Gibraltar: gold mountain of contention

Gibraltar: the "golden" rock of contention

September 10 marks Gibraltar own state day. The event would be a very non-personal, if not tumultuous history and the strategic importance of the mountain at the exit from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, which to this day remains a stumbling block in relations between Britain and Spain.

Present Gibraltar — Part of the United Kingdom, although it is surrounded (except as to the sea), the Spanish territory. Official language — the British, but most of his 30-thousand population reads at Yanita — consistency with the British Andalusian dialect of Spanish. There is a naval base of NATO and one of the world's largest offshore. So the dispute over control of jutting out into the sea wisp of land apparently did not end soon.

The struggle for the conquest of Gibraltar came from the ancient times. It is here placed the Pillars of Hercules. According to legend, Hercules parted them, and thus Makar appeared strait connecting the Atlantic and the Mediterranean and separates Europe and Africa. If you withdraw from the legends, the Gibraltar-arranged shelter for their own ships sailing the Atlantic and back, the Greeks, the Phoenicians, the Romans.

But the very title of Gibraltar — a distorted version of the Arabic "Jabal al-Tariq", which means "mountain of Tariq". It was given in honor of the leader Tariq ibn Sayyid, who in 711 had crossed into the area from the territory of Morocco and began the conquest of the Iberian Peninsula. As a result, almost all territory today's Spain and Portugal for centuries was under Arab rule.

See also: Malta under threat Arabic "tsunami"

Evenly Castilian, Aragonese and other rulers of separate kingdoms future unified Spain reclaiming land from the Arabs the Iberian Peninsula, but located on the top of his long and the south of Gibraltar remained firmly Arabic. However, in the years 1309-1333 Castilian sovereigns to capture the fortress some time, but the Arabs it was returned more than a century. Ultimately Arabic bastion fell, while promoting this historic event.

By the middle of the XV century, the Arabs had lost virtually all of the Iberian peninsula, and the forces of Castilian rulers inexorably approaching Gibraltar. In 1435, it happened another siege, and for the first time in the history of the Europeans used artillery. In general, even such an innovation in the military did not help capture the fortress at once. Had to wait another 27 years before she fell.

Since the end of the XV century, and for two and a half centuries, there was a natural, from the standpoint of geography thing. Gibraltar has become an integral part of Castile at first, and then (after its merger with Aragon) — Spain. Realizing the strategic importance of the fortress, the Spaniards rebuilt and further strengthened it. In the XVI century it especially nobody infringed — naikrupneyshey Spain was the colonial power, the mistress of the seas. But nothing lasts forever …

By the beginning of XVIII century Spain has not approached advanced power, is in many ways inferior to France, the Netherlands and the UK in particular. By the time cut short the Spanish branch of the Habsburg dynasty, which caused the war in the years 1700-1713 of the Spanish heritage. Then the combined Anglo-Dutch troops captured the fortress, and a weakened Spain eventually lost her Britain. So the British rule this wisp of land at the junction of Europe and Africa almost 300 years.

See also: For whom will the Falklands?

You can not say that the Spaniards did not try to return to Gibraltar by force. A couple of times during the XVIII they besieged fortress, but do not have gained any of success. The early XIX century, Napoleon established a blockade of Britain, Gibraltar and here played a fundamental role transit Fri, when the British foods are loaded onto ships under the flags of other nations.

In 1830, Gibraltar officially became a British colony. Its geographical position was so great, but in the era of the conquest of new lands, it grew even more. Gibraltar has become an important link in the chain of British bases in the Mediterranean, which included more Malta and Cyprus. The ships came into the harbor in the south of the Iberian Peninsula, and then follow the direction of Malta and the Suez Canal.

Gibraltar has played a huge role during the second world war. There have settled naval and air force bases. Specifically here in November 1942, British troops were sent to North Africa. Well, now the military-strategic location at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea is not lost. Here is located the British military base, which played an important role in the operations against Yugoslavia in 1999 and against Libya now.

But now almost Gibraltar identified with the war. First, he plays the role of the 1st of the world's largest offshore. Occasionally otyschesh place in Europe where no VAT is charged. For this reason, foreign firms love to record here the court. Gibraltar — a real paradise for online casinos and bookmakers. Make a deal and found a company in the British colony of terrain is much easier than in the metropolis.

Surprising that England does not want to lose all control over the territory. Provide the Constitution to make the parliament and the government — you can, but no matter — for anything. In general, international population of Gibraltar is not burning a special desire to change the British crown to the Spanish. Referendums in 1967 and 2002 showed that the Gibraltarians do not even want to double the Anglo-Spanish sovereignty.

Yet, the geography has not been canceled. Gibraltar is adjacent to the Spain, around him live andalusiytsy and indigenous is not there — all there prototype alien. And it is not surprising that the Spanish authorities continue to make claims on the "golden piece of the mountain." Back in 1940, has just come to power, General Francisco Franco put the question of the return areas. In the following years, the Spanish authorities have repeatedly closed its office and the border with Gibraltar.

Madrid not once raised the question of the status of Gibraltar at the UN. There's a point of view, the Spaniards found support in 1968 was even adopted by the UN General Assembly resolution, calling upon the British to return the area of Spain. But they are on their own. In the same way they react and UN resolutions mandating remove British troops from the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), which are the subject of the dispute with Argentina Britons.

Over the past 30 years, the Spanish authorities did not once raised the issue of a joint British-Spanish sovereignty. The Labour government of Tony Blair at the turn of the twentieth-XXI centuries have even agreed to it, but the Gibraltarians reject this option. Not enough — in the elections to the European Parliament there permanently overcomes the limited party, which is set up to make concessions to the Spaniards in the least.

It must be admitted that in some sense a certain lack of true status of Gibraltar interfere. So, his players can not be taken into Cup — Spain suppresses these samples on the vine. Likewise also the case with international Olympic Committee (IOC). Negotiations between Britain and Spain last, but progress is not visible yet. No one is willing to concede. "Solomonic solution" could be independent, but it does not wish to Spain. After all, today's independent Gibraltar obviously be pro-British.

Meanwhile, dispute
s go, Gibraltar lives — not depressed, its inhabitants are proud to say the State day, putting on for the occasion at all reddish.

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