Saturday, February 9, 2013


The Spanish warship Tornado, a 94-metre vessel, patrolled repeatedly in British Gibraltar territorial waters this week, disregarding radio orders to leave the area. This was the first incident where a largewarship was involved, and the action has significantly raised tensions between Spain and the British Government.

Observers of the Spanish political scene believe that this incident is merely confirmation that the Government of Spain is intentionally stirring up patriotic feelings within Spain, so as to distract its unhappy citizens from the present domestic economic crisis. There have been a number of attempts, by Spain, to improperly intrude upon territorial waters, and disrupt local maritime commerce. Spain has called for bilateral talks on the future of Gibraltar, but has refused to allow local representatives to attend.

The Spanish Government has also expressed its displeasure at photographs, taken in Washington DC, with the President of the United States, and Gibraltar Chief Minister Picardo.

There have been calls for a stronger British response to the string of incidents. I do not believe that Country Risk is affected at this time.


  1. You may need to correct some things. The Spanish patrol is the SPS Tornado (P-44), no Toronado. And of course, there is "the first incident where a warship was involved".
    10/04/09 Guardia Civil (GC) patrolboat vs. HMS Sabre
    08/05/09 SPS Tarifa vs HMS Scimitar
    18/11/09 GC patroboat vs HMS Sabre
    01/02/10 Spanish Customs (SVA) patrolboat vs HMS Sabre
    02/02/10 GC patrolboat vs Royal Navy patrolboat
    02/09/10 GC patroboat vs HMS Sabre
    12/04/10 Two GC patroboats vs Royal Navy patrolboat
    18/05/10 GC patrolboat vs Royal Navy patrolboat
    01.06.10 GCS Rio Tormes vs HMS Somerset and HMS Sabre
    02.06.10 GCS Rio Tormes vs HMS Sabre
    09/28/10 GC patrolboat vs Royal Navy patrolboat
    10/20/10 SPS Malaspina vs HMS Scimitar and HMS Sabre
    02/20/11 GC patrolboat vs Royal Navy SPAG troops.
    03/28/11 GC patrolboat vs Royal Navy patrolboat
    04/24/11 GC patrolboat vs Royal Navy patrolboat
    03/05/11 SPS Atalaya vs HMS Sabre
    09/09/11 SVA Fulmar vs HMS Sabre
    04/10/11 SVA Fulmar vs HMS Argyll
    22/03/12 Star the fisheries row.
    May-june 2012. Fisheries Row. GC patrolboats started to escort fishing boats. Daily clashes between GC and RN patrolboats.
    11/06/12 SPS Vencedora vs HMS Scimitar and HMS Sabre
    11/13/12 SPS Vencedora vs HMS Scimitar and HMS Sabre

  2. Asdrubal-
    I do not consider actions by patrol vessels the same as a warship of the line, but I have corrected what you believe is an error in the copy. Nevertheless, these harassing actions by Spain, over the last several years, are petty and unwarranted. The United Nations Charter expressly grants all citizens the right of self-determination, and Spain seems to have forgotten that.


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