The installation includes a maritime radar and an all-weather surveillance camera, with ancillary equipment housed in a Portasilo QA.
While Gibraltar was on holiday last Monday, celebrating Commonwealth Day, the military were testing the installation on the east side, quietly and unannounced.
Two specialist technicians were calibrating the equipment, with the input received being analysed on radar screens. There was a car parked outside, with Cadiz registration plates, which pointed an instant finger to the American base at Rota.
Questioned by PANORAMA, a spokesman at the Command British Forces said: "The United States of America are not involved in this project."
The installation of the equipment, on a coastal site as close as possible to sea level, indicated it would be used for seaborne operations. It is, in fact, a Kelvin Hughes 'standard maritime radar', plus an all-weather sensitive camera to be used to identify vessels. It has been sited close to an unused ammunition jetty.
A military spokesman told PANORAMA: "The entire installation has been established to enable Commander British Forces Gibraltar to better monitor British Territorial Waters."
The installation comes in the wake of the fishing crisis with Spain and requests to Britain for improved facilities, but military watchers link it to other operations. "The radar would not have been installed visibly on a roadside unless that specific location was an essential consideration for the purposes envisaged," a source pointed out. US ships have been detected in the area.
There may be a wider desire to have good relations with Spain, but Britain cannot develop such a policy at the expense of the British people of Gibraltar.
Not only that, but Britain cannot and must not accept that the European and other legitimate rights of the Gibraltarians should be constantly under threat by the unreasonable behaviour of its bigger neighbour, entrenched in pursuing an anachronistic claim by undemocratic means.
A democratic Spain must be made to understand that the future of Gibraltar can only be decided by the freely and democratically expressed wishes of the Gibraltarians, even if this is placed within the constraints of the antiquated Treaty of Utrecht.
And if Britain is to insist that Utrecht does not allow for full political emancipation, she cannot in the same breath argue that a strengthening of the link with Britain is also out of the question.
Spain, for its part, cannot threaten with the non-recognition of Gibraltar as a jurisdiction separate from the UK and at the same time appear contrary to Gibraltar being integrated with Britain.
Ironically, Spanish overseas territories, even out in the Atlantic, are deemed to be integral parts of Spain, with special local political frameworks. Other EU members also have their own overseas territories fully integrated with the metropolis. Singularly, only Gibraltar is an overseas territory of a member state that is also within Europe, giving it added weight.
Gibraltar wants to have strong links with Britain, with whom it shares 300 years of history, and good relations with everyone including its neighbours. But it must acquire a stable, secure, and decolonised status once and for all.
It is up to the British Government to fulfil its obligations and deliver. Without betraying the people of Gibraltar.
The cost of health was £22 million in the year ending March 1997. Spending in the Group Practice Medical Scheme exceeds £14 million annually.
My immediate reaction was that, although this is something that should be borne in mind when we sit round the table with British Government representatives to thrash our future constitutional link with Britain, it is a matter that has to be thought out with great care and in detail, as the consequence would be far-reaching and we have to make sure that it is in our long term interests.
One thing that should not deter us from moving in this direction, is the fact that (a) integration with Britain was ruled out by a Labour Government in the 1970s (the infamous Hattersley Memorandum) and (b) this option has again been ruled out very recently by the British Government as a possible constitutional way forward. I say we should not be deterred by this because, much to everybody's surprise in Gibraltar, we learned quite recently, following the release under the 30 year rule, of documents containing up to then confidential information, that Harold Wilson, the British Prime Minister at the time, when there was a strong movement in Gibraltar towards integration with Britain, appeared to be well disposed to grant integration to Gibraltar. It was a pity, and it must, sadly, be said, that it was a bad reflection on the late Sir Joshua Hassan, the then Chief Minister of Gibraltar, that according to the documents released, he advised Harold Wilson that there was no significant interest in Gibraltar in moving in that direction, or words to that effect.
In my view, once all the consequences of integrating with Britain have been carefully considered and weighed, and if the outcome is positive, the time to go for it is now. I say this because following the recent judgement by the European Court on Human Rights in Strasbourg, that Britain was acting illegally in not enabling its subjects in Gibraltar to vote in European elections, the British Government will have no option but give us the vote. I cannot see how else Gibraltarians will be able to exercise this right, except by joining a British constituency for this purpose, or, much less likely, by Gibraltar becoming a separate British constituency. Either way it would be a considerable step in the direction of forming part and parcel of the United Kingdom, that is, integrating with the mother country.
