Confrontation in the bay 'almost on a daily basis' by Gibraltar vessels and the Guardia Civil

by PANORAMA reporter
There are more incursions in Gibraltar waters almost on a daily basis by 'Guardia Civil' vessels, according to Spanish press reports, although they see it as the 'British navy harassing the Guardia Civil.'
Any moment there could be a major incident ("algo gordo, muy gordo") - that's how a member of the Guardia Civil sees it, adding that his vessel is intercepted in 'Spanish waters' by British vessels, according to a report in the daily'El Mundo' in Madrid.
The Guardia Civil are saying that a situation of tension happens daily and it is increasing. "As soon as we are close to the Rock, in Spanish waters, there appears a vessel of the British navy or the Gibraltar police," those involved say.
The Spanish official view has become particularly aggressive on the waters issue, claiming that the waters around the Rock are Spanish and that the only waters ceded under the Treaty of Utrecht are those within the port itself.
This point is being made officially by the Spanish Government when rejecting a complaint from Britain about the incursions of the Guardia Civil.
The British Embassy has been making the complaints to the Spanish Foreign Ministry headed by Miguel Angel Moratinos. Spanish official sources are saying that the Brussels process is there for discussions on questions of sovereignty, but this process is in suspense following a unilateral decision by London.
Meanwhile, a spokeswoman at the British Embassy has told the Spanish media that the waters are 'Gibraltarian' and that the British Government is willing to continue advancing cooperation between agents in the local areas within the Tripartite forum.
Back to El Mundo who in an editorial says that Gibraltar is laughing at the weakness of Spain.
Almost coinciding with the visit to Gibraltar of Moratinos, vessels from the Gibraltar police or the Royal Navy 'harass our ships when they penetrate the 3 miles around the Rock,' said the paper.
The paper defends that those waters are Spanish, but London exerts its de facto sovereignty over them.
It then goes on to refer to nuclear submarines and contraband launches who operate without controls. It tells the Spanish Government that Spain's territorial integrity is at stake.



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