Majorca Daily Bulletin

Comment | Letters to the editor

Gibraltar not ceded for gratitude

Dear Sir,
May I comment on certain statements made by Dr. George Giri in your Weekly Guest Columnist Feature in your April 23, 2000 issue.
Gibraltar was not ceded to England in gratitude for England's help in driving the French from Spain during our War of Independence (1808-1814). Gibraltar was taken by force from Spain during the War of the Spanish Succession in the early 18th century. It was captured by a combined English and Dutch fleet in 1704 in the name of the Austrian pretender to the Spanish throne being backed by these two countries against a French pretender backed by France. When the French pretender won England refused to give Gibraltar back to Spain who was compeled to cede it to England under the terms of the Treaty of Utretch (1714).

The present residents of Gibraltar are descendents of people brought in by the English to render services to their naval base.
Most of them come from other Mediterranean areas such as the island of Malta.
The original population of Gibraltar was expelled by the English and many of their descendants now live in La Linea and Algeciras.
The Treaty of Utrech, by which England justifies its stay in Gibraltar, contains another provision very seldom quoted in the English press.
The prevision prohibits England from transferring Gibraltar to anybody eloese giving Spain the first choice of recovering it.
Pedro Picornell
Son Armadans

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