Thursday, March 15, 2012


“Extra, extra, read all about it. A Spanish politician wants good relations with Gibraltar! Read all about it!”

It’s general election time in Andalucía and so generally Spanish politicians from all parties tend to try and outdo each other in remarks or policies knocking Gibraltar. The voters’ minds are always elsewhere but it is a creed of honour amongst politicos that they bash the Rock even if in non-election periods they want to kiss and make up.

However bucking this trend is Pilar González. She is the Partido Andalucista’s candidate for the regional government presidency in the current elections and she has been defending a policy of good relations with Gibraltar.

Even more poignant was the fact that she made her statement in Algeciras. The port town is the fiefdom of Landaluce as both PP mayor and Cádiz MP and as we all know he never has a good word to say about Gibraltar. However he must have choked on his churros and coffee when he read that González had stated on his turf: “it is an essential line of action for the Andalucistas MPs to support convivial relations and being a good neighbour between Gibraltar and the towns of this area, especially La Línea.”

The Partido Andalucista’s No.1 candidate made it clear that the politics of confrontation can bring “negative repercussions” for the people of La Línea and for that reason “responsible politicians” are obliged to ensure there is not any campaign that can prove economically harmful to La Línea. However González defends the slogan “Gibraltar es Andalucía”: well come on you didn’t think it would all be good news did you?

Indeed González supports the sovereignty claim of the Spanish Government but insists it should be carried out within a political position of being a good neighbour to Gibraltar. Rather than employing policies to hit at the Gibraltar Government González believes Madrid and Sevilla should explore how both sides of the border can co-operate and how such measures can be put in to practice.

So ok on her heart Pilar González has engraved “Gibraltar es Andalucía” and I guess “Gibraltar español” but then so has every other mainstream Spanish politician. What marks González out from the others is that she is promoting good relations and being a good neighbour to Gibraltar.

The bad news is that the fragrant Pilar has a snowballs chance in hell of being the next Andalucía president or even an MP. Indeed if the opinion polls prove true her party will not even win one seat. To be the party of Andalucía and not to hold a seat in its parliament – for what will be the second consecutive term – is the ultimate political humiliation. Indeed what is the point of having an Andalucía party if nobody votes for it.

However closer to home the PA does rule in Los Barrios and is supporting the PSOE administration in La Línea. Both are financial and political basket cases but they are also our neighbours. Hence if their party leader promotes being nice to Gibraltar let us not knock it.