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Government deplores anti-Gibraltar comments made by Spanish MEP

The Gibraltar Government yesterday blasted the “misinformation and blatant inaccuracy” of comments about Gibraltar made by Ciudadanos MEP Jordi Cañas earlier that day.

In a statement in which it “deplored” the MEP’s comments, the Government said: “It is clear that he does not have a clue about Gibraltar, still less about the positive and close economic inter-relationship between Gibraltar and the neighbouring region of Spain.”

It added: “Someone in his position should know better.”

The Government said the tone and attitude of Mr Cañas’ comments “is not too different to the insults and false accusations that were hurled against Gibraltar by fascist politicians in the days of General Franco”.

“This is alarming and can lead to the incitement of hatred against a people, particularly when the comments are without foundation and without any basis in fact.”

“The truth is that Gibraltar provides employment for some 15,000 persons who live in Spain and work in Gibraltar, including over 9000 Spanish citizens.”

“The truth is that Spain exports goods and materials valued at 1.5 billion euros a year to Gibraltar.”

“The truth is that Gibraltar is the largest export market for the province of Cadiz.”

“The truth is that Gibraltar residents spend over £80 million a year in the Spanish economy.”

“The truth is that Gibraltar contributes 25% of the GDP of the neighbouring area of Spain.”

“The truth is that Gibraltar is the second largest employer for the entire region of Andalucia, after its regional Government.”

The reality is, the Government said, that Gibraltar makes a positive economic impact on Spain and a positive contribution to its economy.

It added that the Gibraltar Protocol to the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement, four Memoranda of Understanding and a Tax Treaty with Spain are already in place to provide a solid basis for cooperation going forward.

“It is obvious that Mr Cañas is simply interested in making headlines with negative and destructive statements that show little or no regard for reality.”

“Ironically, his position is totally contrary to the position of his colleague, Adrian Vasquez, also a Ciudadanos MEP, who last week in the Campo made no disparaging remarks about Gibraltar at all.”