The governments of Spain and Iran are discussing the possible construction of an Iranian-owned refinery in Algeciras, Spain and across from Gibraltar, after the Islamic Republic re-opens for business following the lifting of international sanctions.
The mayor of the Spanish town of Algeciras, Jose Ignacio Landaluce flew back this weekend from Argentina, where he had attended a twinning ceremony with Rio Grande, Tierra del Fuego that sought to highlight the ‘English occupation’ of Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands.
Hooded far right extremists disrupted an academic event in the Spanish port of Algeciras at which Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo was due to have delivered a speech on cross-border cooperation Thursday night. They were joined by a group of fishermen from La Linea and Algeciras standing next to a banner that read “Picardo Fascista”.
Spanish Foreign minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo addressing parliament on Tuesday described the current diplomatic conflict with the UK as an ‘important fire’ and blamed it on three apparently minor incidents: Gibraltar authorities having dropped the agreement with Spanish fishermen a year ago; the recent dumping of cement blocks in the bay of Algeciras (Gibraltar) and the construction of a new reef.
As queues at the border with Gibraltar get longer and little advance is seen in the diplomatic front, Spain’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Environment, Miguel Arias Cañete, warned that Madrid would continue to impose the border checks and has plans to target bunkering in ‘Spanish protected waters’.
The Spanish Ministry for Agriculture, Food and Environment has filed a complaint over Gibraltar’s artificial reef at the office of Spain’s environmental prosecutor, a section of the state’s prosecution service that specialises in investigating environmental offences.
Spain’s new Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Federico Trillo-Figueroa, has claimed that his Foreign Minister, Jose Garcia Margallo, has managed to revive bilateral dialogue with UK over Gibraltar within the Brussels context.
The Gibraltar government has told the UK that 'the time has now come for action, not simply written protests from London to Madrid' in defence of British Gibraltar Territorial Waters, following the latest incident where a Gibraltar vessel was boarded by the Guardia Civil in Gibraltar waters 'and forcibly conveyed' together with its occupants to Algeciras 'at high speed and without navigational lights.'
The Gibraltar Government reacted to the outcome of the meeting between the British and Spanish foreign ministers on Tuesday in London saying that it is pleased that “it is recognised and accepted by all parties that only Gibraltar has the jurisdictional competence to deal with the issues that arise in respect of the on-going breaches of the Nature Protection Act in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters.”