Sunday, February 22, 2009

Who's business is it when the Princess Royal visits Gibraltar

Princess Anne takes the Royal Salute on arrival in Gbraltar for the 300th anniversary celebrations of the British capture of the Rock - June 2004 (Photo :  JOSE LUIS ROCA/AFP/Getty Images)
Last Friday, the Times Online reported that Spain has complained officially to Britain over the forthcoming visit of Princess Anne to Gibraltar, labelling it as 'inopportune'.

Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, is due to visit the Rock to open a medical centre named after her next month.

She last visited Gibraltar in June 2004, (seen here on the left, taking the Royal Salute on her arrival), on the ocassion of the 300th anniversary celebrations of British Sovereignty and the capture of the Rock by Admiral Rooke in 1704.

Last week, following the announcement of Princess Anne's forthcoming visit, Angel Lossada, the Spanish Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, telephoned Denise Holt, the British Ambassador in Spain, to express Spain’s 'annoyance' at the two-day visit.

A Spanish Foreign Office spokesman said:

"The Secretary of State told the ambassador the visit was inopportune with regard to the sensibilities of the Spanish people."

Other Spanish politicians have apparently also been infuriated by the Royal visit.

Jose Ignacio Landaluce, a deputy who sits on the Spanish parliament’s foreign affairs commission, said:

"The visit of a member of the British Royal Family to Gibraltar shows their total support for the sovereignty of this British colony.

This is something to which we are totally against. It is an affront to Spain."

Mr Landaluce, from the conservative Popular Party, said the visit was unfortunate at a time when relations between Spain, Britain and Gibraltar had improved in recent years.

Many other Spanish politicians... also jumped on the "let's bang on about Gibraltar sovereignty" bandwagon, as per usual!

Now... let me ask you... what the hell business is it of theirs anyway??

Since, as Landaluce says, relations between Spain, Britain and Gibraltar have indeed improved over recent years... why go stirring things up again... just because the Princess Royal is coming to Gibraltar to open a new medical centre... which after all IS named after her?

Back in 2004, not long after the 300th anniversary celebrations of Gibraltar's British sovereignty, Gibraltar's Chief Minister Peter Caruana joined in yet another war of words between the UK and Spain over proposed visits to Gibraltar.

At that time, Caruana accused Spain of trying to make a live issue of Gibraltar's sovereignty, which, he said, was "a settled issue".

The row was the third time in three months that Anglo-Spanish relations had been strained over Gibraltar.

In June 2004 there were protests over a visit by Princess Anne and in July a port call by the British submarine HMS Tireless drew criticism. This time, Spanish MPs were once again in uproar over a proposed visit by the then defence secretary Geoff Hoon. This was labelled by the Spanish as an "offensive action" to Spaniards!!

Caruana's reply, was as relevant then as it is now. He said Spain had "no geographical case" to interfere.

"For the Spaniards... to lecture us on how we should commemorate that which is none of their business is somewhat impertinent!"

All I can say is... Mr Caruana was being too soft... too kind!!

If the Princess Royal wants to visit Gibraltar... it's NONE of Spain's business!!

For as many times as the Spaniards want to whinge and complain... and whinge and complain... it's worth saying it again...and again. One day they may get the message!! (and pigs may fly!)

Gibraltar belongs to the People of Gibraltar. It is neither Spain's to claim nor Britain's to give away!

It's about time Spain grew up... and got over it!

Baaaah... they really are tiresome and exasperating! Where's Drake when you need him!!

"So please your Majesty, to singe the King of Spain's beard; it has grown somewhat too long."


Garrett said...

As Joe Bossano said to me, if Spain really wants Gibraltar recovered to the status it was before 1704, it will need to give back Milano to Italy, too, and we might as well give most of South America back to the Aztecs!

roughseasinthemed said...

You said this much better than me. I'd like to link this post if that is ok. And maybe your blog too.

Cybernest said...

roughseasinthemed... link away to your heart's content... and thanks in advance!

I tried looking you up on your profile (from the link on your comment) but I see you have disabled this. Nevertheless... I found a blog which I believe is yours... and left a message there.

Thanks for your comment. You're also welcome to follow my blog... just click on the 'Follow Me' link on the right sidebar!

Saludos! :)

Cybernest said...

Garrett... one could add to that list endlessly... for what good it would do. The Spanish are totally blinkered... and are ONLY concerned with what hurts their anachronistic pride... and misplaced 'amor proprio'. They'll never learn. This debate goes on endlessly... tiresomely so!

Thanks for your comment!

Saludos! :)

Anonymous said...

Perhaps they should ask permission from the Morrocan King before any of their dignatories visit Ceuta or Melilla.