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By Jason Moore

FOR once Argentina is correct; the referendum held on the Falklands Islands this week was a complete waste of time and the result did not surprise anyone. I would say, though, that I was slightly surprised that it wasn´t a full 100 percent backing for remaining under British rule. Infact three people voted against out of a population of 2'000! But what Argentina fails to realise is that if it ever wants to gain control of the islands it must have the full support of the Falkland Islanders. Argentina has done its best to antagonise the population of the islands (well, all bar three) and they will never accept Argentine claims to the Falklands. If the Argentine government worked with the islanders perhaps we could move forward. Spain has made a similar mistake with Gibraltar. Spain has spent the last 30 years ignoring Gibraltarians and making their life difficult. The end result is that a vast majority of Gibraltarians want to remain British. One of the few things that the former socialist government of Rodriguez Zapatero did well in Spain was opening talks with the government of Gibraltar. Instead of a war of words we had the British government, the Gibraltarians and the Spanish government sitting around the same table and trying to reach a solution. Unfortunately, the whole process was scrapped when the Partido Popular was elected to office. It is a shame that Spain and Argentina do not learn their lessons. It is a question of people power.