gibraltarTerritorial sovereignty, eh? It’s always a sexy issue, and it’s something we return to regularly here on Debating Europe. It’s come up in the news again recently, thanks to a diplomatic spat between Spain and Britain over fishing rights around the modestly-sized limestone peninsular that is Gibraltar. The dispute has seen British warships off the coast of Spain (which, though it sounds somewhat dramatic, is actually a case of unfortunate timing – with the naval exercise pre-planned long before the current dispute kicked off).

The Spanish government has accused Gibraltar of illegally building an artificial concrete reef in the waters just off the runway of Gibraltar Airport, conveniently blocking access to Spanish fishing vessels. The British government, meanwhile, maintains that the reef is there for conservation reasons alone, and is well within Gibraltar’s territorial waters.

The dispute has escalated remarkably quickly, with Spain imposing lengthy checks on the border-crossing with Gibraltar, arguing these have been introduced in order to crack down on rampant tobacco smuggling. Britain, however, believes the checks are politically motivated and disproportionate, and has threatened to complain to the European Commission, potentially opening the way for legal action against Spain at the European Court of Justice (though this route would be complicated by the fact that Britain is not part of the borderless Schengen Area).

Europe has a long an ignominious history of such territorial disputes. It’s true that some of these disputes have been resolved (or at least semi-resolved); enormous progress has been made in Northern Ireland, for example, thanks to the peace process in the 1990s, and few people still remember the separatist bombing campaign of the 1960s in the now-autonomous region of Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol in Northern Italy. Other disputes, however, seem like they will never heal. The territorial dispute between Cyprus and Turkey, for example, presents a major barrier to Turkish accession to the European Union.

Earlier this year, we spoke to Stefano Sannino. He was recently appointed Italy’s ambassador to the EU, but when we interviewed him (and until last month) he was the European Commission’s director-general for enlargement, a post he had held since July 2011. We started by taking a question to him from Shan, who wanted to know more about some of the barriers preventing Turkish EU membership (which include, of course, the dispute with Cyprus).

Next, we had a video question sent in from Besnik, who wanted to know why the EU couldn’t come up with a united position when it comes to the recognition of Kosovo.

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What do YOU think? Will the dispute between Spain and Great Britain over Gibraltar ever be resolved to everybody's satisfaction? Can other territorial disputes, such as between Serbia and Kosovo or Turkey and Cyprus, also be resolved successfully? Or is there no way to keep all parties happy when it comes to drawing lines on a map? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we'll take them to policy-makers and experts for their reactions.

  1. avatar
    Quiterio Alberto Báez Benítez

    No, y es una situacin vergonzosa para todo el continente, y ms concretamente, la Unin Europea, puesto que se consiente una colonia de un estado europeo, en otro estado miembro igual. El anlisis de la actual situacin admite muchas perspectivas, primero, es una polmica oportuna para dos gobiernos con problemas de popularidad en sus respectivos pases, as que ste es un guin ya visto. La existencia de un “paraso fiscal” de “peso” y fama internacional, que no dejar de ser eso, innumerables pruebas de contrabando, blanqueo de capitales etc… marcan la definitiva naturaleza y pedigree de este juego de mrketing poltico, que en realidad, poco le importa la vida de varias familias de pescadores de Cdiz, desviando la atencin de la opinin pblica a ideas patriticas, hazaas militaristas. Expliquen por qu se consiente eso mismo en y desde Bruselas

    • avatar
      Infanchini

      La democracia Es suprema en la determination territorial y si no fusee a sin seria dictadura o fascismo Los derecho humano Es la regla a despetar alabado por las ONu

  2. avatar
    Xavier Schoumaker

    Yep, continents crash into one another… The World ends and no one was right.
    But the nationalism, that Cameron & Rajoy need to keep people’s mind away from their pathetic records, & “perspective” do not go hand-in-hand.

  3. avatar
    Davey Brown

    Yes, when Spain starts behaving like a mature democratic state rather than some tinpot Junta. We may have to bitch slap them along with their Argentine partners if they both persist in their current course. It does however prove that the EU cannot work.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Davey Brown
      Lets hope that the Spanish and Argentines see sense. BOTH governments have a tendency to resort to RACIST POLITICS to deflect attention from home [and often corrupt] matters.

      PS: The Spanish people and Argentines are no doubt good people – the only problem is that they appear to regularly elect corrupt/dictatorial officials.

  4. avatar
    Odtaa

    Talking about Gibraltar

    The current dispute is part of a childish diplomatic game to to give the Spanish and British newspapers something to write about rather than bad economic situation in both countries. The dispute has been going on for over 300 years.

    In 1984 and 2002 there were serious consideration of a joint British/ Spanish sovereignty, but both attempts failed at the last minute. In both cases it was due to the Spanish government insisting on full sovereignty.

    The people mostly being hurt by the present crisis are mostly Spanish residents living outside the territory, but working in Gibraltar’s banking and tourist industry.

    The EU can play a part in doing the following:

    1) Declaring the Spanish actions of blocking access, and charging for access, to Gibraltar illegal.

    Alternatively if the immigration is legal then the EU should insist that people are processed quickly – two to six hour delays to cross the border is unreasonable and the border crossings should have a significant increase of manpower.

    The proposed charges for crossing the border seem to be completely contrary to a free market – the absolute essence of why the EU was created.

    2) The EU should look seriously at Gibraltar’s artificial reef.

    Is it, as Spain claims, blocking access to areas that Spanish fishing boats have a right to use?

    3) Gibraltar as a tax haven

    Spain appears to have legitimate concerns regarding Gibraltar’s tax status.

    It appears that:

    a) Spanish property taxes can be avoided if bought through a Gibraltar based company.

    b) other Spanish taxes can be avoided on profits and payments.

    c) online businesses operating in Spain, but with servers in Gibraltar, eg gambling, pay no Spanish tax.

    These concerns should be looked at by the EU both specifically in regard to Spain, but in a the more general EU strategy to cut down on ability of corporations and wealthy individuals to use tax havens to pay less than their fair share of tax.

    4) I would suggest the EU uses its diplomatic strength to get the two parties together and tell them to grow up.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      I agree with you in the main.

      However, please note that Gibraltar can uses its own exchanges rather than
      Spain’s [they just need to lease a few satellite channels] thereby avoiding any putative duties.

      The same applies to servers, they can be housed somewhere else [like say the UK] again obviating the putative tax call from Spain.

      Furthermore, the 7000+ Spanish workers can be replaced by UK ones although it may take some time given the need to moor accommodation ships off Gibraltar etc

      At the end of the day its a lose-lose situation for Spain and that’s before the corruption scandal in Spain rears its ugly head.

      Spain, needs to respect the rule of law and stop engaging in RACIST POLITICS!

    • avatar
      Joe Thorpe

      What about the tax status of the canary islands? Gibraltar is a British Overseas territory just the same as Bermuda, The Falklands, Ascension Island etc The EU has no more authority over Gibraltar & its waters than it does the waters in the South Atlantic & when the EU fails to recognise our territories & their rights to do as they wish you have to say its little wonder that we want to have nothing to do with a European Defense Force that wouldn’t respond to our interests & would simply hand our people over to any aggressor that comes along.

  5. avatar
    Odtaa

    When looking at the very difficult situation of the Kosovo/ Serbia conflict the EU needs to work very carefully with the two parties concerned and Russia.

