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Government chiefs on the Rock have forwarded over 500 complaints about border delays to the European Commission.
16.05.14 - 11:49 -
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Five hundred complaints about Gibraltar border queues sent to the EU
More than 1,000 pedestrians were left queueing for more than an hour on 24 February. :: A. B.
Government chiefs on the Rock have forwarded over 500 complaints about border delays to the European Commission.
According to a government statement released this week the majority of complaints have come from EU nationals working in Gibraltar but living in Spain.
A number of detailed daily reports about the queues over the past six months have also been forwarded to the European Commission - highlighting waiting times for both pedestrians and traffic.
Figures released by the government reveal that the longest waiting time for pedestrians was 90 minutes on 24 February, followed by 75 minutes on 11 March.
The longest recorded delay to vehicles was 240 minutes on 12 November, 9 December and on 18 December.
Dr Joseph Garcia, Deputy Chief Minister, said: “I have personally read every single complaint that is submitted through the website. They provide a very real picture of the level of human suffering and of the disruption that is being caused to the lives of ordinary people. In one case a complainant calculated the amount of hours spent in the queue in a particular week and it amounted to 7.5 hours, which is practically a working day.
“The bottom line is that these delays are politically motivated, they are illegal and they should be stopped.”
The data shows that there were delays of an hour or more to outgoing traffic: on 24 days in November 2013; on 25 days in December 2013; on 23 days in January 2014; on 21 days in February 2014, on 26 days in March 2014 and on 25 days in April 2014.
The dossier sent to EU bosses has also included press articles on the delays at the border from Spanish, Gibraltarian and international media - including SUR in English.
The UK government has complained repeatedly about the border checks saying they are disproportional. But Spain claims they are necessary to combat tobacco smuggling.
A team from the EU assessed the legality of the border checks last September, suggesting that Spain and the UK work more closely together to fight tobacco smuggling.
Following the visit both sides were given six months to respond to the EU’s recommendations, before adding that another visit will happen if necessary.
Anyone affected by the border queues is advised to email their complaints to frontiercomplaints@gibraltar.gov.gi To see the border queue live visit www.frontierqueue.gi
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