|By Leo Olivero
Spanish football celebrations on Sunday evening turned into a nightmare for many locals crossing the frontier into Gibraltar! Gibraltar residents were confronted by hundreds of Spaniards (one presumes from the neighbouring town) who were hell bent on taking advantage of the already tense environment created by their own Government during the running dispute with the fishermen and the Spanish Governmentís all-out attack on Sovereignty of Gibraltar Waters.
Large Hostile Crowd
A crowd of about 400 or 500 hundred Spaniards gathered along the frontier approach road and also the entrance to the frontier obviously in high spirits after Spainís win in the final of the European cup.
But these Spanish High Spirits Turned into Anger, Hate and Hostility towards locals making their way back to the Rock, the majority of whom were subjected to insults and threats, others had cars damaged.
One local couple (who do not want to be identified) told me they were terrified because they had their young son in the car who started to cry uncontrollably because of the angry shouts from what seemed a demented mob. People were kicking out at passing vehicles, others were rocking local cars as they approached the frontier, some people say they were very frightened for the young kids on board.
Some of the Spanish mob I am told were also flashing or pointing laser lights into the drivers and passengerís eyes as they drove along the frontier road, many locals say it was a truly harrowing if not extremely hostile experience.
Many people could not believe the situation or the atmosphere, particularly from the other side of the frontier which has reached to such an intimidating, threatening and dangerous level.
Officials Confirm Damages and Shock!
The RGP increased their normal manpower levels at the frontier during this incident to about 4 or 5 officers, and such was the growing concern that instructions was also given to the security and immigration officers at the passport control to speed up the entry of vehicles and pedestrians into Gibraltar so as not to have cars lingering or stopped in the queue. In fact one of the incident regarding one of the damaged vehicles occurred in Campamento, this was confirmed by a guardia civil officer who spoke to Panorama.
The vehicle that received the worst damage belonged to Mr. Henry Bear, the car was arriving back to Gibraltar some time before midnight, when on the frontier approach road it was forced to slow down, sections of the large crowd started thumping the car and banging on the car windows with flag poles and banners, as Mr. Bearís vehicle edged its was forward the rear window was smashed.
In fact the situation at the frontier and surrounding area got so volatile that Spanish police were having difficulty controlling the crowd and had to call in for reinforcements. And such was the level of hostility towards returning Gibraltarians that the Spanish authorityís diverted traffic heading into Gib by the vehicle access into Gib were the Spanish IVA is claimed.
Frontier Incident No Great Surprise
One has to put into context why the people of La Linea decided to celebrate their national football team winning the European cup at the frontier and not in their main square or somewhere else in La Linea. And then why they should turn these so called celebrations into a harrowing ordeal for many locals returning to Gibraltar.
Simply put it is Ďa serious cross-border social division that has been created by the PP Government in Madrid and one, that is being allowed to develop into a dangerous cross-community division that threatens the many years it has taken to heal some of the old wounds from the Franco era. Unfortunately the ongoing attack, the lies and untruths and the demonising of Gibraltar and its people by MadridÖ has greatly contributed to the present serious circumstances.
Who is Going to Protect the People of Gibraltar?
The current local apathy will one day be the end of us, this if we do not wake up to what is happening around us.
Government Should Be Making Big Noises Everywhere!
I also think that the Government of Gibraltar should be making noises, really big noises in every conceivable forum possible. The people of Gibraltar cannot continue to be intimidated like this, on practically a daily basis.
If Sundayís incident had occurred the other way round to Spaniards on the Gibraltar side - can you imagine what a field day the Spanish government would have had with us?
What do YOU think?
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