Gibraltar MEP hits out at Spanish Minister’s €50 fee plan for crossing the frontier as harassment and illegal - La Treizième Étoile: A blog on EU politics
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Gibraltar MEP hits out at Spanish Minister’s €50 fee plan for crossing the frontier as harassment and illegal

Monday, 5 August 2013
Sir Graham Watson, the Liberal Democrat MEP who represents the British Territory of Gibraltar in the European Parliament, has condemned the comments made by Spain’s Foreign Minister Mr Garcia-Margallo at the weekend and has raised the issue with European Commission President Barroso, calling for him to intervene personally.

On Sunday the Spanish Minister suggested the introduction of a new 50 Euro (£43) fee for crossing the Spanish-Gibraltar Frontier. Sir Graham has pointed out that this would be contrary to EU law.

I am deeply concerned by Sr Margallo’s latest comments, which follow months of harassment of my constituents by the Spanish government. The people of Gibraltar are as much EU citizens as those of Spain. As such, they have the clear legal right not to be discriminated against on the basis of where they are from; nor should their freedom of movement be restricted.

"I have raised concerns about Spanish harassment with various European Commissioners in recent months, in many cases in the presence of Ministers from the Government of Gibraltar. I have asked the Commission to send observers to monitor the situation at the frontier. I have also raised in Parliament the case of shots being fired by Guardia Civil officers at one of my constituents riding a jet ski of the Western Beach,” he said.

"Today I have written to EU Commission President Barroso highlighting recent incidents and the Minister’s remarks and asked for his personal intervention to stop such objectionable behaviour by an EU Government bullying EU citizens.

"The European Commission must remind Madrid of its obligations under EU law. This type of behaviour is something typical of a bygone age.

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