Tuesday, 12 July 2011

"Things hotting up at the frontier with Spain" says Panorama

GIBRALTAR (Panorama) "A campaign is afoot to try and stop the frontier chaos, with emails being sent in every direction to get support. One of the emails has gone to Lesley Pallett, the Deputy Governor, who presumably is the head of the Foreign Office in Gibraltar. And it is the British Government - also known as the Foreign Office - that gets some stick. Said an emailer: “This matter should be taken up by the British Government who I suspect are ‘monitoring the situation.’ They have been doing this since Franco started his campaign in 1954.” Meanwhile it is getting hotter at Europe’s most erratic frontier.>>>
"With temperatures in the mid-thirties, another emailer tells a sad story: “Yesterday, for example, I had to be treated in casualty with respiratory distress, anxiety, tachycardia and visual problems accompanied by vomiting and hot flushes caused by these cruel and degrading actions.”

"People are said to be suffering the consequences of living or going to Spain.

"One day last week hundreds of us (more than 400 motorcyclists, bikes, vehicles and pedestrians) were forced to wait in temperatures of 35 degrees in a very harmful sun for 50 minutes to get into Spain from Gibraltar, it is being said.

"The current situation at the border (customs) between Gibraltar and Spain is unacceptable and unsustainable...In these border queues there are children, pregnant women, sick people and so on, who must suffer this ordeal every day to enter their country of residence, runs the argument.

"Said one person: The |Guardia Civil supports my opinion and is aware of the situation we are suffering but do not have the means to meet their obligations without harming citizens. They have requested more resources from the Ministry of Interior.

"But if there has always been reluctance by the Spanish government to provide more resources at the La Linea frontier, the current world financial crisis and its effects on Spain could be used to keep things as bad as they are.

Travel documents
"Meanwhile, at the weekend the Guardia Civil were stopping cars from Gibraltar, requesting to see the ID card of the driver. It is a strange procedure given that seconds earlier the Spanish National Police had carried out their immigration controls just a few metres away.

"Further, cars were being stopped before entering Gibraltar at the Spanish National Police post, and people asked to hand in their travel documents which were attended to inside the frontier post.

"Whatever is going on - and the Caruana government remains as silent as the grave - aggrieved people are saying that we cannot just look the other way.

"One of the emailers claims that “the Guardia Civil have asked me to spread the need of registering a complaint at the Spanish customs office.”

"There is a form there called ‘Hoja de Quejas y Sugerencias’ which should be filled up.

“It is the only way to change things...but a single voice does not change anything,” a woman said.

"However, it is well known that there are many people who are afraid of registering a protest in Spain for fear of reprisals.

"So what is the Foreign Office doing about their subjects in Gibraltar? What is the Deputy Governor doing? What are other Foreign Office officials in Gibraltar doing about it?

"Apart from monitoring the situation, that is."


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