    Because of history, because of the recent bloodshed there is no quick solution.

    It requires a long term, gentle, persuasive negotiation – which will be frustrating and will move forward at a very slow pace.

    I think that being in the EU being a goal for both communities that we can help – at the very least arguing around a conference table is better than another armed conflict.

  6. avatar
    Odtaa

    Cyprus and Northern Cyprus

    Now would be a good time to work with both communities in Cyprus and Turkey to ease the tension.

    Economically Cyprus could benefit from economic ties with the north and the EU would be a good forum to help discussions.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Christos Mouzeviris
      Please refrain from proto-RACIST comments. Such comments merely demean YOU!

    • avatar
      Marebito

      @Tarquin Farquhar
      Oh, wait. Others has to refrain their “proto-racist” comments, but you can write about the “racists spanish” wherever you want. Interesting.

  7. avatar
    Paul X

    Spain’s hypocrisy knows no bounds

    Just across the water from Gibraltar is a Spanish colonial occupation of Ceuta, but they claim this is a completely different situation to Gibraltar…anyone from Spain care to explain why?

    Personally anything that stops their fishermen raping the sea of anything and everything edible is a good thing

    • avatar
      Irrelevant

      I’ll explain why in the easiest way possible. When Portugal, France and Spain founded these lands, Morocco didn’t even exist as a country. So how can you give back something to something that didn’t even exist at the time? Oh btw, Spain owned the Spanish Sahara which it already gave back to the Moroccans during Franco’s reign. Another thing to note, Ceuta and Melilla are part of mainland Spain and were once even a part of the Andalucia region. If you were going into them from Morocco, you would officialy, technically and legaly be entering Spain itself. Gibraltar by their claim is an overseas territory which is self governed. That’s the difference. I hope you learned something. Please pass this onto your fellow Brits!

  8. avatar
    Mike Chambers

    This is only a distracting argument because the Spanish government is in trouble with it’s own people.

  9. avatar
    Mike Chambers

    The British will do nothing over this argument, and just allow the Spanish to make fools of themselves.

    • avatar
      Paul Roman

      THIS COMMENT WAS REMOVED BY MODERATORS FOR BREACHING OUR CODE OF CONDUCT. REPLIES MAY ALSO BE REMOVED.

  10. avatar
    JJ

    As long as those in Gibraltar want to remain British I see no reason to change this. There is a historical and institutional argument for such a claim (one that Spain may wan’t to be wary of when looking across the straights). It also wouldn’t do Britain much good to renege on promises of sovereignty (Britain isn’t however responsible for the day to day decisions of such territories!).
    The tax (or lack their of) I’m sure is annoying but to some degree this allows for jobs that would not otherwise exist! I would suggest Spain looks to its own tax code regarding property if it has such an issue. Thing about taxes though, there is always a cry to have more, not to do better with what is already available, or make the tough choices in what to cut!
    Ultimately, this does look to be a political ploy by Spain to deflect attention on its own issues and boy do they have them. They are an ally however and where we can help them I’m sure we will but it is a 2-way street; we are better together, but that’s not an excuse to demand what’s not theirs!

  11. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    O que se esta a passar em Gibraltar é vergolhoso para todo o Continente Europeu são dois Continetes dentro do palco da Europa que andam com truques politicos em redor de uma colónia para que a España do Sir Raja e o Reino Unido do Sir Comilão e as vitimas são os pescadores da Ilha a popularidade e o Marketing politico faz estragos dentro das familias dos pescadores da Ilha Porque estão desviado apinião publica Haja dialgo politico verdadeiro das duas partes e que travem essas empresas fantasmas que existem na colónia Paz estabilidade politica dentro de Gibraltar

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Eusebio Manuel Vestias Pecurto
      Sorry to say dear EMVP but Spain is a corrupt country and its leadership seeks to divert attention from said corruption – yet another example of a Latin country playing RACIST POLITICS!

      Incidentally, Spanish fishermen are NOT hard done by – they and the Portuguese fishermen gain access to UK fishing grounds costing the UK more than £3 billion each and every year – something that will be cancelled when the UK gets to ‘pick its cherries’.

      BTW, if Gibraltar goes, Spain’s 2 Moroccan enclaves go, Catalunya goes and then the Basque country goes…then Spain…

  12. avatar
    Irrelevant

    As long as Gibraltar remains British, there will always be disputes with the Spanish. The best solution is unfortunately the most unpopular, that is to give Spain full sovereignty over Gibraltar. Piccardo is an arrogant, provocative, shameless and an unintelligent man, and one of the most awful political leaders in the history of the Gibraltar. He doesn’t even recognise the consequence of his actions, he didn’t discuss or give notice to Spain about the reefs which shows how arrogant he is considering Spain is larger and has the land mass it’s attached to. Then he has the cheek to say Spain are being bad neighbors. Like it or not, it’s clear Spain will not be walked all over by a small overseas territory and that’s what British people don’t like. Maybe the best solution to consider is to close the border and Spanish airspace and let each country get on with it. I suspect that Gibraltar would suffer a lot and this is recognised by David Cameron and Piccardo, hence why parliament has got involved in the first place. If not, Piccardo needs to take the reefs out and then start discussing something with evidently effects Spain. And before people start mentioning the Spanish economy, have a look at the British economy, the long term unemployment, the NHS crisis, the trillions in debt, the food poverty, the housing crisis, terrorism, obesity crisis etc. Just because the uk economy grew 0.6% doesn’t mean it’s on the higher ground to judge other economies, remembers Spain has shrunk by 0.1% the smallest percentage since the crisis began and will be beginning to grow next year. Let’s also mention, UK political corruption, Tony Blair, the expenses scandals, the Tory party donations scandal, the Stephen Laurence phone hacking and case sabotage , racism in the met police etc. The UK has it’s fare share of corruption so British people should stop playing the hypercritical role. Moving Spain’s claim of Gibraltar to one side, This affair is primarily centered around the reef and people need to remember that! That’s the bottom line at the moment!

    • avatar
      No name

      The blocks were dropped in Gibraltan territorial waters. It does not need to discuss with Spain that it is doing it. Secondly, the people of the rock have voted time and again to not be put under Spanish Sovereignty. They didn’t even want joint sovereignty. And of course shutting off transport and economic links would affect Gibraltar, the same as if Britain began boycotting Spain and preventing anything or anyone Spanish from entering Britain. More importantly, the British economy is a lot more stable than the Spanish Economy, Spain has the worst unemployment rate in the Eurozone, its banks are still struggling and required a 100 billion euro bailout. I’m not going to say that Britain is perfect but it is still the 11th largest exporter in the world, the 6th largest economy, and contains London the financial capital of Europe.

      Not only this but you point out British scandals, but the same is happening in Spain with corruption coming to light, as well as racism amongst the general public, such as at Formula 1. The only difference is, Britain didn’t point elsewhere during the scandals but has set up enquirers into each scandal, and created legislation to try and prevent further corruption scandals.

      But this is all side tracking from the point that Spain does not recognize Gibraltar as a semi-autonomous state, with its own territorial waters. And though the democratically elected Gibraltan Government dropped the concrete blocks into their own waters, to restore their fish stocks, as is their right to do what they will in their own territory. Spain is bullying them, as it had previously with attempting to set Spanish jurisdiction in the waters, and has even fired upon a jet ski. Spanish fisherman can still fish their, it will just mean that their equipment is more likely to be damaged and their fishing not as efficient.

