.
    Damn! Brought down once more after reading a comment.

    Shoot them all down everybody!

    ‘English Lindsie’ a new nutcase on here now too. Gibraltar – ENGLISH. That says it all. Cockney accent by any chance? Enjoy your fish n chips and cheap duty free goods.

    Have you driven down the WELCOMING roads towards ‘strategically positioned’ Gibraltar. WHAT THE HELL is this place??!!

  38. @Ciudadanos

    “The fact is that most of Europe does not understand the existence of Gibraltar in the 21st century or that the colony may have territorial waters.”

    Any more than Melilla or Ceuta??

  39. The fact of the matter is Gibralter is inhabited by mainly British – which is why they do not want to become part of mainland Spain. Under British rule, the people of Gibralter have security. Spain is corrupt – every week either in local or national government someone is being investigated / arrested because they are lining their own pockets! Even the royal family have been under investigation!! Gibralter is thriving because it is under BRITISH rule – if the spanish took over it would crumble – as has mainland spain. The British on Gibralter KNOW that if they were governed by spain they would incur unjust taxes and the spanish government would those on the island to subsidise the spanish – how many times has spain been condemned by the EU because it doesn’t follow it’s directives – e.g inheritance tax for non-resident home-owners. I HATE Spain and it’s people.!! scum of the earth – I lived there for 14 years and the spanish just saw us as a means to make money and con us. I am at the moment writing a book – and it isn’t “driving over lemons” – but a condemnation of the corrupt way of life here and I sincerely hope that NO more Britains move here, invest here and contribute to this country’s economy – the spanish HATE the English – and the sooner we realise that the bettter!!

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