Spain/Gibraltar lunch meeting today: What's cooking?

The Gibraltar government issued a brief statement yesterday, embargoed for publication today, saying that the chief minister Peter Caruana and the Spanish Foreign Office minister Benardino Leon are having a lunch meeting near the Andalusian city of Malaga today.
The aim of the meeting is to review the new agenda of issues for the new phase of the trilateral talks.
Mr Caruana is accompanied by the chief secretary Richard Garcia.
The trilateral forum met last month to discuss possible aims and objectives for each of the issues on the forward agency - cooperation on environment, financial services and taxation, judicial and police issues, education, maritime communications and visa related issues.
The Spanish 'Cervantes Institute' was due to open 'before Christmas' in temporary premises to be provided by the Gibraltar government but this has not happened. At the trilateral meeting on 6 November, it was said that a meeting between Gibraltar and the Instituto would take place "during the next two weeks to deal with this and finalise the necessary related arrangements." There has been no official statement of any such meeting or of any such agreement.
The lunch meeting today comes at a time when the Spanish press is full of reports that the Gibraltar government is to be taken to court following the deterioration of the state of the stricken cargo vessel the New Flame, which has broken in two. The Andalusian regional government, the Junta, has been saying that legal action is being prepared.
The finger is being pointed at Gibraltar as being solely responsible
for the situation regarding the New Flame, with the Spanish ecology group Verdemar accusing the Gibraltar government of 'ecological terrorism'.
The vessel was carrying 42,000 of scrap which could contaminate the coastal areas nearby, it is feared in Spain.
Against this background, Mr Caruana and Sr Leon are having lunch today.





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