    • avatar
      Irrelevant

      Well No name, i happen to know that in the UK, even if you legally own land, you still have to acquire planning permission to build a house or a building of particular use. The reasons are for the interest of conserving the area, ensuring that it is in keeping with legal regulations and not affecting the neighbors negatively. Planning applications are made public and can be objected by the residents of the local area if they feel that it goes against their interests. If you did build something before getting permission even on your land, it could be destroyed in front of your eyes and you couldn’t legally or physically do anything about it. What Gibraltar did, went against Spain’s interests (THAT’S THE BOTTOM LINE). You can argue that it is Gibraltar’s waters, i can argue that the treaty of 1713 did not include the surrounding waters, that’s i guess why the waters are disputed. In my view, Gibraltar have broken the terms of the treaty and if the treaty hadn’t been created, Gibraltar wouldn’t exist. Secondly, Spain will grow next year, and it’s employment has fallen so you don’t have to be concerned anymore, concern yourself with the problems the UK have which you seem to be in denial of.

      Why is that the British are so quick to criticise other but are incomplete denial over their own problems? You need to watch the news more often because scandals are still happening in Parliament, the Stephen Laurence smear campaign, the continuing reports of racism in the met, recent racism in football matches (or have you forgotten? Funny how ignorance is bliss!) Oh you have forgotten the free market that Thatcher implemented that singularly got Britain out of it’s 1970s poverty and unemployment crisis. The free markets allowed, foreign investments and banks to come and set up shop and develop London into the financial trade centre. If this did not happen, Britain and London would be very different right now. It’s because of this, that Britain has a better economy than Spain (though let’s not forget, it comes under Germany and France in Europe). Britain needs foreign investment and people in order for it to survive, it doesn’t have the manufacturing industry it once had, it doesn’t have the energy industry it once had, it will soon not have the NHS service we have, it doesn’t own the transport industry it once had. The fact that Britain privatised nearly all of it’s home grown companies and sold it to be run by foreign people and companies should demonstrate without doubt, Britain’s reliance on other countries. If you don’t believe me, research Land Rover, Mini, Heathrow Airport holdings, British Airways, Nissan, Vauxhall, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Jaguar, Aston Martin, TFL, UK energy companies, the BANK OF ENGLAND being run by a Canadian.

      Gibraltar was intended as a refuge for British naval vessels and now that’s it’s not needed and now that the UNITED NATIONS doesn’t recognise the existence of colonies, Gibraltar rightly (or wrongly in your case) needs to be given back. However, that’s the secondary issue. The main issue is Picardo should have discussed his plans for the reef with Spain, not only is it diplomatic and curteous, it creates and understanding for both parties and is a reflection of the conduct of the EU. However, he did it with ignorance, arrogance and a careless attitude and to me that smells of provocation. The fact that he doesn’t even recognise the consequences of his actions, the fact that he stated ‘hell will freeze over before he removes them’ perfectly demonstrates this.

      The British will continually argue and show their nasty true side, but it’s upto Gibraltar and Picardo to sought this mess out with Spain and if the tension escalates, it’s because him and the Brits want it that way. There’s no separate rules for the British! There are consequences for both sides, however the consequences are more direct for Gibraltar. Cutting the border and airspace will cause it’s economy to decrease, will make airfares higher, will make the cost of living there higher and that will drive people away. If you don’t believe me, then ask yourself why so much fuss and threats of legal action over border crossings? Yes Spain’s economy will probably decrease, but remember, Spain has closed the border before and survived and no doubt with the aid of the EU, it will in no doubt be the case again. Don’t be in any doubt, that Britain has as much to loose out of this.

      It’s time Britain lost it’s arrogance, looked at it’s own problems, become more diplomatic and less hypercritical in the way it negotiates. With Picardo and Cameron leading the pack, i very much doubt this will ever happen and that’s ultimately a shame!

    • avatar
      Paul X

      I’ve been to Gibraltar when the border and the airspace were closed, and what a wonderful place it was back then

    • avatar
      JJ

      @Irrelevant, thing is, Gibraltar want to remain British, UK can’t set a precedent as that suddenly shows the UK won’t protect its allies let alone its own citizens (by keeping its word). UK does have issues but some are entirely understandable, and in the scheme of global problems, probably nicer issues to have. UK would never have been able to compete in terms of manufacturing in the long run for base items (though it does still have a strong base with aviation, advanced machine parts and space tech). What the UK does excel at is finance, foreign investment and market institutions, something it needs to keep a lead in unless you expect the UK to suddenly lose a few million jobs and take 30% pay cuts.
      Ultimately, though I agree with you that Cameron isn’t a very good leader for the UK at the moment (he certainly hasn’t got much weight on the diplomacy front), the decision surrounding Gibraltar shouldn’t be taken on the basis that you don’t like a few of the UKs PMs (or Spanish ones).
      Last point, though Gibraltar is “British”, it does have its own Govt, the reef issue does seem to be antagonistic of Gibraltar (though why spanish fisherman think it’s ok to fish in waters right next to Gibraltar is beyond me) and I’m sure the UK is applying pressure through the discreet channels to not rock the boat but this would all be better served if Spain and the rock could communicate more openly and directly (certainly help if Spain didn’t bring up the case of sovereignty on a regular basis as that requires the UK to be involved who are responsible for foreign policy and defense!)

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Irrelevant
      The UK is superior [at least financially] to Spain as Spain is addicted to begging bowl handouts from its EU/UK paymasters!

      The UK is superior to Spain [at least militarily] as the UK makes nuclear submarines that work whilst Spain has difficulty making submarines that can float!

      The UK is superior to Spain [at least morally] as the UK always betters Spain in the Transparency international tables each and every year!

      Joking apart, Spain is a great country but it is NOT the equal of Britain YET and it never will be UNLESS its diabolical political elite become more civilized and disengage from RACIST POLITICS.

      Additionally, Spain should appreciate that Spain benefits most from the £3 billion UK fish stocks forfeited by the UK each year to support the EU project.

    • avatar
      Irrelevant

      @JJ and Turquin. Do you know what’s funny about the British? Their arrogancy and ignorance has no bounds or limits. That’s the joke! Britain is superior to Spain in terms of finance, yes because it RELIES ON FOREIGN INVESTMENT AND BANKS (not the other way round). Think back to the 70’s when the Free market was created. If it weren’t then you wouldn’t be boasting about Britain’s superiority. That’s a fact. You have thatcher to thank for that. You think the problems of food poverty, housing shortage, terrorism, antisocial behavior, HIGH levels of gang crime, teenage pregnancy, mp expenditure scandals, bankers bonuses are (nicer) problems to have? You use the word (nicer) to describe problems let alone the one Britain has? What a joke! Problems are problems (what ever they are) and the UK is full of them, but i guess you’ll brush it under the carpet with the ‘keep calm and carry on’ with the naivety and arrogance mentality. Do you think it’s ok for British fisherman to go to Iceland to catch their fish? @Turquin Your unfunny and inaccurate jokes aside. You seriously need to brush up on your knowledge of the how the EU works because it’s pathetic and your claims are the joke themselves. Spain only got a bail out for its banks and it’s using its austerity measures LIKE THE UK to reduce its deficit. Let’s not forget how Spain has been the second fastest growing economy in history, and has only been in democracy since 1975, so let’s not pretend to compare Spain with Britain in that matter (but the British record is a joke all things considered). I don’t care what rubbish you presume to say about Spain, your pathetic knowledge is biased and based on British publications and let’s face it they’re neither unbiased or unprofessional (sarcasm btw).

