FRONTIER fluidity with Gibraltar has been the main demand from the neighbouring towns when they met with the Spanish Foreign Affairs minister in Madrid.
The mayors from Algeciras, La Linea de la Concepcion, San Roque, Los Barrios, Castellar, Jimena and San Martin del Tesorillo discussed their demands with Arancha Gonzalez Laya in recent meetings.
La Linea mayor Juan Franco has called for a ‘Schengen-style border’ similar to what was proposed by Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo.
The talks have been arranged on the petition of Algeciras mayor Jose Ignacio Landaluce to know what to put to Gibraltar in EU talks.
They spoke of making the Gibraltar Campo ‘an area of shared wealth’ and granting La Linea tax-free status.
The shared use of the airport has also been put forward as well as employment and training schemes to halt alarming unemployment in the area.
There are alarming figures of around 35% general unemployment in towns like La Linea with 50% of that being among the youth.
The mayors also want to see money going into infrastructure in the Gibraltar Campo, as it has often been abandoned in the past.
“We would be disregarding our responsibilities if we didn’t use Brexit to solve our regional problems,” said Landaluce.
“We have to make sure that the Spanish who work in Gibraltar feel backed up by our politicians so they can keep their jobs.”
A total of 14,500 people cross the frontier to work in Gibraltar every day, 9,500 being Spanish.