THE Gibraltar government has written letters of congratulations to the leaders of both PSOE and Podemos as they prepare to form government together.

With Gibraltar bracing itself for a tough year of talks on its future relationship with the EU, Spain could play a key part in how the Rock comes out of Brexit.

After the worst case scenario of a right-wing government with anti-Gibraltar Vox being dismissed, talks are due to take place soon in Madrid.

This week, three-way talks involving the UK on the implementation of MOUs and tax agreements, due for last Tuesday and Wednesday, were delayed as new president Pedro Sanchez announced his Cabinet.

However, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo has written to the leader of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, to congratulate him on becoming Vice-President of Spain.

The move is not normal diplomatic procedure as it is usually only the President that gets congratulated.

In the letter, Picardo asked Iglesias to respect Gibraltar’s right to decide its own future, hoping for ‘genuine dialogue’.

Opportunity

Iglesias has had differing opinions on Gibraltar in the past, having stated Gibraltar was Spanish but also wanting to respect the cross-frontier workers.

The formal letter followed a similar felicitation to Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez where Picardo asked him to look beyond the ‘the eternal issue’ of sovereignty.

Instead, he asked that ‘policies based on the principle of dialogue, understanding and co-operation between our respective people’ be adopted going forward.

The surprise coming together of both left-wing parties will now mean Gibraltar has to open dialogue with Podemos after having a relatively good relationship with PSOE in the past.

During Jose Luis Zapatero’s time as leader of Spain, tripartite talks led to the signing of the Cordoba Agreement in 2006.

However, this spirit of dialogue was then reversed during eight years of the right-wing rule under the PP.

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