London mayor gives Spain earful

AFP-JIJI

London Mayor Boris Johnson on Monday issued a warning to Spain over Gibraltar after Madrid vowed to defend its interests in the British outpost.

The Conservative mayor urged the government to “prize Spanish hands off the throat of our colony” after it increased border checks in retaliation for the building of an artificial reef in disputed waters.

Britain last week said it was sending a force of warships to Gibraltar on its way to naval exercises in the Mediterranean, while Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said his country will take “all necessary measures” to defend its interests.

Spain has mooted a €50 ($66) toll to enter or leave Gibraltar, saying proceeds will be used to help fishermen who have suffered from the creation of an artificial reef by the British outpost.

Johnson compared Spain’s claims to Gibraltar to those of Argentina to the Falkland Islands, saying they were both being used to divert attention away from domestic problems.

Spain ceded Gibraltar to Britain in perpetuity in 1713 but has long argued that it should be returned to Spanish sovereignty. London says it will not do so against the wishes of Gibraltarians, who are staunchly pro-British.

  • dirtybird

    Spain should destroy the road into Gibraltar, rename the strip of land along the border as the country’s newest (and smallest) military base, put up a sign that says “Military exclusion zone: No Trespassing”, put up a fence, plant some flowers, and watch Gibraltar’s population dwindle from financial attrition.

    1st, Spain has a right to build, repair, or destroy any roads within its country that it wishes to build, repair, or destroy.

    2nd, Spain has a right to establish military bases within its territory.

    3rd, Spain has a right to deny passage over its military bases and establish obstructions to movement.

    These three FACTS make my suggestion to Spain perfectly legal. Without access to Spain, Gibraltar’s economy on its own just cannot support the current population of thirty thousand residents. I estimate that Gibraltar’s population would drop to fifteen thousand within ten years of losing access to Spain.

    Suggestions that Gibraltar could use ferries to meet its economic needs in nearby Portugal or Morocco are absurd. Firstly, I doubt that the port of Gibraltar could handle the traffic without disrupting normal port operations. Secondly, that would be expensive. Whereas the economic needs of Gibraltar can be met by personal transportation with the border open, the suggestion that people use ferries will require an intricate system of public transportation over one of the most crowded seaways in the world. It would be expensive. Thirdly, since I doubt that many Portuguese are interested in working in Gibraltar, then Gibraltar will have to look to Africa to meet those labor needs currently met by Spanish workers. This means more North Africans coming to Britain. That’s just what the UKIP want, isn’t it? LOL

    Then you have the issue of the Gibraltarians going to Africa for groceries. Have fun with that.