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Gibraltar/La Linea unions and business groups call for free flow of persons across the border

Wednesday, January 8th 2014 - 20:59 UTC
Full article 12 comments
“Totally unacceptable situation between two territories within the EU and contrary to human rights declaration” says the memorandum “Totally unacceptable situation between two territories within the EU and contrary to human rights declaration” says the memorandum
“Absolute aversion” to the current situation of long queues and delays at the border   “Absolute aversion” to the current situation of long queues and delays at the border

Gibraltarian and Spanish unions and business organizations on Tuesday called on their respective governments to act and implement measures that will guarantee the free flow of persons across the border. In a memorandum that will be sent to the European Commission and the European Parliament, the cross-border group expressed its “absolute aversion” to the current situation at the frontier, reports the Gibraltar Chronicle.

 It also urged the EU to assign a permanent observer at the border, whose role would be to ensure the normalization of the freedom of movement. “This situation is totally unacceptable between two territories within the EU and is contrary to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” reads the memorandum from the cross-border humanitarian coalition.

“The current situation at the border is seen as a form of punishment and is a serious impediment to the normal development of the social and economic relations, which this group aspires to.”

The three-page document adds: “Businessmen and workers from both sides of the border believe that their rights as European citizens are being infringed by the current controls at the border, given that they produce horrendous queues which affect frontier users, the cross border economy of the area and as a consequence, employment in the region.”

Stuart Borastero, President of the Gibraltar Teacher’s Association, said that the signing of the document between both sets of syndicates and unions was a “historical moment”.

“We have tried to put politics to one side and focus on the issues affecting citizens from Gibraltar and the Campo de Gibraltar as well as any socio-economic problems,” he said.

Mr Borastero was speaking at the Circulo Mercantil in La Linea, Spain, where the parties signed the memorandum yesterday morning.

The cross-border group consisted of Unite the Union, the Gibraltar Teacher’s Association, Gibraltar General and Clerical Association, the Chamber of Commerce and the Gibraltar Federation of Small Businesses, with similar associations forming the Spanish contingent.

The Spanish organizations included the Small and Medium Businesses Associations of La Linea (APYMELL), the Circulo Mercantil in La Linea, Comisiones Obreras (C.C.O.O) and the Union General de Trabajadores (U.G.T).

Angel Serrano, General Secretary of the Union General de Trabajadores, said that initial surveys suggested that businesses in La Linea have seen a decline of 30% as a direct result of border issues.

George Dyke, Director of the Chamber of Commerce, said it would be difficult to quantify the same effects in Gibraltar without further investigation. However he did concede that some businesses have seen an improvement, such as hotels and supermarkets.

“People are purchasing less in Spain and are therefore doing their shopping in Gibraltar,” Mr Dyke said.

Juan Morillas, president of the Circulo Mercantil, also gave a talk on the common history shared by Gibraltar and La Linea as well as the family ties.

“If research was to be done on the family names from both cities, we would see that many share the same name” Morillas said. He added that it is because of this fact that relations should be good between the two neighborly towns as “we have the same blood running through our veins”.

Morillas argued that, without Gibraltar, La Linea would struggle and also said that Gibraltar would be an incomplete society if La Linea were to be amputated from the Rock. He ended his talk by stating that he would like to see the two cities develop alongside each other.

“In order for this to happen, we need to do away with the excessive frontier queues for the sake of dignity and the well-being of the two cities,” he emphasized.

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • Anglotino

    “initial surveys suggested that businesses in La Linea have seen a decline of 30% as a direct result of border issues”

    Finally I have found a result for all of Spain's actions.

    Jan 09th, 2014 - 02:21 am 0
  • Be serious

    La Linea and Catalonia should vote to leave Spain.

    Jan 09th, 2014 - 03:02 am 0
  • Briton

    seems ok to me,

    no doubt the Spanish dictatorship may well use it as an excuse
    to create more mayhem..

    Jan 09th, 2014 - 11:05 am 0
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