British warship arrives in Gibraltar

The Royal Navy gunboat has docked at a British naval base off the coast of Gibraltar as a row between Madrid and London over an artificial reef simmers on.
A small crowd of flag waving locals gathered at the quayside to greet the HMS Westminster, a Type 23 frigate, as it entered Gibraltar harbour around 9.30 am local time.

“I feel very emotional, very patriotic,” exclaimed Andrea Jones as the gun-metal grey ship came into view.

“It means a lot to us Gibraltarians to have naval ships here during these troubled times,” the 46-year-old who works for an online gambling company said.

Read more: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/gibraltar/10251760/Gibraltarians-greet-British-warships-as-tensions-rise.html
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Spanish fishermen in some 30 fishing boats were protesting on Sunday near the disputed British territory of Gibraltar, against the building of an artificial reef that has also soured relations between Madrid and London.

The Spanish fishing boats accompanied by Spanish Guardia Civil vessels were met by a Royal Gibraltar Police patrol, which cordoned off their path. They were protesting about a new artificial reef that they claim is a risk to their boats, construction of which sparked the latest diplomatic spat over the Rock’s sovereignty.

The fishermen say the reef – of around 70 concrete blocks, some with steel rods protruding – can snare their nets.

Gibraltar’s government, led by Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, says the reef protects fish stocks from being over-exploited.

But local fishermen, like Manuel Morente And Oscar Santos, complain they can no longer fish there.

“If my boat is stopped here I lose a lot of money every day. I and the fishermen who work with me, we all lose good money, between 300 and 500 euros a day,” said Santos.

The dispute has led to a spike in tension, with Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy saying he will take all legal measures to defend his country’s interests.

Spain ceded sovereignty of Gibraltar to Britain in 1713, but has persistently sought to regain the tiny southern enclave.

Sunday’s protest is being closely monitored by a dozen Spanish and Gibraltar police vessels.

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