      If Spain did collapse, then it would have a profound effect on the rest of the EU nations and that’s not only in terms of bail outs. The EU zone would inherit a whole host of problems.

      If UK banking is so superior, why did it’s banks have to be rescued by the tax payers? Why is the BANK OF ENGLAND being run and invested in by a CANADIAN?

      One more thing, i’m proud to be Spanish, we have our problems, but were very civilized to each other, we’re not arrogant either, and we have clear and important values the British can only dream of having. Tarquin without bringing race into this, i was born here so i’m technically British and was proud to be before all this, however, i’m was also equally proud of my mixed routes. Can you honestly say the same thing about yours?

    • avatar
      JJ

      Ouch, sounds like you have more a bone to pick with the UK, rather than Gibraltar but fair enough, I respect that you may not have the same affinity to the UK as I.
      Either way, you make fair points that the UK has issues, all countries do, I’ll be more specific on the economic front as Spain took a heavier hit recently (particularly on unemployment) which will be tougher to fix sadly (they will of course one day come back to growth, and no doubt at a higher rate than the UK for a fair while). I would hold (and it is my belief) that many of the problems both country faces have an economic origin as well as societal.
      The British finance side you can go way before Thatcher, many of the foundations were laid around the industrial revolution when all the factories had to be financed! The deregulation round the Thatcher era may have been ill advised in hindsight as certainly it took banks from an economic facilitator to one of profit generator (which everyone was happy to take advantage of for things like pensions, investments, company expansions allowing more jobs, etc…). Sadly on the foreign investment front, the UK and London in particular needs to keep a global image if it wants to keep the economy running. On the bank bail outs, that’s tough. London sadly needed to be bailed out, not just for the sake of the UK (it’s also the heavy weight center for the Euro currency ironically). Having fewer banks would have been a bad idea! (and I don’t like writing that!). It’s not about the UKs bank being superior to Spain, it’s just what that UK’s economy is heavily based on, Spain will have a different focus and the EU will be greater for it. Lastly, I’m rather proud the UK can install a Canadian as head of the BOE, shows that in some respects, we’re willing to get the best man for the job over nationalism (let’s just hope he performs!).
      Going back on topic though, UK arrogance aside, if the people of Gibraltar want to remain British I see no reason for the situation to change. If one day they want to be Spanish, I trust the territory will go back to Spain.
      You are quite right, UK fisherman shouldn’t be catching fish in Iceland.
      You may not like the UKs methods (many validly don’t) but I hope you can at least understand where they are coming from? I’m sure in many respects there are things that both nations can work together on and learn from each other.

  13. avatar
    David Eaton

    To be honest it should be the people of that regions right to decide as it is with the people of northern Ireland. It matters little how big your piece of the map is it is our map collectively so why not share.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Jose Galiana.
      Please refrain from INACCURATE RACIST comments. Please remember that TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL has always identified Spain as MORE CORRUPT than the UK.

      Please also remember that my hard-earned UK monies were used to subsidize Spain’s post-dictatorial reconstruction?

      VERY DISAPPOINTING!

  14. avatar
    Jose Galiana

    Gibraltar :smuggling, money laundering, without tax. surreal in the european union 2013

  15. avatar
    No name

    @irrelevant part of decolonization in Gibraltar would be giving independence to the Gibraltarians, which is what Britain has done to as much an extent as possible. This also means under UN law that three miles from the coast of Gibraltar is Gibraltan Territorial waters. Thus the blocks are fine to be dropped. Also as an overseas territory, the only discussion it would need would be with the UK, however it doesn’t as we have ceded those powers to the Gibraltan Government. Planning permission is for those within a country. If the UK wants to make a nature reserve in its waters, it doesn’t need to ask France.

    Secondly you talk of British corruption, focus on your own, we know we have corruption and are trying to remedy the situation, however your Government is marred in Corruption and focuses media attention on 70 blocks that don’t stop fisherman but make it harder to fish but allows the return of sea life.

    Now thirdly you talk of arrogance, Britain is not the one that is strangling a small city state, Britain does not threaten the city state over 70 concrete blocks. More importantly, Spain insults Britain, insults Gibraltar and then you state that it is our arrogance. Spain is a southern European failing economy, marred in corruption.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_Perceptions_Index – Corruption
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal) – Economy
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_exports – Exports

    So stop attacking the UK and Gibraltar, and focus on your own issues, like your employment, banking sector, etc. and let the Gibraltarians and British get on with their lives, in their own territories. If it was done in Spanish territory, I’d back Spain, but it wasn’t. So stop and if need be take it to court but you’d lose. That’s why Spain continually declines court as Gibraltar asks for it.

  16. avatar
    Paul X

    On reflection I thing Gibraltar has shown the way, the UK should start creating one large artificial reef all around it’s coast to preserve its dwindling fish stocks, the reef doesn’t hinder sustainable line fishing methods just the large trawlers and considering the EU has decimated our fishing fleet we have little to lose by doing so. But I suppose the Spanish would whine about that as well as it deprives them of trawling up all our (mostly immature and undersize) fish….

  17. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    THIS COMMENT HAS BEEN REMOVED BY MODERATORS FOR BREACHING OUR CODE OF CONDUCT. REPLIES MAY ALSO BE REMOVED.

    • avatar
      Irrelevant

      Sounds like YOU are bringing race into it. I’m starting to think you’re racist. I mean your comments are directed at Spanish speaking nations. Why? Are we all the same? Are we just one race to you? Seriously man, you need to be careful with your wording and the context to which it is in. Everything you have just mentioned about me, is exactly how i see you tbh. Furthermore, to be frank, your ignorance, hypercritical and biased views just blow me away. Even when i make credible arguments against the UK, you say shrug it off and dismiss it. And you say were the elite? What a joke mate. It’s seriously pathetic. You should open your eyes to see the conditions this country is in. I’ve mentioned a few, but you probably thought i was making it up. You are a joke tbh. I can see how you represent Britain well.

  18. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    @IRRELEVANT
    BTW, my jokes [truisms actually] were NOT inaccurate!!

    Yet again another example of cultural IGNORANCE and DISHONESTY on your part.

    Whenever the truth is painful YOU like a lot of the Spanish elite seek to discredit the accuser/assertion by playing the ‘ARROGANCE’ card.

    Better to be ARROGANT ie HONEST than IGNORANT ie DISHONEST – this is why Spanish culture is poorly regarded in less dishonest circles.

    Spanish people might all treat each other well BUT as a man of colour I would rather live in the UK ANY DAY rather than Spain

    • avatar
      Irrelevant

      @Tarquin
      BTW, your jokes are highly inaccurate! I wonder if i can take you seriously anymore? I know you have some deep routed issue with the Spanish, but you seriously need to be less personal if you want your arguments to be taken seriously (which i don’t BTW!)

      You think you know about Spain? Have you even lived there? Do you have family there? If you haven’t, then you need to backup, because nothing that you write would even have a degree of credibility. I KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT, because half of my heritage in Spanish and i have family there, i have friends from there, I’ve actually studied at Spanish school. I also was born and live in England so i have credibility in my arguments and can give an impartial view as i know both sides of the coin.

