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Making Spanish workers to queue to access Gibraltar is “curious”

Thursday, February 6th 2014 - 22:28 UTC
Full article 28 comments
Ambassador Manley said “it’s important that people who have jobs are able to work” Ambassador Manley said “it’s important that people who have jobs are able to work”

Britain’s ambassador to Spain has expressed concern about continued queues at the border between Gibraltar and Spain. Speaking to reporters during a visit to the Canary Islands, Simon Manley said the queues were “curious” given Spain’s high unemployment and the fact that many Spanish workers were caught up in the delays.

 “It’s important that people who have jobs are able to work,” he said, adding that up to 10,000 crossed the border daily to get to work.

Ambassador Manley said it was in the interest of Gibraltar and La Linea to resolve the border problem.

He said the British, Gibraltar and Spanish governments and local authorities should work together to eliminate the queues and tackle problems such as tobacco smuggling.

In related news the European Parliament voted on Wednesday to reverse Gibraltar’s exclusion from draft EU legislation on air passenger compensation. The Parliament was voting on a revamped directive that will make it easier for passengers to secure adequate compensation from airlines.

But the draft legislation proposed by the European Commission included a clause promoted by Spain that specifically barred Gibraltar from the measures. However MEPs approved an amendment tabled by Gibraltar Liberal Democrat MEP Sir Graham Watson to delete that clause.

“This is a victory for passengers, for Gibraltar and for the equal treatment of all EU citizens,” Sir Graham said.

“The European Commission’s proposed revision of the [Air Passenger Compensation] Directive left in the Gibraltar exclusion clause”. He added “we have now taken out this nonsense”.

Sir Graham said MEPs from across Europe had signaled that excluding Gibraltar from this measure was “unjustified discrimination”.

The draft legislation approved by the European Parliament will now be considered by the Council of Ministers in March. Under the EU’s co-decision procedure, the Council of Ministers may accept the Parliament’s position or adopt its own position for further discussion with MEPs.

“The UK Government must now take up the cudgels in the Council to make sure Gibraltar is fully included in the final legislation,” Sir Graham said.

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • Anglotino

    The more Spain tries to sideline Gibraltar, the more mainstream Gibraltar becomes.

    Gibraltar is gaining more and more powers and more and more exposure as a normal nation-state. You can already see the slow path that Gibraltar is taking to eventual independence.

    It is the reason that Spain has suddenly resorted to its current behaviour. It sees Gibraltar slowly slipping away from it more and more with the likelihood of it becoming Spanish gradually reducing to never.

    Feb 06th, 2014 - 11:00 pm 0
  • sceptic64

    Spain signed an agreement with the UK in 2006 stating that they would not seek to exclude Gibraltar Airport from future EU measures.

    They have now reneged on that.

    The same agreement saw them commit to building their own part of the new airport; and to easing the border crossing.

    They reneged on those as well.

    On the other hand, Gibraltar built its new airport and the UK still pays pensions to the Spanish workers; the ones who never contributed to the pension fund, and lost their jobs because of Franco. They get better pensions now than their Gibraltarian counterparts. But even though Spain has reneged on every single aspect of Cordoba, Britain and Gibraltar still uphold their side.

    Says it all, really.

    Spain's signature. Not worth the paper it is written on.

    Feb 06th, 2014 - 11:18 pm 0
  • nigelpwsmith

    Of course if Spain keeps up the bad behaviour, it would be possible to stop paying the pensions to Spanish workers. This has already been suggested.

    So not only would the PP be annoying those Spanish voters that cross the border each day to work, but they would also be impoverishing those voting Spanish pensioners who would stop receiving their pension.

    I can imagine that most of those voters would choose to vote against the PP at the next election for causing this problem.

    Madrid has even bigger problems ahead. The more that they cause trouble for Gibraltar and Britain, the more help that is given to the Catalonians ahead of their Referendum in November.

    Unlike the Scottish, who I predict will choose to remain in the United Kingdom, the Catalonians will vote for independence.

    Nothing Madrid can do will stop this. Not only is the Referendum constitutional (despite Madrid's claims to the opposite), but it will show to the world that Madrid is a fascist state bent on subjugating the Catalonians against their will.

    If everything happens as I expect and Madrid sends in the troops, then not only will the Catalans resist, as the Basques have, but there will be acts of sabotage to teach the Spanish Government a lesson, by stopping the flow of taxes, by civil disobedience, by road signs being replaced by Catalan ones, or vandalised. By Spanish Government vehicles being rendered inoperable, by property belonging to Madrid being seized and sold to repay any Catalans injured by Madrid's actions.

    There are thousands of ways that the Catalans can frustrate and sabotage Madrid's control over Catalonia. Eventually, the other provinces will join in and stake their claim to independence. Who knows, maybe Andalusia will even ask to join Gibraltar and become an even larger state?

    Feb 06th, 2014 - 11:57 pm 0
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