Gibraltar 'will never be Spanish', leader vows

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Gibraltar 'will never be Spanish', leader vows

Gibraltar’s leader vowed Monday the territory would “never be Spanish”, after a string of verbal skirmishes with the government of neighbouring Spain which claims it.

“We will never concede one grain of sand, one breath of our air or one drop of our waters. Gibraltar will never be Spanish,” said Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, in a speech at a rally to mark its National Day.

Spain ceded Gibraltar, an enclave on the Mediterranean nestled under an outcrop known as the Rock, to Britain in 1713 under the Treaty of Utrecht but has long argued that it should be returned to Spanish sovereignty.

Britain has said it will not renounce sovereignty against the wishes of Gibraltarians.

“This is our land, this is our home, this is our Rock. We are here to assert that we have the right to self-determination. No 300-year-old treaty or threats will ever intimidate us,” Picardo said.

A dispute between the two sides about sovereignty over the coastal waters and fishing rights there has sparked testy exchanges between London and Madrid in recent weeks.

Last month Madrid made a formal complaint to London after Gibraltar upheld a ban on fishing with nets off the British territory for environmental reasons.

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said last week that Spain wants to negotiate a solution to the fishing row but will not accept “being mocked”.

Refer http://uk.news.yahoo.com/gibraltar-never-spanish-leader-vows-204335347.html

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