Wednesday, 13 December, marked the 35th anniversary of a landmark event in Gibraltar, the opening of the border with Spain after a blockade imposed by General Franco in 1969 which lasted for 13 years.
Although Franco died in 1975, it was not until 1982 that the Spanish government, led by the PSOE socialist party, took the decision to reopen the border. This was described as a 'humanitarian gesture', although it was closely linked to Spain's desire to join the EEC, which it did in 1986. The border was opened to pedestrians at first and then, two years later, to traffic as well, on a 24-hour basis.
In a statement to mark the anniversary, the Gibraltar government stressed that people both sides of the border are resolved to work together for mutual benefit.