Friday, March 11, 2005

Juarez expresses disagreement with Estrella remarks on Gibraltar Airport

PSOE-PP clash

La Linea Mayor Juan Carlos Juárez has criticised the remarks by PSOE Foreign Affairs spokesman Rafael Estrella regarding the future of the local airport, describing them as amounting to "everything free for Gibraltar".

Sr Juárez was reacting to Sr Estrella's comment that Spain accepts that the airport in under British-Gibraltarian effective control, even if it will not recognise "the annexation of the isthmus."

"What he has said is in sharp contrast with the intentions of the Spanish Foreign Ministry as conveyed to me in my past meetings with them," said the Mayor.

Sr Juárez argues that La Linea's interests have to be safeguarded by the Spanish Government to ensure that benefits are spread between both sides. He also contends that if to make an airport agreement viable Spain has to make "total concessions," including the abandonment of the Brussels Agreement, "it will not be a good thing."
The Mayor continued:

"If the Spanish Government agrees joint use of the airport and if this agreement states that control will be exclusively British-Gibraltarian, this is something different to what we in the past, have understood the political direction of the Spanish Foreign Ministry to be."

"This will mean our acceptance of a situation that in a few years time will generate a legal precedent which in other words means that the Spanish position in respect of the claim over the isthmus will be lost. This is not good for La Línea, for Spain or for anyone".

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