The Rendon Group Snapshot Report – 26 August 2013

by TRG Alerts Admin on August 26, 2013

Each week The Rendon Group’s media analysts will focus on a different continent and a different issue affecting that continent. As always, we remain available to answer any questions you may have and to provide additional information upon request. For more information regarding The Rendon Group’s products and services, please contact us at Alert@Rendon.com or +1-202-745-4900.

UK-Spanish Relations Sour over Gibraltar

This week’s Snapshot focuses on the recent developments in the ongoing diplomatic spat between the United Kingdom and Spain over the sovereignty of Gibraltar.

News Summary of events during the week of 19AUG-25AUG

  • On 19AUG, The European Commission said that imposing taxes or toll fees at EU member-state borders would be “illegal.” (AP)
  • On 19AUG, British frigate HMS Westminster docked in Gibraltar on Monday in a naval exercise, a day after dozens of Spanish fishing boats sailed to waters around the “Rock” to demand Gibraltar remove 70 concrete blocks it has dropped in their fishing grounds. (AFP)
  • On 19AUG, the EU agreed to send a fact-finding mission to Gibraltar to help defuse tensions. (Reuters)
  • On 20AUG, Spain told Britain it must remove Gibraltar ‘reef’ before Madrid will agree to dialogue. (AFP)
  • On 20AUG, Britain rejected a Spanish proposal to hold one-on-one talks over the sovereignty of Gibraltar. (Reuters)
  • On 23AUG, Spain’s Guardia Civil police released a video purportedly of its divers inspecting and measuring one of 70 concrete blocks dropped by Gibraltar into the surrounding sea to create a hotly disputed reef, an act criticized by Britain’s top representative in Gibraltar (AFP)

Sample of Twitter Handles regarding the status of Gibraltar

  • @ juliegirling – MEP For South West England and Gibraltar
  • @fabianpicardo – Chief minister, Socialist Labour Party of Gibraltar
  • @gibchronicle – Open-source Gibraltar news aggregator by the Chronicle

Sample of Third Party Validators regarding the status of Gibraltar

Name Title Organization Quote News Article Date
Antonio Barroso Analyst Teneo Intelligence “I think Gibraltar is and will continue to be a point of friction but I doubt that it will strain relations between the two countries to the point of a breakup. Spain and the U.K. have far too many interests in common to let Gibraltar be the defining issue of their relationship.”

 

Spain-Britain ties rocked by flap over Gibraltar

 

Media: Associated Press

 

24 August 2013
Chris Grocott Historian University of Leicester “What is interesting is that the current dispute is about fishing but it is being used to discuss territorial waters and what those limits are for Gibraltar.”

 

Spain-Britain ties rocked by flap over Gibraltar

 

Media: Associated Press

 

24 August 2013
Pablo Perez Lopez History professor University of Navarra To many non-Spaniards, “it seems ridiculous that Spain has territory there. But the position of Spain is that it was in North Africa hundreds of years before the British arrived in Gibraltar.”

 

Spain-Britain ties rocked by flap over Gibraltar

 

Media: Associated Press

 

24 August 2013
Gareth Gingell Lobbyist Defenders of Gibraltar “People were afraid to speak out before, but we have to highlight what’s wrong. We can’t be afraid.”

 

Booming Gibraltar fears new era of sour relations with Spain

 

Media: Reuters

19 August 2013
Damian Chalmers Professor of EU law London School of Economics “The law…is the same in relation to external frontiers. The test for external frontiers for EU citizens is minimum checks”. UK likely to win at EU court the Gibraltar border ‘excessive checks’ case

 

Media: Merco Press

15 August 2013


Sample of open source research conducted by TRG Analysts related to Gibraltar

 

1. Spain-Britain ties rocked by flap over Gibraltar

Media: Associated Press
Byline: N/A
Date: 24 August 2013

 

MADRID (AP) — One side likens the other to North Korea and promises “hell will freeze over” before it surrenders. Its adversary speaks darkly of “abhorrent” deeds and an “environmental crime.”

It sounds like a dangerous blow-up between arch-enemies. But the opponents in this fight are just testy neighbors: Spain and the British domain of Gibraltar.

In question is an artificial reef that Gibraltar created offshore to block what it calls excessive Spanish fishing in its waters, a move that caused Spain to retaliate by beefing up border security, creating excruciating delays for cars going in and out of the tax-free haven. At the heart of the dispute is a longstanding row surrounding Spain’s claims to sovereignty over Gibraltar, an issue that invariably stirs Spanish passions and boils over every decade or so with arguments such as the one over the reef.

