Echoes of Falklands in Gibraltar situation
FOLLOWING on from 'with friends like this, who needs enemies', letter, August 7 and the tension being ratcheted up over Gibraltar. Spain and Argentina have chilling similarities. They are both Spanish and of Spanish decent respectively. Both covet neighbouring territories, Argentina has fought border disputes with all of its surrounding countries, and even in the '50s tried to lay claims to parts of Antarctica by transporting pregnant women so that Argentineans could be born there.
Both countries have made bogey figures out of The Falklands and Gibraltar respectively to distract public unrest over their own financial state, with Argentina it was public unrest over the military Junta and civil rights and currently, high inflation. Whilst Spain, trapped in the deadly coils of the Euro is all but technically bankrupt with 25% unemployment (50% in the case of youth unemployment).
Both countries have scant regard for the loyalties and preferred way of life of the populations of the territories they want to colonise and during EU/Argentinean trade talks recently a Spanish MEP told the head of Argentina's Foreign Affairs Committee that Europe does not recognise British sovereignty over the Falkland Islands.
As for the tactical situation; because of Argentina's parlous financial situation, much of it's equipment losses in 1982 have not been replaced so to date it does not possess enough aircraft to present a threat to the Falklands. But, with the recently agreed sale of Spanish Mirage 1's to Argentina, this has tipped the balance a lot. However, the root cause of both recent Spanish and Argentinean aggression is down to British defence weakness. Lower your guard and the sharks start to circle.
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