1. The present self-government of Gibraltar would be impossible to retain as a Spanish autonomy.
2. The incorporation of Gibraltar in Spain, even as an autonomy with the maximum possible level of self-government of an autonomous community - or more than that currently enjoyed by the Basques and Catalans - would enormously reduce the prerogatives and rights already conquered by Gibraltar, as well as annulling its juridical framework.
3. In particular, the Gibraltarian finance centre, against what minister Matutes says or insinuates, is completely and absolutely impossible to retain under integrated Spanish sovereignty and within the constitution of an autonomous community.
4. The incorporation of Gibraltar in Spain would produce the loss of the isthmus by the new autonomous Gibraltar, unless a complicated process developed which would require maximum consensus.
6. The annexation would have the inevitable effect of fully assimilating the population and dissolving after a few years the identity of the Rock, apart from annulling all the present - and above all, potential - advantages and guarantees, of the present international status of non-selfgoverning territory.
7. Any formula of incorporation of Gibraltar in Spain is juridically difficult and has political implications about the stability of Spain and its autonomous system.
8. It is only possible to incorporate Gibraltar without creating a serious constitutional problem in Spain if it is done annulling the near totality of Gibraltarian self-government and considering Gibraltar, after its annexation, simply as -
(a) a municipality of the province of Cadiz
(b) another Andalusian province, with certain specifics
or, at the most
(c) an autonomous city similar to Melilla or Ceuta.
9. The integration of Gibraltar with its present level of self-government, apart from being unconstitutional, would set important precedents for discontented peripheral nations.
10. The Spain with which Gibraltar would be incorporated is a complex pluralist state under review, in which central tensions provoke profound instability long-term. Gibraltar, which would be absolutely insignificant in such surroundings and which would lack strength in Madrid, would find itself incapable to secure its interests in this changing framework.
11. The option of retaining British citizenship would even be worse for Gibraltarian interests, not only because it would make the Gibraltarians foreigners in their own land but would leave political conduct solely in Spanish hands.
12. Contrary to what is being said or insinuated from Madrid, it is also constitutionally and politically impossible to create a special citizens status for the Gibraltarians with specific rights over the Rock.
13. To satisfy the Spanish claim while really retaining the present self-government of Gibraltar, preserving the status of dependent territory, the only solution would be for the Rock not to be incorporated in Spain's full sovereignty, but establishing a colonial relationship with Madrid.
14. Gibraltar is today a very perfected example of 'fragment of State' or a 'Nasciturus State', and that is its main political, juridical and financial attribute, which cannot be accommodated in the interior of another State, not even in the British, unless it were a constituent part of a free confederal State.
15. For everything stated, the decolonisation of Gibraltar through its integration in the Spanish state as an autonomous community would only be possible if it entailed the near-total dismantling of Gibraltarian self-government, and would also create serious internal problems in Spain.
Spain is at No.2 position with over £50 million. All other countries are well behind, with Germany at No.3 position with £4 million, followed by the Netherlands at £3.4 million, Japan £3 million, Hong Kong £2 million and France £1.7 million.
Total imports exceeded £216 million, excluding petroleum products, DOWN from £277 million the previous year.
Our exports also went DOWN to £49 million compared with £70 million the year before.
David Frost started off by saying that relations between the UK and Spain have sunk to new lows recently, and referred to recent events and then asked Mr. Caruana whether there was any truth to Spain's view about Gibraltar being a haven for drug trafficking and money laundering.
PC. Well it's completely false and the British Govt. does not tire of telling the Madrid govt. that itís completely false. The fact of the matter is that the finance centre in Gibraltar is +the+ best regulated and best legislated in the whole of the European Community, Europe's finance centres and probably the world and Robin Cook has recently said that. In an offshore conference recently Robin Cook said Gibraltar is a benchmark offshore centre for others to emulate. So, London does not believe the Spanish allegations, nobody else believes the Spanish allegations, they are not true, there is no money laundering going on in Gibraltar, certainly not to any greater extent than it happens unfortunately anywhere, including London and Madrid, and these are just allegations that are made to tarnish Gibraltarís imagine, to undermine confidence in our finance centre and for purely political reasons in the hope that our economy will fail, and that that will make us capitulate to their completely outdated sovereignty claim.