      You are the perfect example of an arrogant British person, and someone who i personally never will be like. What you are like, the Spanish are completely opposite. Where is Spanish people poorly regarded? Can you actually make statements and back it up with some sort of evidence? It’s just the same old, biased dribble that leaks from your poisoned mind.

      Do you know why your stupid? You imply the Spanish are racist but have you even considered what it was like for ethnic people in the 60s and 70s? Have you read up on the Notting Hill riots and the Teddy boys? Do you even know why there is a Notting Hill Carnival? Have you even read up on the recent incidents of football where ethnic players were the subject of racism? What about the Stephen Laurence case? Racism from the met police? Racism from the royal family? NO, i thought not, because your so naive you walk around with your eyes shut solid. Here’s something to think about too. My mum is Portuguese, but was born in Mozambique under the rule of the Portuguese. The Portuguese built the country, helped the Africans with jobs, houses, education. They treated them well and what happened? The Africans started a war and forced all the Portuguese to leave the country. Why? I’ll tell you, they didn’t like being governed by white people? My mum’s parents worked hard for their things and had everything taken from them. Think about that! You think racism works one way? Ironically, the Portuguese faced racism from the very people who say that they face this treatment. If you research Zimbabwe and see on how Mugabe drove all the whites out of their homes and businesses you might actually see that Black people can themselves be racist! So you can leave that side of the argument out. Oh and be careful! your personal dislike for the Spanish might actually develop into that of a racist nature.

      Two last points i want to make. One, you are quick to criticise Spanish people, but mention nothing of your true heritage (I always wonder about people who are quick to speak about other cultures, but are reserved about their own). Two, if you can’t even mention how you qualify to speak about the Spanish in a credible and impartial way, then i won’t waste my time answering your dribble!

      So go on humour me.

    • avatar
      Paul Roman

      THIS COMMENT WAS REMOVED BY MODERATORS FOR BREACHING OUR CODE OF CONDUCT. REPLIES MAY ALSO BE REMOVED.

  19. avatar
    No name

    @Irrelevant

    Yeah I have Spanish family also. I also find it funny you bring up many past events from the 60’s and 70’s this was a generation ago now. We have all moved on, especially the UK, with racism laws etc. You seem to point out racists, but of course there are still racists, but in the UK it is dealt with harshly and you can be fined or arrested. There is a no tolerance policy. Not the same as in Spain, where very recent event in this century have shown mass amounts of Spanish racism.

    You further continue into some rubbish about blacks being able to be racist. Yes they can, no one disputes this fact, and we all know about Zimbabwe and the fact that its tyrannical leader is a racist who makes white people second class citizens in Zimbabwe and uses them as a scape goat.

    What you detract from is the fact that the UK is a power house, and I like how you have not continued on your attack on UK economic,military or anti-corruption power. What troubles me is your inability to see the other side. It is not the UK that is the aggressor here. Gibraltar is a devolved colony and has its own Government and people, only relying on the UK for defence, currency and foreign policy. Spain denies these people their territorial waters as granted by the UN. The people do not wish to be Spanish, and as such should be respected, unless Spain wants to make 30000 people homeless. And Spain believes it has a right to tell another country what to do, and then you show bias aggression against the UK for attempting to stop Spain bullying a small city nation.

    Not only this but the original argument about the reef, is that fisherman are forced to do sustainable fishing technique and not just trawl. Spain on this ocassion is in the complete wrong and immoral position.

    • avatar
      Irrelevant

      @No name

      I find it funny how you ignore the reports this year of racism in the met police. Yes the no tolerance policy exists, however, i know actions speak louder than words and the very real reality is that it is a very real issue. You can disagree and you probably will, but i know that it’s the honest truth. As for Spain, i’m not going to naively suggest it doesn’t exist because i know it wouldn’t be the truth, however, you have to remember, Spain is only catching up with democracy and everything takes its time. Attitudes don’t and won’t change overnight. Also you have to note that the degree of racism experienced in the UK in the 60s, 70s and 80s with regards to the Notting Hill riots were very extreme in their nature. Even though the wounds are healing, the scars are still there and a reminder to all through the Notting Hill carnival.

      I’m sorry that i disagree about your opinion of the UK being a powerhouse. It just isn’t and i will go on expressing my views on it. Germany is a powerhouse, that’s why it’s the biggest economy in Europe even taking into account the UK’s trading and banking capabilities.

      As for Gibraltar, i don’t need to see the other side. I know how this current situation began and i can guess how it needs to be resolved (concrete reef). The UN lists Gibraltar as a colony that needs to be decolonised and i expect that this will happen at some point in the future. I understand it effects 30,000 people, but, colonies today just stop and prevent the natural need for progression as well as the ability for countries to unite with common goals and desires (as in the EU for example). This clear for all to see in this case. It is also a historical achievement that is no longer relevant today.

      You need to realise that as long as Gibraltar remains as it is, the UK and Spain will always be facing disputes, and this is no good for EU politics, EU relations as well as Nato and the UN and it is also in the world’s interest for countries to unite. You have to look at the bigger picture No name. If the world is to progress into a war-less, democratic and common goal unit, Gibraltar and the other colonies will have to be returned. That is the lesser of the two evils. That’s why the UN has listed Gibraltar as a colony that needs to be decolonised. It’s up to the UK government to bite the bullet, except that and move on for the sake of peace and unity. I’m sorry you don’t agree with me, but regardless, i’m very positive that Gibraltar will be Spanish or at the very least shared. Against common preconception, the Gibraltan residents will not be forced to leave (the EU would not allow this). The only things likely to change are legal nationality, laws and taxes. I don’t agree with your views on Spain bullying the UK. I think it’s the opposite. From my point of view, i think its Gibraltar trying to bully Spain because I believe it arrogantly feels it can step on Spain’s toes because of its political links to the UK as well as it’s reliance to it’s armed forces. This is evident with the reefs being layed down as well as Picardo’s arrogant statement of ‘hell will freeze over’. That statement doesn’t sound like the statement of a political leader interested in resolution or unanimity.

      I’m sorry you can’t see things from my point of view and i won’t change my opinions, because i believe it is the ‘lesser of two evils’, and it will be in the best interests of the overall majority of people on Earth. As for Ceuta and Melilla, it might ( although certainly unlikely) one day be given to Morocco as a good will gesture, but, due to the technicalities, it’s not seen by the UN as in a need to be returned basis. For that reason alone, it is not comparable (against popular opinion).

    • avatar
      Irrelevant

      @No name

      I don’t agree with your views on Spain bullying the UK. I think it’s the opposite. From my point of view, i think its Gibraltar trying to bully Spain because I believe it arrogantly feels it can step on Spain’s toes because of its political links to the UK as well as it’s reliance to it’s armed forces. This is evident with the reefs being layed down as well as Picardo’s arrogant statement of ‘hell will freeze over’. That statement doesn’t sound like the statement of a political leader interested in resolution or unanimity.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @No Name
      Thanks for telling the IGNORANT/MACHO ‘IRRELEVANT’ the truth.

  20. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    @DEBATINGEUROPE
    Whomever is moderating this site J’ACCUSE you of RACISM!

    IF I am NOT allowed to chastise a country such as SPAIN that frequently fails to admonish its citizens perpetrating racist incidents against BLACK people then the situation ie racism will never be conquered.

