Gibraltar encouraged by Spanish 'pragmatism' on post-Brexit ties
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Gibraltar is encouraged by Spain's 'pragmatism' on its key demand that their mutual border remain fully open after the Brexit transition period expires at the end of 2020, its deputy chief minister said on Monday. Spain claims sovereignty over the port at the mouth of the Mediterranean that it ceded to Britain in 1713 after a war
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Gibraltar is encouraged by Spain's "pragmatism" on its key demand that their mutual border remain fully open after the Brexit transition period expires at the end of 2020, its deputy chief minister said on Monday.
Spain claims sovereignty over the port at the mouth of the Mediterranean that it ceded to Britain in 1713 after a war. However, in a 2002 referendum 99% of Gibraltarians rejected any idea of Britain sharing sovereignty with Spain.
Britain formally left the European Union on Jan. 31 but remains bound by EU laws and regulations until the end of the year. Brexit has complicated relations between EU member Spain and Gibraltar, a British overseas territory.
"There are those who say that Spain must capitalise on the apparently historic opportunity she now has to recover sovereignty over Gibraltar after 300 years," Joseph Garcia told a conference in Brussels, referring to Brexit.
But Garcia said the centre-left government of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez did not seem inclined to take that line.
"Sanchez has called himself for a different approach, one which puts a historic sovereignty question to one side and focuses on the opportunity we now have to create an area of shared prosperity on both sides of the border," Garcia told the conference at the European Policy Centre.
Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya has also echoed Sanchez's words, Garcia said, by stressing the importance of solving day-to-day issues for citizens.
"We will not agree on everything, but it is this pragmatism that creates the space in which we can talk."
Gibraltar has a population of 32,000 and, at the end of December, around 14,400 workers were commuting there from Spain. It also welcomes some 10 million tourists per year, a sector accounting for about a quarter of its economy.
Garcia noted that the European Union had common travel areas agreed with the likes of Switzerland and Iceland.
"There is no need to reinvent the wheel," he said.
Garcia recalled that Spanish dictator Francisco Franco closed the land border with Gibraltar in 1969, even cutting telecom links. It only reopened to pedestrians in 1982 and cars in 1985.
"(It) had a devastating effect on everything around it. This cannot be allowed to happen again," Garcia said.
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Gareth Jones)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Mike Spector and Jeffrey Dastin (Reuters) - The National Labor Relations Board has begun reviewing ballots from Amazon.com Inc's workers in Alabama, who have voted on whether to form a union, with momentum for future labour organizing at America's second-largest private employer hanging in the balance. Agents from the labour board began sifting through ballots sent to more than 5,800 workers at Amazon's Bessemer, Alabama-based warehouse at 10 a.m
By Elizabeth Culliford NEW YORK (Reuters) - Spotify Inc said on Tuesday it has purchased Betty Labs, the company behind sports-focused social audio app Locker Room, to accelerate its move into live audio. New voice-based platforms, including invite-only social app Clubhouse, have seen rapid growth in recent months during the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Devika Krishna Kumar NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices slid on Tuesday as the Suez Canal reopened to traffic and the dollar rallied, while focus turned to an OPEC+ meeting this week, where analysts expect an extension to supply curbs to offset dim demand prospects. Brent crude fell $1.20, or 1.9%, at $63.78 a barrel by 1:12 p.m.