Spain offering Argentina Falklands support

argentina-flagJose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, Spain’s foreign minister, compared his country’s battle to get Britain to surrender sovereignty over Gibraltar – a small, rocky outpost ruled by Britain for three centuries – with Argentina’s demand for control of the Falklands Islands.

“The similarities are enormous,” Mr Garcia-Margallo said from Montevideo, Uruguay adding that both Gibraltar and Falklands were in need of “decolonisation.”

Argentina is embroiled in an escalating diplomatic row with Britain over the Falkland Islands, the object of a brief, bloody 1982 war which Buenos Aires lost.
Mr Garcia-Margallo added that Argentina “can count on Spain’s support” in its effort to regain control of the Falklands.

He criticised Britain’s position that inhabitants of the disputed territories are entitled to self-determination and have themselves resolved to remain under London’s control.

Bue added that Spain was ready to discuss the issue with Britain at any time.

Tensions over the Falklands Islands have become particularly intense over the past year, the 30th anniversary of the conflict.

Britain has insisted it will not discuss sovereignty as long as the 3,000 people on the islands want to remain under the British flag.

Gibraltar is a territory on the southern tip of Spain which measures 2.6 square miles and is home to about 30,000 people.

The latest tensions between Madrid and London over the outpost began in July after Gibraltar boats dumped blocks of concrete into the sea near the territory.

Spanish police subsequently introduced stringent border checks at the border with Gibraltar, causing delays of several hours in the heat for motorists trying to enter the territory.

Spain argues that the checks are needed to stop smuggling, but Gibraltar says they are in retaliation against the creation of the reef.

Spanish police have complained of being pelted with stones and insulted by drivers stuck in queues waiting to leave.