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.
Gibraltar must remain steadfast in its own position on sovereignty the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo has made clear. In a wide-ranging New Year message broadcast last week on GBC Mr Picardo took up the recent remarks made by Spain’s ruling party (Partido Popular) and urged them to return to tripartite dialogue as the (opposition) PSOE in Andalucia is also urging.
Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and Mayor of Spain’s Algeciras Jose Ignacio Landaluce have both separately highlighted the importance of cross-border cooperation and co-existence, in dealing with the complex issues related to Spanish fishing activity in Gibraltar waters.
The British Government is understood to be supporting a local Gibraltar–Campo (Spain) fishermen resolution to the recent spate of exchanges over fishing rights in British Gibraltar territorial Waters.
Gibraltar appeared to be heading back to scenes of over a decade ago: clashes with Spanish fishermen and politicians. On Monday evening the Spanish ruling Popular Party from neighbouring Algeciras Mayor, Jose Ignacio Landaluce, boarded the vessel ‘Joaquina’ backing a protest sail into Gibraltar waters.
The Tripartite Forum which includes Spain, UK and Gibraltar is dead and the incoming Conservative government of Mariano Rajoy is not willing to accept Gibraltar as a third party in sovereignty talks over the disputed British Overseas Territory.
The Foreign Affairs spokesman for Spain’s conservative Popular Party, Gustavo de Arístegui, said that his party would continue to seek dialogue with Gibraltar if it wins national elections in Spain next year. But he also warned that “there will be changes” in Spain’s dealings with Gibraltar.