Tag: Mariano RajoyMariano Rajoy
Spain’s President Mariano Rajoy has declared his intent to sustain both good relations with Britain and tough controls on Gibraltar at the border. The remarks came in an interview with Radio Nacional de España in which he defended Spain’s attitude to Gibraltar.
In a poorly attended Ibero-American summit held during two days in Panama, the heads of state and government from the Americas, plus Spain and Portugal, decided that instead of holding annual meetings they would get together every other year, starting after the 2014 summit in Veracruz, Mexico.
President Mariano Rajoy making the round of financial media in New York this week, said Spain had emerged from recession in the third quarter with estimated economic growth of 0.1% to 0.2% forecast and 0.5% to 1% in 2014.
Addressing the UN General Assembly Spanish President Mariano Rajoy described the Gibraltar situation as a ‘colonial anachronism’ and criticized UK’s dialogue denial attitude on the Rock’s sovereignty. The speech comes at a tense moment in Gibraltar and Spain relations, but according to the Madrid press, Rajoy was less forceful than expected.
The European Commission will send a fact-finding mission to the Gibraltar-Spain border on September 25 to assess Spanish customs controls and their impact on freedom of movement. The date for the mission was confirmed on Wednesday following days of wrangling over the scope of its mandate, reports the Gibraltar Chronicle.
While Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy held a one-to-one meeting with his British counterpart David Cameron on the G20 Summit sidelines in Russia to discuss the Gibraltar sovereignty dispute, officials of the British overseas territory accused Madrid of setting a “pre-war environment.”
European Commission president Jose Manuel Durao Barroso and Spain’s Mariano Rajoy discussed Gibraltar on the phone and agreed that the Commission should dispatch observers to the border “as soon as possible” to examine controls on the movement of people and goods, the EC said in a statement.
Roger Boyes, Diplomatic Editor of The Times, has criticised the recent tactics by Spain and urges the conservative government to return to a more positive approach to the Gibraltar question. Likewise by invoking the Falklands and making common anti-British cause with Argentina the Spanish PM “has burnt his boats with British PM David Cameron”.
The leader of Spain’s opposition Socialist Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba called on the government of president Mariano Rajoy “to avoid adventures that could end looking ridiculous” such as the possibility of a ‘hand to hand’ with Argentina on the Malvinas and Gibraltar cases and instead should look at all the money laundering that takes place in the British Overseas Territory.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he hopes for dialogue with Britain soon regarding Gibraltar, but added that until talks take place his government would continue to consider unilateral measures to defend Spanish interests. He said the country will take “all legal measures” to protect its interests in Gibraltar.