Magazine article Newsweek International

From Chips to Paella?

Magazine article Newsweek International

From Chips to Paella?

Article excerpt

A red double-deck bus trundles down Winston Churchill Avenue. The policemen in the main square wear the outsize helmets of the British bobby. Orderly queues form at the Truly British fish 'n' chips shop.

Take away the warm winter sunshine and palm trees and it could almost be, well, Britain. And that's how the good folk of Gibraltar like it. To be sure, the tiny colony lies 2,000 miles from the mother country, at the southernmost tip of Spain. And yes, the view from the famous Rock (that vast hump of limestone) takes in Africa. But so what? Three centuries of British rule have made Gibraltar into everything a patriot would hold dear. "Paradise," Solomon Levy calls it, flying a British flag above the offices of his property business. "I was born British, and I want to die British."

These days, he can't be quite confident of having his final wish. The reason: London politicians are reconsidering their stately rule--to the point (gasp) of discussing a joint-sovereignty deal with the colony's old enemy, Madrid. Why? Gibraltar's status has shifted from strategic military base to dubious tax shelter. And locals reckon Prime Minister Tony Blair has new priorities--namely, cementing his friendship with Spain, a useful ally against the Franco-German partnership in the EU. The mere idea suggests betrayal. In a colony that's withstood 15 sieges, the old loyalties are rock solid. At the last referendum, in 1967, voters opted for the crown by 12,130 to 44--and there's little sign that opinion has shifted.

It's fair to say the Spanish have been hard to love. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.