Located at the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula, Gibraltar guards the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea. It has an area of just 2.3 square miles (6.0kmª) and shares its border with the Spanish town of La Linea. The Rock is home to almost 30,000 Gibraltarians and other nationalities.
LA LINEA / SPAIN
SPAIN'S BORDER WITH GIBRALTAR
"HELL WILL FREEZE OVER BEFORE ANY FLAGS FLY OVER GIBRALTAR THAT ARE NOT OUR FLAGS"
Fabian Picardo - Chief Minister of Gibraltar
September 10, 2013, saw a poignant National Day on 'The Rock'. After recent border tensions and incursions by Spanish fishermen, Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo addressed the local population and leaders of seven of the 14 British Overseas Territories, including the Pitcairn Islands, Falklands and Montserrat. He told the cheering crowds anxious about their future: “we will decide our political future for ourselves and nobody will intefere with that.”
CASEMATES SQUARE / GIBRALTAR
CHIEF MINISTER FABIAN PICARDO ADDRESSES THE CROWD
2013 also marked the 300th anniversary of the Treaty of Utrecht when Spain ceded the territory to Britain’s Empire. Gibraltar remains the last British overseas territory in Europe and a major point of contention in Anglo-Spanish relations.
National Day was introduced in 1992 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Gibraltar's first referendum. In 1967 locals voted either to continue living under UK sovereignty with institutions of self-governance, or to remain British citizens but relinquish the territory to Franco’s Spain. A resounding 99.2% of the 12,138 voters chose to stay British with just 44 against.
Today the local population fear decisions made without their consent could lead to a dual-sovereignty ‘deal’ with Spain. However, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo has reiterated Gibraltar‘s position; ”What we are never going to do is concede one grain of soil of our land, one drop of our water or one breath of our air. It is ours.”
NATIONAL DAY CELEBRATIONS / GIBRALTAR
GIBRALTARIANS AWAIT REASSURANCE FROM THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT
CASEMATES SQUARE / GIBRALTAR
GIBRALTAR LOOKS INWARD AS SPAIN CRANKS UP THE PRESSURE
DAVID CAMERON / BRITISH PRIME MINISTER
Video message TO GIBRALTARIANS on their national day 2013
“The people of Gibraltar have faced the pressures of recent months with enormous dignity. Let me assure you that the British people and my Government stand with you now. Our relationship is solid, sure and enduring...”
He continued, ”On this Gibraltar National Day, the British government wholeheartedly supports your right to determine your political future. As I have said before, we will never agree to any transfer of sovereignty – or even start a process of negotiation of sovereignty – without your consent. The world is an unstable place; Gibraltar is not. And that is why we want to see day to day matters dealt with through dialogue and not in unacceptable border delays, or other actions or rhetoric. I have called upon Spain to work with your government and ours to find solutions to the difficulties of recent months."