Thursday, February 17, 2011


Whatever Gibraltarians may think of the Spanish Foreign Minister, Trinidad Jiménez – or Trini to her friends – she isn’t from Mars. Indeed she is a Malagueño from Vélez-Málaga. So we can be pretty sure she knows where Gibraltar is and all about the Campo de Gibraltar too.
Equally it would appear that José Ignacio Landaluce is from another planet to us. Although he is the MP for Cádiz and wannabee mayor of Algeciras for the Partido Popular in May he is not a local lad. He was born in Logroño and before you rush off to find your atlas I can tell you, if you don’t know, it is in La Rioja in the northern part of Spain.
Why am I telling you all this? Well Landaluce has been giving some advice to the Spanish Foreign Minister before she heads off for today’s meeting with her British counterpart, William Hague.
Cheekily he has advised Trini to take a photograph of Gibraltar with her so that she can see – and no doubt tell Hague – that the Rock also has a surrounding area – the Campo de Gibraltar.
Landaluce went on to say that it is a pity the minister did not visit the Campo de Gibraltar before jetting off to London. Had she done so the boy from Logroño tells the Vélez-Málaga lass she could have seen at first hand the reality of the region and the relations that exist between both territories.
Expansionist Gibraltar – expansionist Caruana
Just in case Jiménez was unsure of how to conduct herself in London the Cádiz MP tells the minister she should have “the firm intention and the conviction that she is representing Spain and the interests of the Spaniards in the face of the expansionist pretentions of Gibraltar.
Whilst Landaluce says the Partido Popular is all for talking with Britain on themes that can benefit both sides of the border she is not to give way on the issue of Gibraltar’s waters – which are Spanish!
Finally, the would-be mayor assured us that there is a priority in relations between Spain and United Kingdom concerning Gibraltar “is not other than understanding, but not at any price and much less if the decisions that can be taken only favour the British colony and the expansionist tendencies of its Chief Minister, Peter Caruana”.
So I asked Senator José Carracao, who has special responsibility in PSOE for relations with Gibraltar, what he thought about Landaluce’s words. He told me: “Landaluce once again displays himself as a demagogue with resulting insults. Of course the minister knows perfectly well the Campo de Gibraltar and its parliamentary representatives.”
I suspect the good senator would have vented his spleen further on Landaluce but he cut off as he was on an aircraft about to take off. To where? Is he to be a fly on the wall at the Foreign Office when Jiménez and Hague meet?
Of course Hague needs no introduction to Gibraltar as he visited the Rock in 2009. Wonder when the last time Landaluce was there?