Streamlined-Straits-Solution-for-Gibraltar-Proves-Successful-in-2012LA Linea is creating a ‘duty-free zone’ to compete with Gibraltarian trade prices.  

The mayor of La Linea, Juan Franco, is determined to improve trade across the border in ‘both directions’.

He paid his first official visit to the Rock in August and met with Chief Minister Fabian Picardo to discuss the plan.

Jorge Ramos, who heads up similar schemes in Algeciras and Los Barrios, said all the documents for the duty-free scheme have now been signed and work will begin immediately, although the location remains unconfirmed.

“The idea is to give La Linea all the necessary instruments to compete with Gibraltar, so that there is equality of conditions as at present there is not,” said Ramos.

“La Linea is however determined to work with Gibraltar, not against it.”

Since taking office in June, Franco has publicised his intentions to improve relations between La Linea and Gibraltar.

Following a car crash in June of a van containing Gibraltar football fans on their way back from Germany, Franco reached out to the Gibraltar government to offer support.

There have also been suggestions of Gibraltar and La Linea unifying, which received 60% of Olive Press reader support.  


  1. As Pj says, it’s a good idea in theory and anything that brings more business/jobs to the area has to be positive. The key to success is to make it easy for people to visit both places and make sure there is a good spread of trade. La Linea already gets plenty of business from Gibraltar – hotels are very expensive in Gibraltar and most visitors stay in La Linea which means the restaurants also get more trade. Spain must view Gibraltar as an asset, not a hindrance, and this proposed scheme gives both sides a chance to really make it work.

  2. Bill, I think the OP meant “unifying” in a business and political cooperation sense, not a physical merging of two, which would be virtually impossible. That is how I understood it anyway, but the article could have explained this better.

    • The question asked was “Should Gibraltar form an independent republic with La Linea?”; and apparently 61% of Olive Press readers ticked the Yes box. Oh dear. Offhand, you’d stand a better chance getting Margallo the freedom of the City of Gibraltar than you would convincing the local British population to go down that road.

      • The preferences of the people can change in few decades.

        So that nations are not formed for the will of some people , they are formed by the History.

        Nor the people who lives in Gibraltar, nor the people who lives in la Linea must speak about that issue.

  3. “Jorge Ramos, who heads up similar schemes in Algeciras and Los Barrios, said all the documents for the duty-free scheme have now been signed and work will begin immediately”.

    And we’ve all seen what a massive success those schemes in Algeciras and Los Barrios have been. Did anyone even know there were such schemes? I live in La Linea and I had no idea….

  4. Lets not forget that La Linea is dominated by social housing which can only be compared to slums in India or Brazil.

    La Linea would be an embarrassment to any other province in Spain. No one goes to la linea unless you live in the town, have to get into Gib, need the hospital or have to go to trafico.

    The last mayor complained that no one stayed there to spend the reason is simple, its disgusting with dirt poor people. The Junquillos was a ghetto estate built in the 60’s and 70’s to house released criminal from the prison in Algeciras ( the max prison behind primark shopping centre) and of course the Gypsies who are still universally hated in Spain.

    The signs to the drug dependency unit says it all about this town. Generations of tobacco smugglers clogging up the border. NASTY. All the duty free can really do is sell cheaper petrol.

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