Spain and Britain make history in The Rock deal
26 July 2006, MADRID – Spain, Britain and Gibraltar have reached a historical consensus over The Rock.
26 July 2006
MADRID – Spain, Britain and Gibraltar have reached a historical consensus over The Rock.
The three governments have announced they have come to an "understanding" over Gibraltar’s airport, pensions for Spaniards living in the British colony, telephones and the transit zone of The Rock.
In a joint statement, the three said the deal would be followed up with the first meeting of a forum for tripartite dialogue on 18 September.
In the future, Spain and Britain are to share use of Gibraltar airport. The airport has always been a controversial topic in the often stormy relations between the two countries over the colony since the terminal and the runway are on land which was not handed over to the UK in the Utrecht Treaty of 1713.
In the nineteenth century, Britain progressively occupied a part of the strait on which the airport is based, a move which Spain says resulted in Britain acquiring around 800 metres of Spain illegally.
This week’s negotiations have also resulted in a deal for around 6,000 Spanish pensioners who had not been eligible for a pension on the colony despite many years working there.
Telecommunications and the transit zone between Spain and Gibraltar are to be improved on The Rock under the new deal.
The understanding between the three governments seems to mark a new era in the relationship between Spain and the UK over the colony.
Spain has always claimed sovereignty over the colony and over the past few years, Britain and Spain have broached the idea of joint sovereignty.
However, in November 2002, the 30,000 citizens of Gibraltar nearly unanimously voted in an unofficial referendum to maintain their status as a British territory.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news