DF. And what about that sovereignty claim? Are there any changes in the status of Gibraltar that you would accept, or is everything that they put forward unacceptable?
PC. The people of Gibraltar have been British for 300 years and want to carry on being British. There is no prospect of the people off Gibraltar succumbing to Spainís demands that we become Spanish. The British govt. is committed to respecting our wishes and never to transfer our sovereignty. We for ourselves assert the right to self-determination, that is, the right to decide our own future as all colonial peoples have done, and what we want to do is exercise that right to modernise our constitutional links with the UK. There is no reason why close constitutional links between Gibraltar and London which we want to preserve, preserving our British sovereignty, that relationship does not have to be colonial, just as no-one thinks of the Isle of Man as being a colony.
DF. Now you had good news from the European Courts on the question of joining in the European elections via the UK. Now, where does that stand with Spain?
PC. Well it remains to be seen. I think it was a tremendous democratic deficit that of 300 million Europeans the only 30,000 that did not vote were 30 thousand British EU citizens sitting on a part of the EU which is British territory. ECHR has found that this was a violation on Britainís part of the HRC and as you would expect the British govt. is resolved to remedy that and to give us the vote. But that requires an amendment to an EU treaty and it remains to be seen whether Spain is going to obstruct that amendment to the EU treaty which would be very serious, because it would be a fellow member state denying to the UK the ability to end a violation of the HRC, and I think that would become a very serious matter I suspect between the UK and Spain.
DF. Is it possible though that Spain might get really annoyed as they have recently and just decide to take over - just stroll in and take over - possibly without even a shot being fired?
PC. I think itís highly unlikely. We have to give Spain some credit. She is now an EU ally, she is now a NATO ally, it would be extraordinary. To be fair to the Spanish they have always rejected the use of force. But they have got to go further. They have got to understand that in the EU at the eve of the 21st century what counts is people's democratic rights and wishes and there is no point persisting with a claim to the sovereignty of a territory whose inhabitants are 100% opposed to being Spanish.
DF. And now let's go to Westminster to meet the Spanish Ambassador to Britain, Alberto Aza. Your excellency good morning.
AA. Good morning Sir David.
DF. Could you give your reaction to what we've just heard?
AA. Well, it's a long story. These discussions have been going on for 100 years. Of course if you overlook the fact that Gibraltar is submitted to International Law, that this has been the subject of several bilateral agreements passed both by Britain and Spain, which go and send Gib in the opposite direction to what the Chief Minister was pointing out, we have a complete refusal of his argument. Gibraltar is a colony. Secondly it must be decolonised. Self-determination is not permitted by the doctrine of the UN. Gibraltar is not a territory of the EU. It has an exceptional situation according to the agreement passed by Britain and Spain and the EU at the time of the EC. Therefore you cannot reorder and restructure the life and rights of Gibraltar according to new principles forgetting everything that's been passed and agreed in recent historic days.
DF. In that context your Excellency, ought they be allowed to vote in EU elections via the UK or will you say no to that?
AA. Well it's not a very strict point. As long as it does not go against the Spanish sovereignty claim I wouldn't mind. It's a matter for the British govt. to sort out with its people you know. Itís been an agreement, as well as within the framework of the EU and we'll probably have to look at this question within the framework of the EU.
This is not a sentimental point of view, not a matter of compassion. This is a matter of legal right and legal status more than anything else.
DF. It sounds though as the two sides are as far apart as ever. Are you going to continue delaying people at the border?
AA. Well I'm afraid the matter is simply that we are applying EU rules at the border. I suppose British public opinion will be happy to know that a member of the EU is strictly applying the rules in immigration and borders. This country has been traditionally very strong in supporting border controls. I don't know why there is surprise that a member of the EU is complying with the duties according to European rules.
For the first time since 1946 I am planning a vacation to Gibraltar this year, where many of my relatives still reside. A reply to my rather unimportant question would really be appreciated, which I plan to share with my "Gibraltar" friends here in New York. Thanks, and good luck with your continuing battle with Spain.
