Gibraltar voters snub Spanish rule
THE people of Gibraltar today sent a defiant message to the governments of Britain and Spain by emphatically rejecting the concept of joint sovereignty.
Only 187 or 1.03 per cent of the 18,087 people whose votes were counted agreed with the principle of co-ownership.
The rest, a massive 98.97 per cent or 17,900, voted against the concept, which they have called "untried, untested and dangerous" and believe would lead to Spain pushing for full control of the Rock.
A total of 18,176 or 87.9 per cent of the electorate voted. There were 89 spoilt papers, of which 72 were blank.
Thousands of Gibraltarians watched the results of the vote live on giant screens erected on the streets of the 2.3 sq mile colony, which has been in British hands since 1713.
There was loud applause as the chief minister of Gibraltar, Peter Caruana, QC, stood to give a victory speech in which he warned London and Madrid to ignore the voice of the people "at their peril".
Both governments have said they will not recognise the vote, and have described it variously as "eccentric", "meaningless", an "irrelevance" and even illegal.
But Mr Caruana said : "Fellow Gibraltarians, today we have sent a clear message to the world - one, that this is our homeland; two, that we are a people with political rights that we will not give up; and three, that those rights include the right to freely direct our own future and we will certainly not give that up."
Europe Minister Denis McShane said : "We have always made clear that there will be no change to Gibraltar’s sovereignty without the consent of the people . "
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Thursday 20 June 2013
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