(Agencies) According to The Gibraltar Chronicle, Chief Minister Peter Caruana says that Gibraltar will not accept Spain making a sovereignty gain, “making it starkly clear that it will not engage [in talks at a forthcoming meeting of the Tripartite Forum] unless Spain’s bid to score a sovereignty goal over British Gibraltar waters is fully neutralised.” In the meantime, Government has called on boat owners using British Gibraltar Territorial Waters not to respond to the Guardia Civil if stopped>and to raise the alarm by calling the Royal Gibraltar Police or firing a distress flare. “All requests by Spanish authorities within BGTW to board vessels, to produce documentation, to answer questions of any nature or to seek to enforce legislation on any subject, especially fishing and environmental laws, should be refused,” said a No6 statement.
See ANSWER ONLY TO GIBRALTAR AUTHORITIES and GIB WILL NOT ACCEPT SPAIN MAKING A SOVERIGNTY GAIN – CARUANA (The Gibraltar Chronicle)
Reactions from Spain came fast and furious. Senator José Carracao, the Spanish government’s spokesman on the issue, stated that Caruana was trying “a political ploy” to stop the talks in the face of “electoral skepticism”. Regarding recent incidents involving boats in these waters, Carracao went on to state that the only reason the Guardia Civil pursues some boats is to catch presumed delinquents and that they are acting in good faith and in collaboration with the RGP. “I am sure of that. They have not acted to provoke anyone,” he said.
The Spanish Foreign Minister, Miguel Ángel Moratinos, in an interview with Público, said that the tripartite talks will not deal with sovereignty issues but only practical issues of co-operation.