Dr. Albert E. Johnson
EDITOR'S NOTE: Caliente and Calentita are one and the same thing. However, the practice of selling it in our streets is long gone.
I would however like to express that I have the greatest love and respect both for the United Kingdom, as well as for Spain, and in saying so similarly say that in the previous letter I am referring to, the gentleman mistakenly speaks of Spain as if it was the former apartheid South Africa - a total cry from the truth if not utter, total misrepresentation. Spain similarly is now a well consolidated, stable, democracy and we enjoy indeed both a very high standard and quality of living - irrespective of the Gibraltar affair. Mr. Correa can say whatever he wishes about the Hispano-Gibraltar impasse, but please don't knock Spain unjustly regarding her overall pleasant way of life and enviable domestic standards.
Having lived in some other countries richer than Spain, but administrated not as well despite having possibly better endowments and resources, I can authoritatively say certainly many would like to be in her position, if not reap the same fruits in terms of truly an often enviable way of living (just the thousands of foreigners, like myself, that come to make their new home in Spain, already many years now, cannot be possibly wrong, señor?). I thank you for giving me this ample opportunity to point out these considerations. "°Viva España, Y viva El Rey!" - "Long live the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and God Save the Queen!".
Sincerely, Estevan Rafael Bianchi (Madrid)
A very satisfied Hispanalbion.
The writers refer to the cultural aspects of Gibraltar, in Sr. Sanchez's case to the type of food dished out in our restaurants. This really does take the biscuit (if you pardon the pun). What on earth does the subject of culinary tastes have to do with the rights of people and freedom of movement in the EC?
I, like most people, like all types of food from all parts of the world. If I eat spaghetti bolognese, does that make me Italian? If I like Irish stew does that make me Irish ? Have I changed my nationality to Indian after digging in to a spicy vindaloo ? Or is it that just because we are British we can only eat Shepherdís Pie or Fish and Chips!?
To emphasise the point further, are the Scottish people really English because they speak in English? What language do the Americans speak - I suppose they should be English too? What about the Spanish-speakers of Latin America?
And does the ownership of a property in a foreign country imply having to change your nationality?
Be honest and state your real reasons why you have taken the trouble and time to send in your views. You just cannot accept, just like the Spanish Government, that the Gibraltarians have the right to decide their future freely and democratically. And just like any other inhabitants of a colony this has been done through the process of self-determination - not by what we own, what language we speak (incidentally most Gibraltarians speak a local street dialect called "llanito") and what we eat.
But next time you're both visiting The Rock why not sample a few of our local delicacies like Calentita, Rosto, calabacine relleno and minestra? And after lunch I suggest a visit to the frontier and see if you can stomach the Francoist restrictions imposed by the "EU friendly, democratic" Spanish Government. Once you have topped up your tan at the frontier queue (you will have plenty of time, believe me) ask some of our neighbours in El Campo de Gibraltar, in Spanish, whether Madrid's tactics are working or not.
This was too funny to merit a dignified response.
Thank you once again, Panorama, for your informative and (sometimes) funny articles. Keep up the good work,
A very grateful Llanita,
Pili Potter (nee Macedo)
Reading the insults published in the "respectable" Spanish magazine Cambio 16 (PANORAMA 9th March), the World can readily see the "editorial calibre" achieved in Spain as we approach the new millennium.
The same issue of PANORAMA reports that according to the latest American report on drug-trafficking and money-laundering, Spain takes the unenviable credit for being classified as Europe's gateway for cocaine and takes "primary position" for money laundering. To top this record we are also informed that Sr. Matutes' proposals to Gibraltar are incompatible with Spainís Constitution.
Spain has never experienced any sense of national cohesion. A true democratic Spain will never exist, given half a chance a large proportion of the population in "Spain" will opt not to be Spanish.
Empty vessels make the loudest noise. This adage encapsulates the Spain we know today and the Spain the World has known ever since the "concept" of Spain was invented.
Gibraltarians are bilingual, we speak English and Spanish and at times even fuse the two languages, but our sense of justice and measure is certainly not Spanish. We do not possess a Spanish mentality and never did.
