18 Feb, 2019 @ 11:24
1 min read

Spanish navy boat with guns manned in war games with British off Gibraltar for second time in fortnight

WAR GAMES: A Spanish warship off Gibraltar on Sunday

ANOTHER Spanish warship has engaged in war games with the British off Gibraltar.

On Sunday, a Spanish military vessel with its guns manned, ordered commercial boats anchored at the rock to ‘leave Spanish territorial waters’.

The command was made in radio exchanges, and the incident was responded to by British Royal Navy ships.

A Government of Gibraltar spokesperson labelled the move as ‘foolish’, while the Rock’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo blasted the Spanish show of force.

TOUGH: Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo has been tough on attempts to question the Rock’s sovereignty

Speaking online, he said: “Sometimes I really do wonder if I am living in the last year of the second decade of the twenty first century.”

The spokesperson for the British Overseas Territory added: “It seems there are still some in the Spanish navy who think they can flout international law.”

This latest activity by the Spanish navy near Gibraltar follows a string of incidents, which some in the area have viewed as attempts to question the Rock’s sovereignty.

Gibraltar Social Democrats leader Keith Azopardi said: “It is clear there is a systematic and deliberate campaign to assert control in our waters.

“No-one in Gibraltar will believe the notion that we are dealing with a new Spain when these types of incident continue to occur.”

Earlier this month, another Spanish warship encroached into British waters off Gibraltar, playing the national of Spain.

But in his new year’s message Picardo was firm about the Spanish behaviour, as he said questions Gibraltar’s sovereignty were ‘as dead as a dodo’.

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