    Since this site is supported by the EU, to whom do I contact to report an instance of RACIST MODERATION!!

    Please respond, otherwise I WILL escalate this matter to my MEP and the UK newspapers.

  21. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    @Irrelevant
    You lack a degree of honesty dear sir! Try to understand what I have previously said…

    The UK does not deny its faults, pro-Spanish types like yourself fail to recognise/acknowledge/accept Spain’s faults – therein lies the difference; you even ignored FACTS that highlight certain areas where Spain is inferior to the UK – such cognitive dissonance only serves to REINFORCE MY POINT! :)

    NO-ONE can deny that Spain is a nice place, with nice people, great food culture and a great tradition in the arts and architecture BUT types like you only serve to highlight why Spain is sometimes held in poor regard especially with matters concerning DEMOCRACY, HONESTY and TECHNICALITY! (Although brick-like submarines apart, Spain’s reputation regarding the latter IS improving.)

    My point about other Spanish-speaking countries having a similar disposition was [at least I thought as much] simple. [BTW, Spanish-speaking countries are not heterogeneous racially – native Amero-Indians and people of African descent dominate the pertinent gene-pool.]

    However, some of the traditions [machismo, failure to accept the truth, inability to accept criticism] Spain relayed to said countries resulted in said countries ending up as basket-cases, rather like when Franco ruled Spain.

    • avatar
      Irrelevant

      @Tarquin

      I, one hundred percent disagree with everything you have said! I am a very honest person. I am a person that defends what i think is important and right as well as give opinions through what i perceive rather than what i read in clearly biased UK news publications. I also do not take things a face value.

      Muchismo is just clearly not evident in Spain any more as for example, in legal cases of domestic violence within marriage or couples, it is the woman that is given more rights and power. On the other hand, muchismo is clearly evident in Arabic speaking countries as well as countries of a majority muslim population and this is evident in the recent attacks on women in India, the garments of muslim women, the fact that only men can call a divorce, drive and have jobs etc.

      I strongly believe the UK doesn’t deny it’s faults. Most comments i’ve read clearly show this pro UK attitude.For example, stating that it’s a distraction for Spain’s optical corruption, continually stating unemployment rates, racial issues (as you have brought to the discussion), weaker economy and reliance on British holidaymakers. All this speaks, ignorance and arrogance to me. This ironically from a country only marginally in a better position, but still facing the same problems.

      As for your comments, you can dress it how you like, but the fact that you discussed all Spanish speaking countries in the same manner had me thinking it was of a racist nature. This is particularly true when it’s clear to see that South America as well as the rest of the Spanish speaking nations have Spanish ancestry and your manner of wording. You should think about what you are writing before publishing it. Also, i notes a little hypocrisy when you stated that Spain and Spanish people are nice. I also perceived this from your past comments.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Irrelevant
      Clearly, ‘No Name’ and ‘Streetwalker’ disagree with your IGNORANT perspective of the world as-is.

      Like I said, Spanish-speaking countries [dominated by Amero-Indians variously and genetically] have a tendency toward dictatorial regimes far more so than say German-speaking countries – why? NOT because of race [as discussed] but because of [INFERIOR] culture.

      Unfortunately, Spain has passed on an IGNORANT, MACHO culture of SELF-DENIAL to its ex-colonies and the result has lead to an unstable score or more of Spanish-speaking countries.

      Furthermore, your own ability to DENY FACTS [by Transparency International for instance] merely because they are NOT to your liking has yet again supported my assertion [and an oft-touted stereotype] about certain Spanish-types being IGNORANT, MACHO and in your case DISHONEST.

      I believe that the bulk of Spanish people are thoroughly decent human beings, it is only the Spanish elite and Spanish IGNORAMUSES like yourself that continue to stain the reputation and impede the civilization of the once great country, Spain.

      PS: You clearly do NOT understand the meaning of the word hypocrisy – The fact that I can acknowledge the ‘good’ elements of Spanish culture as well as the ‘bad’ elements does NOT equate to hypocrisy. Your IGNORANCE knows no bounds sir!!

  22. avatar
    Streetwalker

    The basket case economy that the Spanish government has created would collapse altogether without the British £ . It is for Spain to wind their necks in and stop acting like idiots, Gibraltarians wish to be British , not Spanish , get over it already. There can be no debate.

  23. avatar
    No name

    @Irrelevant

    Britain is an all round power house, I do not doubt that Germany with its rich resourced filled land, and heavy industry in the heart of Europe is not a power house economically, however Britains Military, cultural identity, economic capability and technological advancement is impressive. We along with France have the most powerful armed forces in Europe and in the top ten in the world, British spy network one of the best on the world, culturally our literature, music and art is world renowned (Dickens, Shakespeare, Banksy, Beatles, Mumford and son, Adele, Christopher Hitchens even), we have the 6th largest economy in the world, 11th largest exporter, a Currency that is worth more than the dollar, and Euro. We have nuclear capability, along with inventing the world wide web that allows us to discuss right at this moment.

    I do not doubt there has been racism, as there is everywhere, but none so apparent as in spain, where people painted themselves black or dress up in Gorilla costumes. And you talk about the 60’s and 70’s, Spain was a dictatorship based on fascist nationalist ideals, I don’t think you can get more racist.

    Now let me address the Gibraltar point, Spain bullies Gibraltar, not the UK. Your Guarda Civil have shot at, tried to intervene and arrest, have recently dived with Spanish flags in Gibraltan waters. The UN backs they aren’t yours. Also the UN will say that decolonisation of Gibraltar would be doing what the Gibraltan people want. Spain can’t have it, as the people don’t want it. The best of the situation would be to give the Island a devolved Parliament and the protection of whatever country they choose. They chose Britain, not Spain. They democratically voted, they have continually rejected, and will continually reject any attempt at Spanish rule of their rock. And Spains continual attack of they’re city nation, that is part of the EU, by using threatening words, telling them what to do with no right, having Spanish police enter Gibraltan territory and try and instigate Spanish law.

    And do not talk about the benefiting the people of earth, it benefits Spain and Spain alone. Gibraltar doesn’t benefit, Europe doesn’t benefit, democracy and self-determination do not benefit. Your talk is the Greater of all evils, apart from war trying to reclaim the land by war. And if they ever did they’d lose, politically, economically, and through warfare.

    Also, your point that Gibraltar is stepping on Spain toes? How? They put a reef in their own water, not Spanish, as dictated by UN law.

    • avatar
      Paul Roman

      THIS COMMENT WAS REMOVED BY MODERATORS FOR BREACHING OUR CODE OF CONDUCT. REPLIES MAY ALSO BE REMOVED.

  24. avatar
    Irrelevant

    Firstly No name, Gibraltar is not an island and neither has it ever been. It is a peninsular. Secondly, you can quote all the figures you like about Britain but the fact of the matter is, if Britain was such a powerhouse, why has the economy shrunk and only begun to grow by 0.7%? Shouldn’t Britain’s economy increase on its own regardless? 0.6% growth in 3 years doesn’t make me think Britain is a powerhouse. In fact it’s the complete opposite. I don’t know if you had noticed, but Germany and France are two countries of a small minority in Europe with significant growth. So much talk of the need to invest, why bother if Britain is such the powerhouse you claim to be? Why not just leave the EU? It isn’t full stop. Germany runs Europe and Britain, not Britain and not any other European country.

