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Gibraltar, Spain and Britain modernise relations


brussels bureau

Gibraltar, Spain and Britain modernise relations

Diplomatic sources from all parties are hailing as “historic” accords freshly signed by Spain, Britain and Gibraltar. The meeting in Cordoba between Ministers Geoff Hoon, Peter Caruana and Miguel Angel Moratinos was the first time the Spanish had agreed to sit down with an official delegation from the British colony as well as from Downing Street.

This was to demonstrate the improvement in relations since General Francisco Franco closed the border in 1969. The agreements seek to dilute the 300-year dispute over who owns ‘the Rock’. The three parties agreed to leave aside their differences to tackle practical issues.

Open Gibraltar airport to flights from Spain; Ease the flow of people and cars crossing the border each day; Improve and cheapen telecommunications and; Compensate Spaniards who once worked in Gibraltar for a pension freeze. Moratinos had opened the door to talks seeking to boost the economy on the Spanish side of the border, without tackling the thorny issue of sovereignty.

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