Gibraltar’s chief minister, Fabian Picardo — accusing Spain of bullying the tiny enclave like a belligerent North Korea — claims that Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is using the fishing issue to fan nationalist sentiment so Spaniards will forget their economic misery and a corruption scandal slamming his party, a charge echoed by Spanish opposition politicians. If that’s Rajoy’s strategy, it appears to be working: The Gibraltar flap has become Spain’s top news story, dominating front pages and television newscasts — bumping the scandal off the agenda.

To continue reading, please visit: http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/spain-britain-ties-rocked-flap-gibraltar-20043813

END

 

2. Gibraltar governor condemns Spanish police reef dive

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Byline: N/A
Date: 23 August 2013

MADRID, Community of Madrid, Aug 23, 2013 (AFP) – Britain’s top representative in Gibraltar reacted angrily on Friday to news that Spanish police divers had filmed themselves inspecting a concrete reef in waters claimed by the tiny territory.

Spain’s Guardia Civil police released a video purportedly of its divers inspecting and measuring one of 70 concrete blocks dropped by Gibraltar into the surrounding sea to create a hotly disputed reef.

“The act of diving itself constituted a serious violation of British sovereignty but this apparent interference with the reef is a new and worrying aspect,” said the Gibraltar Governor, Sir Adrian Johns.

To continue reading, please visit: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/gibraltar-governor/788616.html

END

 

3. Britain rejects Spanish request for Gibraltar talks

Media: Reuters
Byline: N/A
Date: 20 August 2013

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain rejected a Spanish proposal to hold one-on-one talks over the sovereignty of the contested British overseas territory of Gibraltar on Tuesday after Spain issued an appeal for such negotiations to be held “as soon as possible”.

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo made the appeal in the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, but a spokeswoman from British Prime Minister David Cameron’s office said London would not enter into any talks on the subject.

“Sovereignty is clear in our minds,” said the spokeswoman, saying the only talks Britain could envisage would be between Spain and Gibraltar over fishing practices, but not over the enclave’s sovereignty or control of its fishing waters.

To continue reading, please visit: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/20/us-spain-gibraltar-idUSBRE97J0D420130820

END

 

4. EU reminds Spain border tax ‘illegal’ as Gibraltar row intensifies

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Byline: N/A
Date: 19 August 2013

BRUSSELS, Brussels Capital Region, Aug 19, 2013 (AFP) – The European Commission said Monday that imposing taxes or toll fees at EU member-state borders would be “illegal”, as a diplomatic tug-of-war between Britain and Spain over Gibraltar escalated.

“We can confirm that any tax (or) fees imposed at the border of a member state will be illegal under EU law,” Commission spokesman Olivier Bailly told a news briefing in Brussels.

Spain’s Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia Margallo had suggested in a media interview at the start of August that a 50-euro tax would be levied for travellers entering Spain from Gibraltar.

To continue reading, please visit: http://zeenews.india.com/news/world/eu-reminds-spain-border-tax-illegal-as-gibraltar-row-intensifies_870161.html

END

 

5. British warship docks in Gibraltar amid Spain row

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)
Byline: N/A
Date: 19 August 2013

GIBRALTAR, Aug 19, 2013 (AFP) – British frigate HMS Westminster docked in Gibraltar on Monday in a naval exercise coinciding with a furious diplomatic row with Spain over sovereignty and fishing rights in the surrounding waters.

The frigate, equipped with a Type 23 weapons system including a magazine torpedo launcher, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, Sea Wolf surface-to-air missiles and helicopter, arrived at the British outpost in the morning.

Though long-planned, the visit by the warship came at a time of high tension, a day after dozens of Spanish fishing boats sailed to waters around the “Rock” to demand Gibraltar remove 70 concrete blocks it has dropped in their fishing grounds.

To continue reading, please visit: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/08/19/british-warship-docks-in-gibraltar-amid-spain-row/

END

 

6. Brussels to send mission to Gibraltar as tensions simmer

Media: Reuters
Byline: N/A
Date: 19 August 2013

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission said on Monday it would send a fact-finding mission to Gibraltar to help defuse tensions over the Mediterranean enclave between Britain and Spain.

The creation of an artificial reef off Gibraltar has triggered protests from Spanish fishermen who say it blocks their access to some waters. Spain has toughened its border checks, leading to long queues for workers and tourists.

To continue reading, please visit: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/19/spain-gibraltar-eu-idUSL6N0GK27E20130819

END

 

7. Spanish fishing flotilla protests near Gibraltar

Media: Associated Press
Byline: N/A
Date: 18 August 2013

ALGECIRAS, Spain (AP) — Spanish fishermen in some 60 fishing boats are protesting the building of an artificial reef near the disputed British territory of Gibraltar, which has also soured relations between Madrid and London.

The fishermen say the reef of around 70 concrete blocks — some with steel rods protruding — can snare their nets.

To continue reading, please visit: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/aug/18/spanish-fishing-flotilla-protests-near-gibraltar/

END

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