Communist mayor in Gibraltar invasion threat

A multi-organ donation at Almeria hospital allowed for seven transplants Credit: Hospital Poniente

Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo, the left-wing mayor of Marinaleda, a small town near Sevilla, has announced plans for the ‘occupation’ of Gibraltar on August 29.

The mayor is reportedly organising the stunt in protest of European tax havens, as well as to demand the removal of Gibraltar’s military base, and to defend the rights of Spanish fishermen in the area.

Sanchez Gordillo said: “In Europe there are 14 tax havens, and all the evidence points to Gibraltar being one of them.”

He argues that whilst the rock has 30,000 inhabitants, there are more than 30,000 private companies.

The mayor continued: “Thousands of millions of Euros are hidden away in these places, without tax being paid, and the funds often being used for unethical ends.”

Sanchez Gordillo has organised other media-grabbing stunts in the past. Two years ago, he and his supporters took food from a supermarket without paying, in an attempt to raise awareness of the many people suffering under harsh austerity cuts. He has also been known to occupy land in support of returning it to control of the people.

Albert Poggio, the UK’s representative for the government of Gibraltar, commented:

“We understand that anybody is entitled to demonstrate peacefully so we’re just keeping an eye on it.

“They seem to be very much bordering on the Marxist type of union.Their ideology seems to be based on anti-capitalism and they’re known for their Robin Hood tactics.

“We acknowledge that they can demonstrate peacefully, but if it gets out of hand I’m sure the authorities will be in a position to handle it.”

Relations between Britain and Spain have turned sour recently, with a series of confrontations between the Royal Gibraltar Police and the Spanish Guardia Civil off the coast. Gibraltar maintains that they comply with all EU tax regulations.  

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