Europe

Viewpoint: Closing borders

“Vox wants to close the border between Gibraltar and Spain…”

“ We need to close the border with Gibraltar because it is a cave of pirates,” said Macarena Olona, General Secretary of the far right Vox party. She went on to say that any country which doesn’t protect its borders is a waste of time.

This is not the first time that Vox has been so vocal on the issue of Gibraltar as it attempts to tap into national sentiment over “the Rock.” However, Vox could form part of the next Spanish government, if the polls are to be believed, in coalition with the centre-right Partido Popular. One of the greatest fears of the people of Gibraltar is that the frontier with Spain would be closed.

Most of the food stuffs sold in Gibraltar come from Spain. One of the reasons why the people of North Africa have a special place in the hearts of Gibraltarians is because when former Spanish dictator General Franco closed the border, it was Morocco and Tunisia which provide the bulk of the food needed on Gibraltar. Obviously, it was a time which Gibraltarians remember with anger and now a small but mainstream party want to do the same again.

As Vox knows, it is unlikely to ever happen because thousands of Spaniards work on Gibraltar and cross the border to work everyday. The British enclave is an important source of revenue for this part of southern Spain. All is fair in politics but if Vox really wants to form part of the next Spanish government then it should be slightly more diplomatic.

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