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Gib Opposition Condemns Palacio Over EU Comments

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

26 July 2002


Comments from the new Spanish Foreign Minister, Ana Palacio with regard to Gibraltar's role within the European Union have raised the ire of the GSLP/Liberal Opposition in Gibraltar.

Speaking at a press conference on the current dispute between Spain and Morocco over Ceuta and Melilla, Ms Palacio told reporters that the two cities represent European Union territory. She added that: 'This is not the case of Gibraltar. Gibraltar is not the territory of the European Union.'

This remark prompted the Opposition to respond angrily, and in a statement released earlier this week the Gibraltar Liberals observed that:

'As a Member of European Parliament until recently, she should know that the many times that Spain has blackmailed Europe over legislative measures in which Gibraltar is included is precisely because Gibraltar is a part of the European Union. She should also be made aware that Gibraltar joined Europe on 1 January 1973 under what was then article 227(4) of the Treaty of Rome at the same time as the United Kingdom. This is thirteen years before Spain joined in 1986.'

The statement concluded: 'The Opposition considers that this first statement on Gibraltar by the new Spanish Foreign Minister shows what we can expect from her. Whereas all (of) her predecessors have tried to curtail the degree to which we exercise our rights as part of the territory of the EU, she wants to push us out completely and pretend we have never been there at all.'


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