The Spanish "National Fiesta" consists of butchering an animal alive, first the bull is tormented with lances, then with darts, and finally, if the animal is lucky it is killed with a sword plunged between its shoulder and left shoulder-blade. Spanish children are taken to watch these spectacles. This "National Fiesta" says it all, no other civilised country, with the exception of a couple of "banana republics" memories of Spain's "golden age", would pride itself with such a barbaric and brutal spectacle.
To the editor and followers of Cambio 16 I would like to convey the following message, that is that unlike many a Spanish citizen no Rock Ape ever had to prostitute itself to scrape a living. And furthermore anyone who knows the Gibraltarians and the Spaniards, would know and be fully aware that Gibraltarian ladies stand heads and shoulders above any Spanish "señorita".
What Spain is doing is none other than preventing freedom of movement, and in a way trying to blackmail the British citizens of Gibraltar into accepting Spanish rule, Franco tried and failed, and then along came Suarez, and then along came Felipe, and they still haven't got the message, as for the opening of the frontier in 1985 by the then Spanish government this was only done because Spain was very eager to enter the common market, and knew full well that if the frontier was not opened they could not get accepted into the EU.
As for the UK still operating a frontier control it's the right thing otherwise we would have more illegals, drugs, and God knows what. If you think that is wrong, well my dear Antonio you can always go back to Spain, (from London where you say you live) after all it will take Spain more than another 50 years to fully understand what democracy is really all about.
At present Spain has not complied with the directives that where issued by the European Commission regarding freedom of movement and several other ones regarding Gibraltar (of which the rest of the community has done). As you can see Antonio your letter has been published, and you know why? Because we have a real democracy that's more than can be said about your Spain and its newspapers.
Manuel Capurro (UK)
15th to 19th March Vin Mifsud painting exhibition in the Gallery, John Mackintosh Hall.
Monday 15th March Cheshire Home support group will be organising a bingo to raise funds for projects at the home. Tickets are priced at £10 and include free raffles. Last house is £1000. for further details please contact Jimmy Felices at 75020.
Tuesday 16th March Gibraltar Ornithological and Natural History Society will be having a talk by Dr. Vijay Kumar, Director of Public Health at the Gibraltar Health Authority on "Public Health in Gibraltar".
Wednesday 17th March The Bahai Faith in Studio 1, John Mackintosh Hall, at 8pm till 9.30pm.
Thursday 18th March John East Concert Promotions, Musical & operatic concert in the theatre, John Mackintosh Hall. Tickets from Solomon Levy, 3 Convent Place at £12.50 each.
Friday 19th March Record Dancing for charity, towards the building of St. Bernard's Church and the Children of Brazil fund. For further details contact Christine Thompson on 76536.
Saturday 20th March Marina Bay Arts & Crafts market, from 12 noon till 6pm.
Gibraltar Ornithological & Natural History Society, outing to Lagoons by John Licudi, further details contact Mr. Licudi on 76244/ 75537.
Youth Centre Princess takes place at the Ince's Hall. 12 girls will be taken part. Performing Splits Dance group, Tarik Dance Academy, Danza del Sur, Stylos, Kelly Robles, Seamus Byrne, Leit Motif, Andrea Martin & Nathan Conroy.
Gibraltar Squash Association "Open Day", club's premises, South Pavilion Rd 10am to 6pm. All are welcome.
My dear, we are being attacked on two fronts - El Matutero por un lado y las matuteras por el otro.
This is war! It explains por que el Governation sent Colonel Brit-oh to the frontier to do a recce of the army of matuteras rushing across, armed with two packets of cigarettes each.
And it was not the charge of the light brigade! Meanwhile, El Matutero sigue con his restrictions, mosqueando hasta los Spanish.
Y Valentin el Valiente lanzao, como un Exocet. A este no hay quien le pare, civil disobedience y todo.
Es que es Gallego, y ya sabes, Galicia is famous for its milk.
My dear, es que it's inhuman what el Spanish Governation does with innocent people. I mean my darling husband has always been a law-abiding person - no tiene ni una queria - and he gets treated con la punta del pie at the frontier.
Aren't we all, dear Cloti. A big country like Espain must have an inferiority complex about our little Rock to behave the way they do.
Y nosotros no le hacemos daño a nadie, I mean, we are not even claiming el Campo de Gibraltar which is ours.
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