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Pedro Sánchez, Spain's new prime minister.
Pedro Sánchez, Spain's new prime minister. / SUR

New Spanish government may have different attitude, says Gibraltar's chief minister

  • Picardo told parliament the importance of this political change cannot be underestimated

The Gibraltar government has welcomed the successful vote-of-no-confidence which led to Pedro Sánchez becoming Spanish prime minister. Chief minister Fabian Picardo told parliament this week that “the importance of that political change in Spain at this time in our history, cannot be underestimated”.

As the leader of the Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party and as chief minister, Picardo wrote immediately to the new Spanish leader to congratulate him, and expressed his wish for dialogue, understanding and cooperation regarding issues that arise between Gibraltar and Spain.

“Mr Speaker, the next ten months will be decisive in many ways for Gibraltar, as we move towards the 29th March 2019 and our departure from the European Union with the United Kingdom,” he said. “The result of the events in the Spanish parliament today will mean that the ideology of those with whom we engage in Spain, and the manner in which we engage with them, may change.

“As I have already said in writing to the new president of the Spanish government, we will not be found wanting when it comes to demonstrating the willingness of the people of Gibraltar to engage constructively in dialogue in pursuit of policies designed to deliver cooperation and good neighbourly relations between our people. I sincerely wish that we will see that sentiment reciprocated so that we can advance matters in the common interest of the citizens we each represent.”

It is not known whether Pedro Sánchez has replied to the chief minister's letter, but it was reported on Wednesday that he had asked for a report on the state of negotiations on Gibraltar.