Photo: Fishermen protest in Spain
More than 50 Spanish fishermen protested Sunday against the decision by Gibraltar authorities to drop huge blocks of concrete into the ocean near the enclave, a project that they say harms their work and livelihood.
The protest focused attention on the controversy that arose more than three weeks ago between Spain and Britain over Gibraltar.
It comes as the parties wait for the meeting between Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, which was announced last Friday, the day on which the community leader spoke with British Prime Minister David Cameron, who asked that observers be sent to the border between the British colony and Spain due to the controls the latter has implemented there.
The protest by the Spanish fishermen was conducted without incident, although there was a tense moment when one of the fishermen tried to position himself in the area where Gibraltar authorities placed the concrete blocks on July 24 and July 25 with the aim of creating an artificial reef.
The fishermen say that the blocks, which weigh some 3,000 kilos (3.3 tons) each and have iron bars projecting from them, hinder their fishing activities such that they have lost some 1.5 million euros ($1.9 million) in revenue.
Gibraltar, a territory of 5.5 sq. kilometers (2.1 sq. miles) at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea, has been held by Britain since 1704 and became a British Crown Colony in 1713 under the Treaty of Utrecht.