There is a theory that if you have to make a complaint it is stronger coming from somebody within an organisation than an outsider. Hence with the current chaos at the Spanish border involving vehicles and motorbikes leaving the Rock a protest from Gibraltar will probably be met with a shrug of the shoulders from Zapatero or Trini, especially as the chief minister has just insinuated she is a liar.
Conversely if the protests come from Spaniards, especially those largely living in the town of La Línea, then the government in Madrid is more likely to take note. After all a general election is fast approaching and PSOE needs every vote it can get.
Of course it comes as no surprise that No.6 has been silent on this issue – but then that is the norm for the Caruana administration when it comes to taking Spain to task. No doubt the chief minister is up to his armpits in the urine to be found in the housing estate lifts and is wondering why all those who have been given accommodation in his new prize developments haven’t all pledged to vote GSD. A real head scratcher that one.
In the meantime the misery at the border continues and whilst No 6 says nowt the Asociación de Trabajadores Españoles en Gibraltar has plenty to say on the matter. Their spokesperson J J Uceda has been in touch to reveal they have denounced the situation both to the Spanish Government’s sub-delegate in the Campo de Gibraltar and also to the PSOE MP Salvador de la Encina.
J J says the protest is both on the part of the Spanish workers in Gibraltar and also all the other visitors to the Rock who have to cross the La Línea frontier. It comes to something when Gibraltarians living in Spain and workers on the Rock have to rely on ASCTEG to protect their interests and rights because the chief minister of Gibraltar will not.
Señor Uceda says the situation is so bad that many Spanish workers have simply abandoned their motorbikes in Gibraltar and walked across the border as they do not want to spend hours trying to get home. He also points out that the Guardia Civil are only operating one channel for cars and another for motorbikes when under the Córdoba Accords there are meant to be three lanes in and three lanes out. J J is to be congratulated on keeping a copy of the Córdoba document to hand because seemingly everybody else has ditched theirs so it may now have acquired collector value.
Of course the airport is Gibraltarian and hence its safety is a matter for the MoD and the Rock’s government. As work progresses painfully slowly on the terminal, which if it is to be used as a backdrop for Caruana’s election photos means the polls will be God knows when, it is left to J J to point to the safety aspects caused by the traffic tailbacks. If an aircraft has to make an emergency landing at the Rock it could well be that cars, motorbikes or indeed pedestrians are strung out along the width of its runway without any chance of scrabbling to safety.
It comes better from Spaniards to point out to the powers that be in Madrid that they are operating a third world frontier at La Línea and whilst it brings inconvenience to Gibraltarians, Lineneses, Britons and other nationals alike – the sole shame belongs to Spain. ASCTEG also points out that some 4,000 badly needed jobs are provided on the Rock for Spaniards yet they have to suffer the indignity of being treated like cattle by the Guardia Civil.
I stand corrected. Cattle would be treated far better because they have action groups to take up their cause. Those who cross the border have to thank ASCTEG for speaking out. Sadly for Gibraltarians, when it comes to defending their interests before Spain, the chief minister and his government are simply not fit for the purpose.