Spain accused Gibraltar of “unilateral and irresponsible” actions during a speech to the UN yesterday, attacking what it described as the Rock’s “slanderous accusations” against the Committee of 24.
Responding to the address by Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, a representative of Spain’s Permanent Mission to the UN, Francisca Pedrós, set out the traditional Spanish position on territorial integrity and called for bilateral sovereignty dialogue between the UK and Spain.
She described the relationship between Gibraltar and the United Kingdom as “colonialism by consent”
“We would not be here talking about Gibraltar if it were otherwise,” she said.
In a short speech, the Spanish representative hit out at Gibraltar on issues such as fishing rights, tobacco smuggling and taxation, describing the Rock as a tax haven.
The Spanish address concluded with a defence of the C24’s work and, in the process, a last dig at Gibraltar.
“Spain wishes to emphasise once again the importance it attaches to the work of this committee and to the need to respect the procedure established by this organisation on matters of decolonisation,” she said.
“Contrary to this respect, the Gibraltarian side continues to pour slanderous accusations against this distinguished committee, accusing it of bias, of breaching its mandate in terms of the United Nations Charter, of infringing the charter itself and of ignoring the aspirations of the inhabitants of Gibraltar.”
She said Gibraltar’s ‘behaviour’ only reaffirmed ‘the sound judgement’ of the Committee.
“Spain once again urges this committee to not heed arguments alien to the doctrine of this organisation and therefore to not proceed to remove from the corresponding list of the United Nations those territories which have not been decolonised according to the criteria of this committee,” she concluded.