Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s Prime Minister, is expected to meet with his British counterpart David Cameron later this month. According to Spanish press reports the meeting is likely to take place in London on February 21.
The meeting is not specifically on Gibraltar although they are expected to exchanges views on this issue.
Meanwhile, speaking on Spanish radio stations yesterday Chief Minister Fabian Picardo highlighted that Spain had higher priorities than Gibraltar to consider. He gave the example of the 5 million unemployed and said these must surely be more important than historical claims over Gibraltar.
He told ABC Punto Radio that the Spanish claim was “quixotic” and that Madrid should drop the sovereignty claim and treat Gibraltar as a neighbour.
“In the 21st century we should not be making claims over each other’s houses,” he said.
“We should seek ways of working together to promote economic activity in the area in a way that is positive for people on both sides of the frontier.”
He pointed to the 5.000 or 6.000 who work well in Gibraltar and compared this to the handful of Gibraltarians who work in Spain.
Picardo said that Gibraltarians and the people of the Campo are united by “a great friendship”. He also welcomed statements by Mr Cameron and David Lidington, Europe minister, on Gibraltar and the assurance that no sovereignty related talks will take place without Gibraltar’s consent.
Picardo regretted PM Rajoy had focused on the sovereignty claim instead of co-operation and friendship. He said he did not see PM Cameron letting go of either Gibraltar or the Falklands given he had instead recently defended the right to self-determination and warned against ‘re-colonisation’ from Spain and Argentina.