A call from Picardo to Marlaska puts an end to the queues at the Border to enter Spain from Gibraltar

A phone call made by the Chief Minister of Gibraltar, Fabian Picardo, to the Spanish Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, has put an end to the long lines of vehicles that had formed in the Rock to enter Spain through the Border on the afternoon of today, December 16.

The vehicle congestion was mainly caused by Gibraltarian drivers who wanted to leave the British colony almost en masse to take advantage of the good weather that dawned in the Strait area. This, combined with the obligatory police controls to exit, had caused the traffic jam and protests on social media from many of the people on board the vehicles.

Picardo's call to Grande-Marlaska, with whom he maintains a very fluid relationship, has triggered a cascade of orders from the Interior to the police commanders in La Línea, and from them to their subordinates to ease the passage control. The Border is a Schengen frontier since Gibraltar is a zone belonging to a country outside the EU and a colony whose sovereignty Spain claims.

Nevertheless, in favor of good neighborly relations, Spain turns a blind eye to the Gibraltarians at the Border without asking for their passports and allows them to cross the Border with little or no stopping, a fact that is an anomaly in the European context (no other country among the 27 applies a similar procedure at its external borders), with the added risk that this laxity has the side effect of allowing people not residing in the colony or even those wanted by the justice system to enter Spain.

This situation, as has happened on previous occasions, has generated discontent among the national police officers stationed at the Border, as confirmed by this newsroom.