The UK, Spain and Gibraltar: Two bald men fighting over a comb

gibraltar_monkey_4Witnessing the last collision between the UK and Spain over Gibraltar, three thoughts pop up in my mind.

  1. Two bald men fighting over a comb. Borges’ view about the Falklands/Malvinas war turns to be quite useful to speak about Gibraltar today. Three decades ago, the Argentinean junta and a Thatcher in trouble agreed to distract their publics’ attention towards the other side of the Atlantic. David Cameron and Mariano Rajoy are doing the same thing with Gibraltar. The former seems unable to turn the polls upside down and the latter simply doesn´t even know how to start arranging his long list of problems. They don´t care a toss about Gibraltar, but it gives them the opportunity to wave their favourite flags: Cameron with that of the resistance to a foreign “power” and Rajoy with the one of musty patriotism.
  2. The European geography is a museum where not all pieces are necessarily beautiful. Gibraltar, Monaco, San Marino, Andorra, Liechtenstein or even the Vatican City are only curiosities that history has left behind. That’s how these territories should be perceived, and not as a source for potential diplomatic conflict.
  3. The Spanish policy toward Gibraltar should be guided by the wishes and interests of the population living near the Rock in the province of Cádiz. The Government of Spain ought to defend their work, trade and environmental needs, and stop overusing empty words like “sovereignty” and “territorial integrity”. (For the moment, Gibraltarians’ Spanish neighbours have shown a much more reasonable attitude than the Government in Madrid.) I’d say that a similar request may be made to the Government in London and its loaded understanding of the notion of “self-determination”.

Koldo Casla



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