Another day, another 700 signatures for the petition! The reception continues to be amazing, with many people from all over the world stopping to ask about the way Spain is treating us. Gibraltarians keep coming during their work breaks to sign the petition, while the Spanish Navy keep coming in our waters....wait a minute did I say that right? Oh yes, it wasnt a case of Deja Vu....oh well here we go.
Spanish Naval Incursion
Most of you will recall that last week we were subjected to an illegal incursion into our waters by a Spanish Navy Vessel, namely P79 SPS Vence-dora the Explorer. This incident apparently resulted in a 'strongly worded' protest by the UK Govt to Madrid, especially after it emerged the vessel had illegally intervened in bunkering operations. Well if last weeks incident wast bad enough, they were at it again this morning. The culprit once again being the P79....the great grandchild of the smokey joe so I am told :)
An online news outlet in Gibraltar stated that the boat was in Spanish waters - I hope this individual goes to Gaches (or specsavers in UK) and / or learns about where the median line is... I say this because not long after todays illegal incursion the Convent released a statement confirming that the vessel had once again entered British Gibraltar Territorial Waters (they have radar which is rather accurate) - see below:
(Christopher Thompson, International Policy Advisor, FCO, Office of the Governor of Gibraltar, The Convent has today issued the following statement)
"There was an unlawful incursion into BGTW this morning by the Spanish Navy vessel SPS Vencedora flying an over-sized Spanish ensign. The vessel was not exercising the right of innocent passage. The Royal Navy Gibraltar Squadron challenged this behaviour. The vessel lowered the over-sized ensign and departed BGTW.
We regret that the Spanish Navy vessel chose to return to BGTW, in particular so soon after HMG's formal protest about last week's incursion was lodged in Madrid. The Convent has notified London and Madrid of today's further incursion.
HMG will make a further suitably-worded formal protest as soon as possible regarding this incursion and the flying of this particular Spanish ensign within BGTW.
The Convent is also aware of the incursion this afternoon by a Spanish Customs vessel and has notified London and Madrid. We are awaiting further reports on the detail."
Meanwhile the Government of Gibraltar considers that the continuing incursions by vessels of the Spanish navy and other agencies of the Spanish state into the territorial waters of Gibraltar are totally unacceptable and believe that the continuing breach of international law has now gone beyond the issue of diplomatic notes.
Failing that, all the individual had to do was log onto Facebook, go to the Defenders group and see the following informative photos (taken by DoG members at different locations) - simples!
Ban Ki Moons opinion on Self Determination
The Secretary General of the UN today gave a beautiful 'indirecto' to Spain with regards to the principal to self determination:
“I don’t think Security Council members are violating relevant UN resolutions. The impression is that people who are living under certain conditions should have access to certain level of capacities so that they can decide on their own future. And that is the main criteria of the main UN bodies. Having independence or having some kind of government in their territories. I don’t think it’s an abuse or violation of relevant UN resolutions”
Wham Bham thank you Ban! Are you listening Rajoy?
Meanwhile, we wait for the British Lion to wake up from its slumber or return from Narnia (CS Lewis wrote about Aslan "One day you'll see him and another you won't. He doesn't like being tied down-and of course he has other countries to attend to. It's quite all right. He'll often drop in. Only you mustn't press him. He's wild, you know. Not like a tame lion"). However sometimes I get the weird feeling that it is often up to the mouse to remind the lion of its roar...
The million pound question is whether the FCO will pen a 'strongly worded' letter in protest, or actually bring in an active deterrent capability. I know where my money lies at the moment, but I will be more than happy to be proved wrong. The UK and Gibraltar Governments have just been made to look like utter fools, and will continue to appear so until someone remembers appeasement doesn't work.
Finally, here are some photos from todays effort at the Piazza - I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as we enjoyed taking them.