A GROUP of Granada University students learnt about Gibraltar’s realities and Spain’s myths from its government ministers recently.
The talk by Ministers John Cortes and Joseph Garcia was the centrepiece of the visit by the 27 geography and environmental sciences students from the large university city in central Andalucia.
Journalist Maria Jesus Corrales explained away the various myths about Gibraltar being a tax haven and not getting on with its Spanish neighbours.
The visiting group included students from Czech Republic, Germany, Brazil, China, UK, New Zealand, France and Malaysia.
As part of the trip they visited the Skywalk attraction and St Michael’s Cave in the nature reserve, learning about the monkeys along the way.
One of the team that look after the macaques, Dale Laguea, spoke about the famous Gibraltarian residents arrived from Morocco about a millenium ago.
They are now about 200-strong and get fed fruit and vegetables daily by the Rock’s staff.
In the afternoon, Deputy Chief Minister Garcia spoke about Gibraltar from World War II evacuation to the present day Brexit talks.
He emphasized how locals buy over a billion euros in goods from Spain every year from Spain and how Gibraltar is a big employer for neighbouring Spaniards.
Cortes, minister for education, explained how the school-goers study the British curriculum and go to university in the UK too.
In the field of environment, he stressed Gibraltar was self-sufficient for water and electricity but that the rubbish is dealt with in nearby Los Barrios.
Cortes said that the Rock is a protected area under the Bern Convention and is working to reach net zero as soon as possible.
At the historic Garrison Library, the students learned from the regional journalist about how Gibraltar is cooperating in the fight against money laundering and is self-governed.
She also talked about how Franco reinforced the Yanito identity when he closed the border.
Jesus Corrales also talked how women lost their right to work in Gibraltar three years before it closed as described in a book called ‘The Expelled’.
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