'Gibraltar, Español!' - new Spanish foreign minister’s jovial quip angers the Rock
Saturday, 21 January 2012
I think it's safe to say that Spain's new foreign minister José Manuel García-Margallo Y Marfil has certainly got off to a rocky start. Video footage has emerged of an ill-advised quip he made after a press conference in the European Parliament that was televised, streamed live online, and immediately caused upset on the Rock.
Following the conclusion of the press conference held in Strasbourg on Wednesday morning, British Conservative MEP Charles Tannock (a long-standing member of the Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) in the Parliament) stepped up to the podium to congratulate the 67-year old Spaniard on his recent appointment.
However, in his reply, Mr Garcia-Margallo, smiling, quipped “Gibraltar, Español” - translated as "Gibraltar, Spanish!". Mr Tannock replied “We’ll have to talk [perhaps 'see'?] about that”.
Prior to his appointment as Foreign Minister, Mr Garcia-Margallo served for 17 years as an MEP making he and Mr Tannock long-term acquaintances. The comment was clearly made in jest and in a friendly manner, but nonetheless the video soon went viral on Twitter and local users were less than pleased to say the least.
While the Gibraltar Government has not commented officially on the Spanish minister’s choice of words, one source told the Gibraltar Chronicle: “He’s the head of Spanish diplomacy so you’d think he’d be, well, more diplomatic.”
Hailing from the truly beautiful South West region of the UK, Andrew now works in Brussels and is a UK passport holder, European citizen, and a twice employee at the European Parliament.
While the EU in its current form is far from perfect, he is nonetheless firmly of the belief that the UK's prosperity and place in the world is best served as a member state and not as an isolated bystander.
Since October 2009, this blog seeks to document the work that our region's MEPs do for us in Brussels. As such, predictably, it rarely features UKIP.