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Gibraltar: Citizens fear another Falklands War00:57

Gibraltar: Citizens fear another Falklands War

United Kingdom, Gibraltar
August 14, 2013 at 18:48 GMT +00:00 · Published

Gibraltar: Citizens fear another Falklands War

As tensions soar between Spain and UK Gibraltar citizens fear a repeat of the Falklands war of 1982 in which Britain and Argentina battled out a centuries-old colonial dispute over the island of Gibraltar.

Tightened border controls are causing major traffic delays and problems not only for locals, but for many Spaniards working on the British side. Spanish border security tightened border controls under the pretext of preventing money laundering and tobacco smuggling, but locals feel persecuted in what is seen as a diplomatic spat.

The queues have prompted the UK to threaten legal action as drivers are left waiting up to seven hours at the crossing. About 10,000 Spaniards cross the frontier each day to work in the island which stretches under 10 sq/km and is home to 30,000 people.

Kristina Cassidy explained the temperature on the ground "We had a colleague of ours, a friend, beaten up at the border and it was caught on camera and children now worry what's going to happen here, is a war going to break out? Are we going to be able to cross over? What if there's an emergency? It's like we're going back to war. And people are starting to get worried and people are starting to get scared."

The UK Foreign Office called the delays 'disproportionate', saying it would seek further explanation from Spain. On Monday a British warship, the HMS Illustrious, set off from Portsmouth harbour for Gibraltar, in a trip British officials insist is a routine visit. Tensions between London and Madrid flared in late July when Gibraltar dumped slabs of concrete into the sea to make an artificial reef, a move that Spain says blocked its shipping vessels.

Gibraltar: Citizens fear another Falklands War00:57
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Gibraltar: Citizens fear another Falklands War

As tensions soar between Spain and UK Gibraltar citizens fear a repeat of the Falklands war of 1982 in which Britain and Argentina battled out a centuries-old colonial dispute over the island of Gibraltar.

Tightened border controls are causing major traffic delays and problems not only for locals, but for many Spaniards working on the British side. Spanish border security tightened border controls under the pretext of preventing money laundering and tobacco smuggling, but locals feel persecuted in what is seen as a diplomatic spat.

The queues have prompted the UK to threaten legal action as drivers are left waiting up to seven hours at the crossing. About 10,000 Spaniards cross the frontier each day to work in the island which stretches under 10 sq/km and is home to 30,000 people.

Kristina Cassidy explained the temperature on the ground "We had a colleague of ours, a friend, beaten up at the border and it was caught on camera and children now worry what's going to happen here, is a war going to break out? Are we going to be able to cross over? What if there's an emergency? It's like we're going back to war. And people are starting to get worried and people are starting to get scared."

The UK Foreign Office called the delays 'disproportionate', saying it would seek further explanation from Spain. On Monday a British warship, the HMS Illustrious, set off from Portsmouth harbour for Gibraltar, in a trip British officials insist is a routine visit. Tensions between London and Madrid flared in late July when Gibraltar dumped slabs of concrete into the sea to make an artificial reef, a move that Spain says blocked its shipping vessels.