Fast track into Gibraltar rejected

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Cordon Press


The Gibraltar government has rejected and criticised Spain’s proposal to introduce a ‘fast track’ at the border for Spanish workers wanting to enter Gibraltar for the purpose of work and have responded to Spain by suggesting their proposal is nothing more than ‘discriminatory,’ claiming freedom of movement should be a privilege enjoyed by all.

 

The Spanish government has proposed spending 5.3 million euros building a ‘fast track’ for workers resident in Spain with jobs in Gibraltar to cross the border faster. A fast track for vehicular access as well as a secondary fast track for workers crossing the border on foot has also been suggested as it goes through the motions of complying with the EU’s recommendations to ease traffic flow at the frontier where an estimated 6,000 workers cross the border daily.

 

A spokesperson in the Gibraltar government said “The government considers that any proposed solution towards a free flowing frontier must also encompass EU nationals and others who are not workers, like tourists and residents on both sides, whose right to freedom of movement continues to be undermined by Spain.”

 

“The reality is that the Spanish authorities make life difficult for people and vehicles crossing the border for political reasons and because they want to. All that Madrid has to do is improve the flow rate of cars and persons and operate proper red and green channels.This alone will reduce waiting times to cross the frontier”

 

The ongoing row has not settled in an amicable agreement with either side, following last year’s intense crippling checks, which kept people in traffic queues for up to eight hours in the immense summer heat with Spain claiming those ‘checks were essential in preventing tobacco smuggling,’ a statement disagreed with by residents on the Rock who claim the method to be nothing more than another bullying tactic from Madrid and complain they feel ‘under siege.’

 

Earlier this month the Spanish Ambassador in London was summoned to the UK Foreign Office to answer yet another complaint over Gibraltar.

4 COMMENTS

  1. I am glad this proposal was thrown out. The simple fact of the matter is that 90% of the smuggling is done by the Spanish workers anyway.
    My wife and I were trapped in the queue a couple of weeks ago for three hours, and during that time we saw a middle-ages woman on a bicycle come past us TWICE over a 90 minute period with an obvious carton of cigarettes in a black plastic bag each time.
    She was either a very heavy smoker, or like many in La Linea, making money from smuggled cigarettes.
    Before this started, practically every Spanish worker had a backpack on their backs as they went through the border on a scooter or bike. When the checks started the backpacks all disappeared. Now they are slowly starting to come back.
    This move is clearly just to ensure the only people inconvenienced are the Gibraltarians and the tourists. It’s disgraceful!
    Once Spain’s economy picks up again these checks will slowly disappear.

  2. The proposal has not been thrown out as you incorrectly assert. There is nothing that the British colony of Gibraltar can do to stop Spain implementing these controls.

    The proposed controls have been purposely designed to seriously impact the thousands of free-loading Gibraltar tax domiciled expats who live in Spain and work in Gibraltar.

  3. Roy Peters – I completely agree, I’m also glad that the proposal was thrown out. It takes both sides to implement border controls. So correct.

  4. Use your brains Mr Furtherbeyond when the Spanish workers are on the way back home how is that pass going to benefit them? they will have to get on the queue like everyone else, they are definitely not going to be fastracked to the frontier by the Gib authorities there will be no special lane for them on the Gib side, there will be pregnant women, children and old people right there in front of therm..

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