|Franco: gone but not forgotten|
If you read this week's article on why Country Risk should be increased upon Spain, due to its Gulag-style treatment of Vladimir Kokorev, and his family, the recent Spanish pronouncement on the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar reinforces this position. Is Spain, a democratic country, never going to cease to seek to acquire Gibraltar, notwithstanding that it, in a mutual exchange of territorial claims, gave it up, in perpetuity, over 300 years ago ? The UK gave up its claims, in exchange for the Rock, but apparently someone in Madrid was not paying attention in history class.
Furthermore, Spain has failed to free its African enclaves in Morocco, claiming that Spaniards living there should be under Spanish rule; Gib residents have always voted to remain British. What's the difference between the two ? Nothing.
Here's the latest news: the acting Spanish Foreign Minister has threatened to close the common frontier with Gibraltar, and an external "hard border," after Brexit is completed. That means that the approximately 20,000 Spanish citizens who work on the Rock will lose their jobs. I gather nationalistic, even, dare we say, Francoist, politics now trump (no pun intended) sound economic policies. Has the Government of Spain forgotten its runaway unemployment ?
Apparently, Spain is now offering to share sovereignty with the UK, as a solution, but curiously, is not saying whether that is the intermediate step to complete Spanish sovereignty in an uncertain future. When a nation, even those within the EU, engages in threatening conduct, we wonder what else its government will dream up, and adjust its level of Country Risk, accordingly, upwards.