    Racism in the UK football league is alive. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/20365922 16/11/12. http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/news/racism-in-football/. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/racism-related-arrests-at-football-matches-in-england-and-wales. Some statistics too.

    Britain is just full of naive people like yourself. Ok now try and deny or worm your way out of that one. As for Gibraltar, it needs to be decolonised, the UN states that and i strongly agree. Gibraltan people can continue to live there as they wish, but it in the future, it will be under Spanish rule and laws.

    I’m calling it a day with our discussion, because i feel you are just too naive to get anywhere with. You also just don’t accept any truths about Britain and that’s why i pity you. That’s why this country doesn’t get any better. Food poverty, racism, fuel poverty, obesity, housing shortage, expenses above inflation, lack of long term jobs, teenage pregnancy and benefit cheats etc. British attitude is, ‘ah that’s ok, let’s have a cup of tea’, and that shows. It’s pathetic to be honest and a joke. I at least know where i stand with Spain.

    • avatar
      No name

      You are going to ignore facts and figures? That would make all your arguments invalid. Many economies have shrunk, even the USA’s are you going to say they are not a powerhouse. You also don’t seem to understand that growth is low all across Europe. Also Spanish growth has been 0.1 % from 1995 till 2013, that is how bad the Spanish economy is, so do not compare as Spain is seen as being in a worse position than the UK, we also did not require a European bailout.

      Secondly, if you read any of the documents on overseas territories being decolonised by the UN, it states that the most important factor is the self-determination of the people of those countries and it is the will of the people that should be taken into account foremost, and it is up to the people to determine what they will be as a political entity in the future. Basically your argument is flawed, your quote of using the UN actually is against Spain as he people have stated that their self determination in the 2002 referendum to have sovereignty not with Spain but with the UK, also the will of the people is shown through the words of the democratically elected governor of Gibraltar, Mr Picardo, who however disdainful he is to you, was democratically elected in fair and just elections.

      http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N13/359/95/PDF/N1335995.pdf?OpenElement

      What is more horrendous however is your continual attack against me, stating I am naive when I destroy your argument, yes with facts and figures that you say you don’t care for. More over you attack my country which we all know has faults, the reason we know is because as you quote British media has stated it. We do not hide from our weaknesses or point at some land dispute to distract the people. Britain gets on with the job, as it has always done. Through empire, to fighting fascist racists in the world war, to having the largest space programme in Europe, to fighting radicalism, and terrorists, and to rebuilding our economy after the worst economic crash ever that old affect the UK heavily due to its large finance industry ( the largest in Europe) and we still are ahead of Spain.

      And you’re still banging on about racism which we have addressed a hundred times, so here is a paper on Spanish racism written in 2005

      http://www.discourses.org/OldArticles/Discourse%20and%20racism%20in%20Spain.pdf

      Also anothe article stating the difference in culture and how Spain ignores its own racism within its culture.
      http://www.thecommentfactory.com/two-different-cultures-racism-in-spain-and-the-uk-1622/

  25. avatar
    Irrelevant

    @Tarquin

    It’s funny how I’ve read your reply and ironically do not see that in myself in any way shape or form, however, i do see that in you. The only point i was trying to get through to you, is that only a country who doesn’t have problems of a similar degree should be in a position to offer opinions on another. The arrogance of the British in discussing problems in Spain, war mongering, and believing their superiority, and therefore their contribution to the Spanish economy and their military power is clear for all to see. I wish this discussion could be about the future of Gibraltar, but the small mindedness of British people just turns it into a pathetic Trumps match.

    I actually see how inferior British people see the rest of the world. Xenophobia in Britain is as clear to see as daylight. It’s like i was saying to NO name, the British never look at the problems close to home when they talk about other countries. All of a sudden, problems like obesity, food poverty, fuel poverty, gang crimes, antisocial behavior, gun crime, racism (Ironically because there’s history as well as reports on the Met police and football), lack of growth in the economy, mp expenditures, unemployment (yes there is unemployment in Britain contrary to popular belief), trillion pound debts and more borrowing, teenage pregnancy don’t even exist. To me, that clearly shows large scale ignorance, naivety and a belief of superiority.

    Also, after doing a bit of research, i discovered your deeply anti European views and what i found disturbing, is your method of expression. Your belief in the inferiority of club med countries and the superiority of the UK has a flavor of Hitler and the Nazis about it (something ironically you say about the Spanish). Your hate is clear for everyone to see. You are a racist, xenophobic individual who ironically discusses racism. Your hate and negativity is something i’ve never seen before. Your hate for Spain is clear for all to see. But do you want to know something? I don’t care, i wouldn’t want people like you in Spain. I welcome anyone reading this to read your other posts in other discussions to make their own mind up about you. The sad thing for you is, your hate, prejudices, naivety and ignorance just goes towards taking any tiny amount of credibility you have in your arguments. Nothing you write would even convince me to your biased views and had you been impartial, i would have at the very least taken your views seriously.

    I very much hope that Gibraltar becomes a part of Spain very soon! At least then, Britain could have their own corner to rule without interference from the rest of Europe, Britain doesn’t have to get involved with general EU democracy and Britain can continue with their xenophobic attitude. Spain won’t have to deal with smuggling, Gibraltan parliament and claimed ownership of everything. It’ll be a happy situation for countries, it’ll improve relations and hopefully when and if you choose to open your mind, you will finally see that it was a good decision. It’s not the only solution and it’s not the most popular, but it’s the best. People like you only hurt unity and progress!

    I can’t morally, have discussions with someone who is hypercritical, vindictive, racist, unbiased and closed minded. Therefore, i’m calling it day on our discussion.

  26. avatar
    Debating Europe

    Dear commenters, please respect each other and refrain from using insulting language. Thank you!

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Irrelevant
      Thank goodness, you’ve given up – that’s a typical INFERIOR trait of people that come from …

      :)

  27. avatar
    Joe

    Of course disputes like Gibraltar can be resolved. If Spain respected the Gibraltarians’ human rights and their right to self-determination it would be resolved. After all Spain publicly endorses both Human rights and self-determination.

  28. avatar
    ben_richardson

    There is no dispute to resolve here.
    The Gibraltarians do not want to be part of Spain, and they haven’t been under Spanish occupation for 300 years.

    If you try to reset the world map according to 300 years ago, the world looked a very different place. Maybe we should reset it to 450 years ago, which was before Spain took over Gibraltar.

    Start fixing your economic problems, and stop picking fights for nasty political games.

    • avatar
      Irrelevant

      If you look closer, you’ll find there are two disputes to resolve.

      The first dispute lies with Gibraltar throwing concrete blocks into waters that are claimed by both Gibraltar and Spain. The ownership of the waters are disputed by both because both have reasons to make a claim over it, this is despite what some misguided people believe. So imagine how Spain reacts when concrete blocks are thrown in without so much as a discussion or advisory? Doesn’t take a lot of thought or imagination to consider how they’d react. Furthermore, this concrete block has disrupted the fishing activities of Spanish fishermen who have been free to fish there for many years. This will effect the local economy and how they support themselves.

      Secondly, when the concrete reef was created, this awoken the main dispute of sovereignty which has been happening for many years.

      Read this, it’s probably a little biased but you’ll get the main gist.

