Gibraltar criticises Spanish police dive

 
Rock of Gibraltar and Spanish fishing boat Spanish fishermen have protested over an artificial reef which they say is damaging their interests

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Gibraltar has strongly criticised Spanish police for sending divers to inspect an artificial reef in waters claimed by the British territory.

Governor Sir Adrian Johns said the action constituted a serious violation of UK sovereignty over Gibraltar.

He said it was particularly unhelpful in the light of the current row over fishing rights which has led to strict border checks and long car queues.

Spain says the reef is damaging its fishing industry.

Measuring tape

Last month, the government of Gibraltar dropped 74 concrete blocks onto the sea bed to create an artificial reef designed to reinvigorate marine life.

Pictures show Guardia Civil divers examining the blocks with measuring tape.

The divers took Spanish flags with them then posed for underwater photos, which were later shared on Twitter.

The Gibraltar government has defended its right to erect the reef, and accused Spain of "making a serious incursion into British Gibraltar Territorial Waters" and adding to existing tensions.

The government in Madrid disputes Gibraltar's ownership of the waters off its coast, and accuses its neighbour of deliberately damaging the Spanish fishing trade.

An offer from Gibraltar's chief minister to allow 59 local Spanish fishermen to return to the area had been made before the images of the police divers emerged.

'Serious incursion'

The Gibraltar government said in a statement: "Her Majesty's Government of Gibraltar notes the incident of executive action taken by the Guardia Civil in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters in the area of the new artificial reef.

"The matter of this serious incursion will not assist in de-escalating the present tensions."

The European Commission is to send a fact-finding mission to Gibraltar to investigate controls at the border.

It follows tensions between Spain and the UK over extra border checks on the Spanish side which have caused lengthy traffic delays.

Britain says the checks break EU free movement rules but Spain says Gibraltar has not controlled smuggling.

Royal Navy warship HMS Westminster docked in Gibraltar last week in what the British government said was a long-planned deployment of a number of vessels to the Mediterranean and the Gulf.

Spain disputes UK sovereignty over Gibraltar, a limestone outcrop near the southern tip of the Iberian peninsula, which has been ruled by Britain since 1713.

Gibraltar
 

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  • rate this
    -19

    Comment number 206.

    The British still think they rule the world

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 205.

    Tony 172, Different tax rates are a fact across the EU and the border areas of countries with higher taxation next to those countries with lower taxation also had that problem. When countries joined the EU, they knew this.Why is it suddenly a problem with the new Spanish government? Are national governments in the EU now justified in imposing border checks

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 204.

    Hello all wake up and smell the coffee this is not the first time this has happened I was there in 1966 when they did this our response we placed a naval bording party in a high speed launch and approached the nearest spanish naval ship, (there was more than one) too which they upped and left simple really just show them you mean buisness after all these are british citizens NOT an unknown entity

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 203.

    Sod Spain, holiday in Gib.; impressive scenery, clean beaches, great bars and restaurants, and really friendly locals.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 202.

    to all those old corrupted spanish politicians ,just a crappy mafia !, symbols of decay and putrefaction !,be it of the right or or the left ,the old same history:

    GO AWAY and let the young spanish generation take the power and get rid of all your widespread garbage !

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 201.

    Scrap Metal Workers posing with Argentine flags on British South Georgia Island.

    Police Divers posing with Spanish flags on a reef within British Gibraltarian waters.

    Deja vu?

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 200.

    When the economy is bad, it is always thus to distract the masses. Argentina vs. Falklands. Spain vs. Gibraltar. It’s an Hibernian political tactic, don’t ya know?

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 199.

    I am surprised that Spain with its rocky economy is encouraging this animosity against the UK through Gibraltar.It takes very little to discourage tourists in these troubled times and this current situation may well cause. UK tourists to think twice about visiting Spain fi they wish a hassle free and welcoming holiday.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 198.

    183 jimmy you are right...I don't pay UK tax because because I'm not in the UK....
    Anyway I don't have time to argue......just throwing another steak on the BBQ and cracking open a beer...hey pass the sun cream dear.:-)

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 197.

    A question for those who think that the people of Gibraltar cannot decide their own allegiance: When are the Welsh (i.e. the original British) going to reclaim England from those dreadful Anglo-Saxon settlers?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 196.

    73.
    E Doyle
    1 Hour ago

    "Tactical missile strikes now against Spain with economic sanctions as well. Bring them to their knees."
    -

    Bit late, they're economy is all but non existent except Catalonia.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 195.

    @ 20
    Left wing agenda? Oh my god seriously people like you need to stop breathing through your mouth. I found out about Spanish colonies in Africa via the BBC so I have no idea what you're on about.
    People who use the term "liberal" "leftie" or anything like that should be sterilised as they're mimicking American politics..and god help us we don't want to do that.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 194.

    Violation of sovereignty and a police blockade on an overseas territory. Isn't this what the military is supposed to solve? Instead, our elite are more interested in conflicts in the middle east.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 193.

    Just send Spain a huge bill for their actions. It will bankrupt them! Then we can buy up the whole of Spain, or the useable bits of coastline for our holidaymakers, cheap, from the receivers. Can send long term unemployed there, Spain would not notice added to their own.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 192.

    73.
    E Doyle
    1 Hour ago

    "Tactical missile strikes now against Spain with economic sanctions as well. Bring them to their knees."

    This isn't Call of Duty...

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 191.

    Spain are trying to flex muscle against Gibraltar which is our colony! DAVID CAMERON, stop being weak and send a Type 45 there, park right on the edge of the disputed territory and if Spain complain (which they will) then that is the time to tell them to either put up, or shut up!

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 190.

    What a wonderful world we live in. Good to see the same names on here ready for war and sanctions, you know your names. What we all need is some clarity, most of the problems the world faces today are problems our glourious leaders need to sort out, is that not why they are paid so highly? Spain is not our enemy. Of course, for shooting elephants the king is off my xmas card list.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 189.

    I regret that these contribution facilities are increasingly being used by contributors making snide comments about other contributors. often with no reference to the subject.
    There are some alarming similarities with other forums on line.
    Surely we can all rise above this dross. Please make pertinent comments instead of exercising your vanity.
    Who will be the next 'stalker' or 'troll'???

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 188.

    So the Spanish gov throws its toys out of the pram protecting its fishermen ... who would have to be fishing illegally for the reef site to be a problem for them, all the usual whingers shout give the rock to Spain even although they ceded it to the UK and the Gibraltarians don't want to be Spanish, meanwhile tax dodging Brits sit on Spanish beaches pumping billions into the Spanish economy.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 187.

    #173 Philip
    "Let's ditch these tax dodging parasites who live off British taxpayers."

    That would be the Spanish, then? They're a 'net income' EU country - about 2 billion Euros a year, or 51 Euros a head.

    That's more than the entire GDP of Gibraltar. So who are the real parasites?

 

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