The recently aggressive stance has been condemned by locals who enjoy a close relationship with the Rock and would rather extend the border so they can abandon Spain.
Jesus Moya, 48, from San Roque, said: “I want Gibraltar to stay British. Spain’s government isn’t worthy of the name and should start by looking after its own huge problems.”
Spanish locals claim they would rather be a part of Gibraltar than Spain
Our economic dependency on Gibraltar is practically total
Juan Franco, mayor of La Linea de la Concepcion
Unemployment in the area is about 35 per cent and many local businesses depend on Gibraltarians to make a living.
Juan Franco, mayor of La Linea de la Concepcion, said: “Our economic dependency on Gibraltar is practically total.”
Things you may not know about Gibraltar Mon, April 3, 2017
Gibraltar is a confusing place, especially if you have never been yourself
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Gibraltar has its own political system that makes many decisions within the territory but issues like defence and foreign affairs are determined by the UK Government in London
Franco remembers the border being closed by his namesake, the Spanish dictator, in 1969, and he said: “That caused deep economic depression and poverty. That time is still remembered today as a trauma.”
People using the border have also been left seething by EU changes to the Schengen Border Code, which enforces added security checks in the wake of several European terror attacks.
Since April 7, cross-border workers are now cross-referenced against as many as three different databases, the same security checks faced by non-EU passport holders.
Salvador Molina, president for the Association of Spanish Workers in Gibraltar (ASCTEG), compared the mentality of the current Spanish politicians to the dictator Franco, and said: “They eat the Spanish flag for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but don’t care about what we are going to eat.
Since April 7th the queues have increased as security checks have heightened
“The best solution would be to put the border further back and we would be on the other side, with Gibraltar. How can the Spanish government ask people they abuse to change nationality?”
Salvador de la Encina, who represents the province of Cádiz, in Spain’s Congress for the Socialist opposition party, agrees.
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The current queues might only be the start of the problems if the row intensifies
He said: “We cannot impose joint sovereignty. Spain has never earned enough trust from the people of Gibraltar.
“If you want to woo someone, you give them flowers – not a flowerpot on the head.”
Spanish locals are angry at their politicians for incresing tensions in the region
The first indication of trouble for the Rock came after it emerged EU President Donald Tusk had handed Spain a say in the future of Gibraltar after the UK leaves the bloc.
The EU’s announcement caused consternation on the Rock, where the overwhelming majority of residents want to remain British but also voted massively to remain in the EU.
Manuel Márquez, who was arrested for crossing the border into Spain when it was last closed, speaking to the Telegraph, said: “The Spanish government’s policy towards Gibraltar always hurts the people in this area.”