SPAIN is set to close an iconic Spanish-language centre on Gibraltar, with the foreign minister stating ‘everyone there speaks Spanish except the apes’.
The Cervantes Institute was founded in 1991 to promote the teaching of Spanish language and culture across the world.
The institute on the Rock was opened in 2011 as part of the Cordoba agreement between the UK, Spain and Gibraltar.
However, PP minister Jose Margallo revealed it will be closed because its existence is unnecessary on what is ‘considered to be Spanish territory’.
“To have a Cervantes (Institute) there is a contradiction,” he said. “Moreover, everyone there speaks Spanish except the apes.”
Margallo’s comments have reignited long-running tensions between Spain and Gibraltar ahead of his meeting with UK foreign secretary Philip Hammond in Madrid next week.
Some Gibraltarians have already been calling on Hammond to cancel the meeting via social networking sites.