      Furthermore in Spain’s defense, Nato states that Gibraltar is colony that needs to be decolonised, regardless of what Gibraltans want. Unfortunately, their wishes take very little account in all this (apart from the British side). If and when Gibraltar is decolonised, Gibrlatans will legally have full rights to stay or leave as they wish. The only thing that will change are the laws, taxes and flag. Yes, they’d have to pay a lot more.

      Lastly, you should focus closer to home. Britain is no virgin in a pure white gown like British people naively believe. Britain has corruption and economic problems of its own. I’m starting to think it’s the British are the ones making distractions from their political and economical ‘carry ons’. I also think it’s the British and Gibraltar picking fights for nasty political games (remember the reef?). All this criticism of the Spanish, but i think the real psychology behind is to release smoke into the eyes of the British to forget their criticism for George Osborn’s stupid recovery plan. Wouldn’t you agree MR Cameron?

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Irrelevant
      By Jove! I thought you’d given up dear boy! Please note:

      The UK is superior to Spain financially – the UK is in the G8, Spain is not.

      The UK is superior to Spain morally – the UK always outdoes Spain in the Transparency International tables.

      The UK is superior to Spain militarily – the UK builds NUCLEAR submarines that work whilst Spain builds plain submarines that sink.

      The UK is also far less racist than Spain – that’s one of the reasons why Spain failed to get the 2020 Olympics – its failure to deal with drugs and corruption didn’t help either.

      Spain is superior to the UK in a few things however like food and drink it must be said – like they really matter eh! ;)

  29. avatar
    Marcel

    I support Britain’s legitimate claim. You lose the battle, you lose the land. That’s how it worked 300 years ago when an Anglo-Dutch fleet took Gibraltar away from Spain and ended the Spanish empire.

    Oh, and on a different note, Turkey will never be in the EU because we the peoples do not want it. Referendums please!

    I don’t care what unelected undemocratic types of the Brussels Eurosoviet want.

    • avatar
      Irrelevant

      Well, i don’t support Turkey’s non recognition of Cyprus. And as for Turkey joining the EU, i think it’s only a matter of time.

  30. avatar
    Marcel

    No it isn’t a matter of time. It will never happen. The peoples (note: plural) do not want it.

    Turkey = Asia minor, not Europe.

    And who’s gonna pay for massive subsidies that will be needed to give to Turkey? You? I thought not, you’re probably angling for one of them income-tax-exempt jobs in the Brussels EuroSoviet.

  31. avatar
    Ignacio Paredero Huerta

    Maybe not. The right-wing government of Spain and the right-wing government of UK are happy to trow flags to each other. It serves well to distract the public opinion from their own misery. The problem here, at least for me, it is the fiscal one. If that is solved, from the spanish point of view, i would not have any reason to claim anything.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Ignacio Paredero Huerta
      The current state of affairs was manufactured by the current corrupt Spanish government, please don’t lay the blame at the UK for once.

  32. avatar
    Joe Thorpe

    That will all come down to who is prepared to use force to get their way & who is prepared to use force to keep parties together or apart

  33. avatar
    Joe Thorpe

    Complete rubbish! Argentina invaded us first overpowering our defenseless citizens. It took us over a month to send a fleet of a hundred odd ships down to take the islands back & free our citizens so they cant say we surprised them like they did us. With regard to Gibraltar the people their hold UK passports & overwhelmingly voted to remain British. It is Spain that is poking around pushing the boundaries trying to bait us & it is Spain that will lose from any raising of the stakes in this affair. As regards to our finances much of our debt is owed to ourselves & we can print more money to replace what the banks have lost & they are now paying that back with interest, interest which our government gets to keep. Spain has none of those options which is why they are desperate for the jobs in Gibraltar & the dire state of the Spanish economy in the Andalusia is why the Spaniards are probably smuggling tobacco & other duty free items back to spain as they go back & forth from their place of work. This is an issue brought about by the dreadful state of the economy in Spain not because of the UK or Gibraltar. Spain is caught up in the Euro it is on the path towards being a satellite of Germany, it made its bed for itself by joining the Euro.

  34. avatar
    Joe Thorpe

    You are obviously mentally deficient or suffering from Bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Argentinians are interlopers from Spain they plundered South America exterminating the indigenous peoples just like Adolf Hitler tried to do across much of Europe which probably explains why Argentina was so welcoming to the Nazi’s after the war giving them refuge & making them feel so welcome. brothers in arms so to speak. Now go back to working out how you can pay your bills!

  35. avatar
    Joe Thorpe

    Dear Fellow, Argentina are the bullies they invaded a country with a tiny population & over ran it & were too stupid to leave before we got there to teach them a lesson. You should roll back your history to when your genocidal ancestors left Spain to terrorise South America.

  36. avatar
    No name

    So, because Argentina is a weaker nation attacking the Falklands it is okay? Because serbia is weaker, it is allowed to commit genocide? Just because the UK is a strong military nation, does not mean it can’t use it’s military to stop its islands from being invaded, or to help prevent a genocide.

    Also Argentina claiming the island without ever actually controlling the islands, which the British control still doesn’t make Argentinas claim any stronger. Not only that, the people of the Falklands wish to remain under British sovereignty, which as the UN has stated, it is the will of the people who live there to decide their future. Not for Argentina, to invade, economically bully and harass.

    Not only this but the evidence you have provided backs what I’m saying. Your first link states that Argentina were the aggressors. The second link states that the humanitarian argument was pro NATO action due to the evil actions of the Serbian military.

    Also the Turkish issue at the time is a complicated issue. As although northern Cyprus is only recognised as a country by turkey. Turkey is a NATO ally, and Cyprus is a EU member. The international treaties means that the UK cannot make the first aggressive move, and the UK could only respond if they are attacked.

    Also I’m not taking the British side here, I’m taking the Falklanders side who were attacked, the Serbian civilians who were massacred. Where as you seem to be promoting a purely anti-Anglo Saxon stance, which is slightly racist. And yes the British are a race of Germanic people’s, commonly referred to as Anglo, such as Anglo-French alliances etc.

    So please argue providing evidence that you’ve read, that actually backs our statements.

  37. avatar
    No name

    You want to ask a Cypriot, not a British person. It is up to Cyprus to state their official languages.

    But you could say, why doesn’t Norway or the Netherlands have English as an official language as most of their countrymen can speak English.

  38. avatar
    Joe Thorpe

    Why is English even an official EU language when it is such a lone voice in the EU & the only official English speaking country in the EU & will eventually leave it anyway. I guess it comes down to media & how & from where you receive your audio visual entertainment. It doesnt trouble me.

  39. avatar
    No name

    Also it is the language that most Europeans use to communicate with on another. When polish and French people meet they speak in English. English is the international language of business, of the UN, NATO, science. English is what will most likely be the start of the official world language, leading to a type 1 civilisation. Hopefully then we can start looking at creating a type 2 civilisation.

  40. avatar
    Joe Thorpe

    I couldn’t find more than a hand full of people that spoke English in Poland & one of those was the guide that took us round Auschwitz two were German one was in a coffee shop & the other drove a golf buggy tour around Krakow although come to think of it that was a recording played back on headphones lol & I was there 3 weeks! No one spoke a word of English I had to use google translate on my iphone just to get my steak cooked well done & even then it was rotten :-(

  41. avatar
    No name

    When I went to Warsaw, most people I talked to hand some grasp of English, not fluent, but some English. However the point being made is that English is still an international language. And even in Europe a lot of people speak it.

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