MR: ‘Buenos días Cristina (de Kirchner – president of Argentina), how are you?’
CK: ‘Buenos días Mariana (Rajoy – prime minister of Spain), bien, all things considering.’
MR: ‘I see you didn’t have much success getting the Brit minister to visit Buenos Aires when he was jollying around the Malvinas then?’
CK: ‘Non, wouldn’t have a bar of it, and they are refusing to discuss sovereignty, can you believe it? And there is going to be a referendum in the Malvinas too.’
MR: ‘Lets hope those people in the Malvinas come to their senses and vote for Argentina, which is more than those Llanitos in Gibraltar ever do. Each time there is a referendum, there is nearly 100% vote for the UK. Idiots.’
CK: ‘My sentiments exactly. But you haven’t done too well in the PR stakes recently either have you? I see the royals had a good trip to Gib and everyone totally ignored Spain’s protests. They even flashed up a rather superb picture of their queen last night on the north face of the Rock which I understand faces Spain, sí?
MR: ‘Hmmm, well of course, we do have diplomatic conversations going on about all this, so it’s just the Brits being a bit lippy, rather like they are with Las Malvinas.’
CK: ‘At least they discuss sovereignty with you. Sort of.’
MR: ‘Don’t lose faith Cristina, you have your UN Appeal tomorrow demanding that Las Malvinas should be yours. After all, we are both in dire economic straits so we need to distract people with our territorial claims, just like Galtieri did. Turned around his political standing immediately when he invaded 30 years ago.’
CK: ‘ You’re right of course. The British so love to hang onto their colonial past when really, we all know those little places should be ours. I only want Las Malvinas, Antarctica, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands. We are so much more modern.’
MR: ‘Absolutely right. Hang right on in there with that claim. We only have Gibraltar to claim from the British, but Portugal is just as much of a nuisance. Those Savage Islands in the Atlantic between Madeira and the Canaries are rightfully ours. As for Olivenza on the border with Portugal they ceded it in a treaty, so it is clearly ours. Anyway, hardly anyone knows about that so not too much of a worry, unless Portugal starts winding it up to distract their people from poverty.
‘And Morocco is another upstart. Really, always going on about Ceuta, Melilla, the Isla de Perejil, and not just that, all those other useless bits of peninsula or islands that are kicking around off their north coast that we own. No idea why they want them, but we’re not giving them up. Territorial integrity is all, as are treaties, when they work to our advantage.’
CK: ‘Gracias por tu call, Mariana, I’m really buoyed up by that. I’ll go and kick culo at the UN Committee and demand they return Las Malvinas to me. I mean, I’m into human rights and all that, but not when it’s about territorial claims or distracting the masses from our austerity measures.’
Click. Both hang up.
So there we have it. Two Spanish-speaking countries with financial problems using the age-old tactic of upping the ante on territorial claims for places that were ceded hundreds of years ago.
Tomorrow Argentina is raising a high level appeal to the UN Committee of 24 to pass sovereignty of the Falklands to them. It comes just a day before the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo addresses the C24 on Gibraltar’s case amidst heightened hostility from Spain and in the wake of protests over the Royal visit to the Rock.
Mayor of Algeciras Jose Ignacio Landaluce has called on Chief Minister Fabian Picardo to carry out a “gesture of goodwill and friendship” and not go ahead with the inauguration of the new Gibraltar air terminal by the visiting royals.
This is one of numerous displays of disapproval from neighbouring politicians. In a statement to the Spanish press, Sr Landaluce described the planned inauguration by Prince Edward scheduled for Wednesday “as a moral and legal slap in the face.” Criticising the royal visit, he described it as “inopportune” stating that if there was an inadequate moment for it, “it is now, in the midst of the fishing dispute.” He called on the royals to exercise “the courtesy and political responsibility” and refrain from carrying out the inauguration as the building is located on the isthmus, which he reiterated, “was not ceded to Britain under the Treaty of Utrecht but the British were allowed to occupy as a result of the yellow fever epidemic of 1815.
Yawn, Spain, just yawn. Broken record syndrome.
Last Friday Spanish Foreign Minister Garcia-Margallo declared that the British royal visit to Gibraltar was “profoundly unfortunate both in the timing and in its form.” Spain has been issuing diplomatic protests as a result of British royal visits to Gibraltar for decades, most notably in 1981 when Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer commenced their honeymoon from the Rock, boarding the Royal Yacht Britannia which was anchored in port.
As for Gibraltar, it’s British. Why shouldn’t royals visit? Would Spain cede to any similar Moroccan (or Portuguese) request?
This is the queen’s diamond jubilee hence the timing. Do you cancel royal visits planned months ahead because of a spat about fishing? Who really gives a shit about a fishing dispute? And anyway, it’s not a fishing dispute, it’s the same old story about Spain claiming anything and everything to do with Gibraltar, in this case territorial waters.
So while I’m neither pro nor anti-royalist, these crass and obvious objections seriously rack me off. Go sort out your economies, Spain and Argentina. Stop raising the same old chestnuts to divert attention from your domestic problems. You would only impoverish any territories you gained, just like you do your own countries.
Well done, Gib, for supporting the royal visit, for whatever reasons. And Cristina, wishing you absolutely no luck at all with the UN C24.
But go, Fabian 🙂
(Quotes from GibChron)