No traffic exits, no sweltering temperatures or the first parachutes arriving at Benidorm’s beaches. If there is any summer news par excellence, it is Disagreements between Spain and the United Kingdom Around Tarek mountain. In the past two decades there have been tensions between London and Madrid at the expense of the British colony summer after summer without missing the annual meeting, making regular publications such as long queues at the border or incidents between the Royal Navy and the Navy. Civil Guard in the waters around the rock.
In July 2009, Gibraltar was preparing for a historic event: The The first visit of a Spanish minister to the rock in 300 years, those that have lapsed since Spain ceded its sovereignty to the United Kingdom through the Treaty of Utrecht. This was the third meeting of the Tripartite Forum promoted by the socialist government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, which gave Gibraltar a voice in the negotiations between the United Kingdom and Spain under the slogan “Two sciences, three voices”.
But a few days ago, then-Prime Minister of the Rock, Peter Caruana, raised the already calm, tense waters and asked Gibraltar fishermen in the area not to comply with the requirements of the Civil Guard. In the event of a merit encounter, command them to set off Flashlights for help.
The Sovereignty over the waters around the rock It is one of the main causes of conflict between the two governments and one of the most exciting in the summer. In the center are the hunters, pawns in a game of chess that has been on the table for many years. That year, clashes followed each other: in December, four members of the Civil Guard were held in Gibraltar for two hours after entering the port of Albignon in pursuit of a suspicious boat. Tension reached near-surreal levels when a Civil Guard patrol boat confirmed that the Royal Navy was doing it Target exercise against a buoy with the flag of Spain. Foreign Affairs had to summon the British ambassador in Madrid, who confirmed that the yellow-red buoy did not represent the Spanish flag.
Three years later, the governments of Spain and The Rock changed the political color. Tensions only increased. On August 20, 2012, the new Prime Minister, Fabian Picardo, announced The Rock and its Waters “Special area for conservation” environmental. In practice, this was an excuse not to allow fishing with nets around the rock, something he had been doing since March.
But if there was a summer in which diplomatic conflict dominated all the lids, it was 2013. Gibraltar had intended to build an artificial reef and threw seventy concrete blocks into the sea in one of the most popular working areas for fishermen in the region. Mariano Rajoy’s government has accused Gibraltar of “violating international law in Spanish waters”;, which the rock considers its own. The tension reached such a point that Gibraltar police officers clashed with Spanish fishermen in the Gulf. A year later, divers from the Foundation for the Defense of the Spanish Nation extracted one of the concrete blocks in a protest action. Even a far-right leader, today at the head of the third force in Congress, photographed himself at the head of the bloc and uploaded the photo on social networks in 2016. The harassment continued for months, and Spain used what were his favorite moves in the game: Make the controls on the gate eternal, as the boundary between El Peñón and La Línea de la Concepción is knowncausing long queues of vehicles trying to cross into Spain.
In those years, working as an ambassador in London was a difficult task. Every summer, the British Foreign Office summoned the Spanish diplomat several times to report on the recent conflict in Gibraltar. Spain responded by summoning the British ambassador in Madrid.
In 2006 it was environmental organizations that focused the information on Gibraltar. The US Army’s nuclear submarine, USS Memphis, docked at the Gibraltar Naval Base For a routine stop before arriving in Lebanon. Citizens of the Gulf of Algeciras joined the protests of environmentalists over the arrival of these “floating bombs”. In his memory was the Tiris, another nuclear submarine that docked in Gibraltar in 2000 only to be repaired from a malfunction in its reactor. For more than a year it has been part of the Gulf’s image, causing strong diplomatic tensions between the United Kingdom and Spain. At a meeting of the Trilateral Forum, the British Ministry of Defense pledged not to repair any damage to a nuclear-powered submarine.
One morning in August 2007, Campogibraltarians had breakfast with news of a head-on collision between an oil tanker and an oil tanker in the waters of Gibraltar.. The first partially sank and a subsequent investigation concluded that it sailed from the port of Gibraltar to the Mediterranean without the corresponding permit. And while there is no reason to regret the human or environmental damage, the event demonstrated the lack of coordination and information exchange between Gibraltar and Algeciras port authorities.
In times of pandemic and Brexit, the headlines that come from the rock are different, despite the usual background: relations between Spain and the UK. Negotiations over the status of Gibraltar after Brexit They are ten months old. The goal is always the same: How do we agree on neighbors who do not even agree that they are.