For the last few days, the Spanish government have been playing a very petty game. They suddenly instituted very strict searches of cars crossing into Gibraltar. According to a news report I heard, they didn’t actually search the cars, they simply told people to get out of their car, open all the doors and boot and wait. People were forced to wait up to four hours when crossing a border which is normally like going through a toll booth.
Apparently, the Spanish government were not happy about an artificial reef that had been put into the sea off Gibraltar. The reef was to stop the illegal fishing of their waters by Spanish fishermen.
It turns out that this was, actually, one lone trawler with about three people on board. Even so, the Spanish government had a real issue with what they saw as some sort of slight. And so, in a move that resembles something a child would do in the playground, they stopped people coming and going into and out of Gibraltar.
I’d like to think that the border guards also poked their tongues out and made that ‘ha ha’ sound that Nelson uses on The Simpsons.
At least, the above was what was reported on Radio 4 today (I know virtually everything that was reported on Radio 4 today seeing as I spent most of it with my leg up listening to it). I’m thinking this, what appears at first to be a minor squabble, was in retaliation for something that happened a while ago.
Today, in 1588, the British navy (not the great sea power it was to become) ripped through the Spanish Armada in a famous sea battle. The Spanish were completely shocked (as were all the other great powers) and, I reckon, have never really got over it. And, of course, Gibraltar is under British sovereignty.
Seems very likely to me. After all, revenge is a dish best served cold…