TENSIONS have risen in Gibraltar after it emerged the Spanish had made 830 incursions into the territory in one year.
According to figures recently released by Britain’s Armed Forces, 830 Spanish incursions were made into the British-owned territory of Gibraltar in 2020, heightening tensions in the area.
The Strategic Command of the Armed Forces recorded 37 overflights by the Spanish Air Force and 27 intrusions by Spanish Navy ships. The rest were carried out by the Guardia Civil or customs officers.
Britain records any incidents they consider to be Spanish incursions in the waters and airspace of Gibraltar, however Spain does not recognise such incidents because sea and airspace restrictions were not included in the Treaty of Utrecht which gave Britain sovereignty over Gibraltar in 1713.
The figures were released by defence chiefs after a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by a resident of Gibraltar and were published by one publication.
The response showed there were 704 Spanish maritime incursions last year, 27 involving Spanish naval vessels.
The rest were carried out by “other agencies of the Spanish government,” including customs and Guardia Civil officials who frequently pursue any suspected drug traffickers which operate in the waters around Spain and Gibraltar.
Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, EU and Cooperation Arancha Gonzalez Laya, commented: “For the first time in 300 years, Spain regains prominence in Gibraltar’s affairs and takes the initiative with a clear plan for the future of the Campo de Gibraltar and the Strait area.”
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