Spain wants Gibraltar but it will never surrender its own colonies on the tip of Africa and is refusing to give greater home rule for the Basque Country and other provinces in Spain. There is no difference between Celta and Melilla and Gibraltar. The first two are the last colonies in Africa and the latter is the only colony in Europe. But while Britain is prepared to negotiate the issue of Gibraltar, despite protests from 90 percent of the Rock's population, Spain will not give an inch on its own colonies. The government of Jose Maria Aznar has even lectured Britain on the evils of colonialism while across the water the Spanish flag flies over two disputed territories on the African continent. These double standards are doing little to further Spain's position. The recapture of Parsley Island by a group of Spanish commandoes using a sizeable part of its fleet is a sure sign that Spain wants to maintain its enclaves. I understand why Spain wants Gibraltar but the Aznar administration must also come clean and also realise that the days of “empire” are long gone. Unfortunately for Aznar his antics over Parsley Island have only placed more emphasis on Spain's African colonies and Morocco is busy calling for Spain to withdraw. I must admit I wouldn't like to be in Aznar's shoes at the moment. The proposed joint sovereignty deal with Britain over Gibraltar is going to come back and haunt him. Already the Basques want the same deal and the Galicians and the Catalans look set to follow.

Jason Moore

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