You would have thought that Spain had better things to worry about! But tensions are rising over Gibraltar and it is keeping the British ambassador very busy. The Spanish government of Mariano Rajoy has abandoned the softly-softly approach towards Gibraltar of the previous government of Rodriguez Zapatero and could be accused of sabre-rattling. A fishing dispute in Gibraltarian waters has been blown out of all proportion with Spanish vessels making numerous incursions often protected by Guardia Civil launches. The Royal Navy and the maritime unit of the Gibraltar police have been kept busy. It is a shame that Spain has abandoned the more diplomatic approach to Gibraltar because it did appear to be working and as I have said in this space on making occasions Spain will only resolve the issue of Gibraltar by winning the hearts and minds of the people of The Rock. Confrontation will only lead to an even greater stand-off. The Spanish government should also be concentrating on more pressing issues such as the state of the economy and the fact that five million people are without a job. I sincerely would like to see a settlement between Britain and Spain over Gibraltar because the dispute has gone on far too long. The only way that Britain will surrender the Rock will be if the Gibraltarians agree to a deal with Spain. The attitude of the Spanish government at the moment will never lead to a deal. So it is rather counter productive.
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