Gibraltar

Gib – A small rock roughly attached to Spain in a geographic manner, but British.

Or so the treaty of Utrecht says, in perpetutity.

But the Spanish want it back.

The Gibraltarians don’t want to be Spanish.

Each time Spain has domestic problems, they roll out the problem to hide the bad news from the people in a wave of patriotism. It’s a bit like the Falkland Islands problem, but different.

Gibraltar’s jubilee party sends signal to Madrid

Political tensions have escalated again between the UK and Spain over a territory eager to prove once more that it is ‘more British than the British’

Gibraltar prepares to celebrate: a diamond jubilee poster on the parliament building. Photograph: Jon Nazca/Reuters

In Gibraltar, said chief minister Fabian Picardo, children learn history fast. “They can say ‘the treaty of Utrecht’ when they are around a year old,” laughed Picardo, an Oxford-educated socialist with a picture of the Queen in his office. “We start them young.”

It was that agreement, signed in 1713, that granted the 426m-high rock jutting out where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic to the British “in perpetuity”. And as Gibraltar swathes itself in red, white and blue to celebrate the Queen’s jubilee, it is revelling in its reputation for being “more British than the British”.

“It’s about the symbolism, really,” said taxi driver Eddie Castle. “We do like to irritate the Spanish when we can. But they get their own back: whenever there is a row, they get their own back by making things very difficult for people at the border.”

The queues of cars waiting to cross from the tiny 2.6 sq mile territory into Spain have lengthened dramatically in the last week, as Spanish border patrols have been ordered to make things more difficult for motorists and workers, increasing security checks in a move condemned by Picardo as “childish”.

The latest row in the centuries-old fractious relationship between Gibraltar, London and Madrid is, as many have been over the years, about royalty….

…Out on a main street bristling with bunting – where pubs sell British grub and M&S advertises “UK prices” next to little shops selling T-shirts saying “Proud to be British” – political views are generally relaxed. Schoolgirls in white and burgundy uniforms crowd into Top Shop chattering in a mix of Spanish and English. “I’m Gibraltarian, or maybe English, both,” said Catherine, 14. “My dad would kill me if I didn’t say British but I think, for me, Gibraltarian,” said Rose, 14.

“Are you kidding me?” said a 15-year-old boy in designer sunglasses with a Spanish surname, when asked if he feels linked to Spain. “Nobody hates them or anything, but it’s a different world in Gib.” And as far as the majority of the inhabitants are concerned, it’s a case of bring on the jubilee.

Source: The Guardian Read more

Georaphically attached to Spain, but British

 

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