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Dialogue beats Spain’s ‘sterile policies’ on Gibraltar, Sir Peter tells seminar

The “sterile policies” of the current Spanish Government toward Gibraltar are both “futile and ineffective”, Sir Peter Caruana said yesterday as he urged a return to trilateral dialogue.

Speaking at a seminar in San Roque, Sir Peter said using the frontier as a political weapon and vilifying the Gibraltarians was an “outdated” strategy.

“It is hard to imagine that progress is possible by returning to policies of the past that history has shown have been futile,” he said.

“The time for such policies has expired.”

Spain was trying to impose something on Gibraltar against the wishes of the Gibraltarians and would achieve “exactly the opposite” of what it was hoping for, Sir Peter told the seminar.

“Gibraltarians have demonstrated over many decades that they are not going to accept something that they have not freely chosen just because of economic pressure,” he added.

“For that reason, it is also an ineffective policy.”

While Gibraltar and the UK disagreed with Spain over how the future of the Rock should be decided, the Tripartite Forum had shown it was possible to “manage the disagreement” and find common ground while protecting core positions.

Sir Peter said the absence of dialogue had created “a political vacuum” that could only lead to negative consequences for everyday citizens.

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