In the November 2012 post:

I warned that Europe is not as stable politically as would appear and things can flare up very quickly when the economic hardships begin to bite. One example mentioned in my post was Gibraltar over which both the UK and Spain claim sovereignty. If you think that territorial rows between the members of EU and NATO are not possible you should check out the following link:

That Spain wants Gibraltar is old news. In the last 40 or so years they put the issue aside in the name of European unity but it looks like this rationale is beginning to wither. As the Spain’s economy is crumbling and political scandals abound the Spanish government decided to play the Gibraltar card to drum up public support. The ploy is as old as humanity, what is new is that the pretences of European unity have been dropped in favour of nationalism. To gain political leverage Spain hit the UK where it hurts by dragging the Falkland Islands into the frame:

A government spokesman also said Spain was considering taking the dispute to the UN Security Council, where it could seek the support of Argentina. He told the BBC that although the Falkland Islands – over which Britain went to war with Argentina – and Gibraltar were different issues, there were similarities between the two disputes.  

This is an extraordinary development. The Spanish government is looking to engage with Argentina to embarrass Spain’s political, economic and military ally, the UK! This incident can easily snowball into a nasty confrontation of national interests in what many thought to be a politically stable Europe. As reported by the Daily Mail:

The Prime Minister has ordered government lawyers and Foreign Office officials to draw up plans for legal action. (…) Taking the case to the European Court of Justice would mark the first time Britain has taken a fellow EU nation to court. The plans emerged as a Royal Navy taskforce, including the aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious and two frigates, set sail for Gibraltar. The journey is part of a long-planned exercise – but government officials say the show of force may help ‘focus minds’ in Spain


[British] Officials are also drafting plans for political retaliation to hit Spanish interests if Madrid fails to back down.

It looks like both countries are already past the meaningless rhetoric and have entered the realm of action. It proves that, as da-boss professed in the “Danzig corridors” post:

the stability of Europe is just a thin veneer of political expediency which may crumble if conditions change


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