Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Rajoy's troubles seen behind Gibraltar escalation
by Staff Writers
Madrid (UPI) Aug 9, 2013

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warned of further curbs on British territory Gibraltar in an escalation seen by his opposition critics as a last-ditch attempt to distract attention from a brewing corruption scandal.

Rajoy's latest escalation of a war of words with Britain and Gibraltar centers round Gibraltar's decision to build an artificial reef to help its fishing catch. Spain argues the reef will block its fishing vessels but critics say Spain already has built similar reefs along its coast by dropping concrete blocks into the sea.

Rajoy's parliamentary opponents are reported lobbying to garner enough support for a vote of no-confidence against the prime minister on charges he accepted illegal cash from a ruling party slush funds. Earlier this month Rajoy defused a parliamentary censure campaign by admitting he made an error accepting cash from a party official he trusted at that time.

The scandal has already gone to court and a coming trial of a party official is likely to revive the charges.

Britain took over Gibraltar following a treaty 300 years ago and disputes on the British presence is endemic.

"But many people suspect that Gibraltar is not even the real issue at stake here," Deutsche Welle German radio said in a dispatch.

"They say the Spanish government is using the controversy as a distraction from a more pressing problem. The governing party of Mariano Rajoy has been facing allegations of widespread corruption and on the first of August the prime minister appeared before congress to face questions about the affair. Gibraltar, the theory goes, is just a smokescreen."

Rajoy's opposition critics are more forthright and argue Gibraltar and Rajoy's political troubles are linked.

The prime minister met with King Juan Carlos Friday and announced his government would take more "legal measures" to protect Spanish interests.

Spanish police already have toughened border checks, delaying two-way road traffic by several hours. New moves being considered by Madrid include a 50-euro ($67) levy on every vehicle entering or leaving Gibraltar. The border levy, if imposed on Spanish workers in Gibraltar, could add hundreds more to Spain's burgeoning ranks of the jobless, but Madrid hasn't said if cross-border workers will be exempt.

Rajoy's government is fighting to recover approval ratings after failing to meet economic recovery and employment targets. The corruption scandal has hurt its credibility, media opinion polls indicated.

In comments to El Pais, Rajoy called for talks among Britain, Spain, Gibraltar and the neighboring regional government of Andalusia, whose Cadiz province shares a three-quarter-mile land frontier with Gibraltar.

Spain, Rajoy said, "will take proportionate measures that don't discriminate against anyone, but of course it will take legal measures to defend the interests of Spanish citizens.

"But I hope this goes no further," Rajoy said.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has accused Rajoy of escalating the diplomatic row. Rajoy's opposition critics say they won't be distracted from the campaign over corruption charges against the government.


Related Links
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Chinese ships enter disputed waters: Japan coastguard
Tokyo, Japan (AFP) Aug 10, 2013
Four Chinese government ships entered disputed waters in the East Asia Sea at the centre of a bitter row with Tokyo on Saturday, the Japanese coastguard said. "We are telling them to leave the area," a coastguard spokesman told AFP, after the ships sailed into waters around the Senkaku islands - known in Chinese as the Diaoyu islands - shortly after 9:00 am (0000 GMT). The ships were a ... read more

NASA Selects Launch Services Contract for OSIRIS-REx Mission

Environmental Controls Move Beyond Earth

Bad night's sleep? The moon could be to blame

Moon Base and Beyond

Opportunity Reaches Base of 'Solander Point'

NASA launches new Russian-language Mars website

Big ice may explain Mars' double-layer craters

Full Curiosity Traverse Passes One-Mile Mark

Space to become tourist destination in the future

HI-SEAS Mission Now in its Final Days

College of Law launches doctorate in space law

Study: Teleportation would have a slight time-to-transmit problem

China launches three experimental satellites

Medical quarantine over for Shenzhou-10 astronauts

China's astronauts ready for longer missions

Chinese probe reaches record height in space travel

Japanese Cargo Craft Captured, Berthed to ISS

Japanese Cargo Spacecraft Docks with ISS

NASA's Firestation on way to ISS

Weekly recap from the International Space Station expedition lead scientist

EUTELSAT spacecraft ready for integration to Ariane 5

Next Ariane 5 is readied to receive its dual-satellite payload

Russia to restart Proton rocket launches after crash

Japanese rocket takes supplies, robot to space station

Astronomers Image Lowest-mass Exoplanet Around a Sun-like Star

New Explorer Mission Chooses the 'Just-Right' Orbit

'Blinking' stellar system may yield clues to planet formation

Pulsating star sheds light on exoplanet

New 'weird' material may be new class of solids, researchers say

Large Area Picosecond Photodetectors push timing envelope

Seeing depth through a single lens

Altering organic molecules' interaction with light

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement