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Press Trust Of India
September 08, 2002
Gibraltar is a small European country to the south of the Iberian Peninsula which has been a source of friction between Spain and the UK. Considered strategically important, Gibraltar was ceded to Great Britain by Spain in 1713 under the Treaty of Utrecht; the British garrison was formally declared a colony in 1830. In a 1967 referendum, Gibraltarians ignored Spanish pressure and voted overwhelmingly to remain a British dependency.

It is known that Gibraltarians have always opposed any deal that might give Spain a say in their future. Fifteen years of isolation under General Franco - who sealed the frontier between the Rock and Spain - and more than 20 years of officially sanctioned harassment by Spanish border guards since then have done nothing to dispel the mistrust of Gibraltarians.