Gibraltar and the traffic delays

Gibraltar has reportedly published the contents of a letter sent by the European Commission to Spain relating to an inspection of traffic problems in the border area between the two countries.

Principal Minister Fabian Picardo had already released the letter that Gibraltar received from the European authorities in which action against tobacco smuggling was urged.

Picardo asked the Spanish government to do the same with its own letter in the interests of transparency but, receiving no response, Gibraltar has decided to publish the contents itself. The letter apparently included the following items:

Lack of progress between the two visits by inspectors.

Five-hour delays to exit Gibraltar and enter Spain on June 11th and 15th 2014 were disproportionate.

Spain asked to eliminate its policy of inspecting all vehicles coming through La Verja for brief periods of time, as these controls do not appear to be proportionate and contribute greatly to the delays.

At other times, when 20 to 50 percent of vehicles get searched, the EU reportedly recommends that these should be reduced considerably.

The inspecting of (all) vehicles coming from Spain is not justified when the object of the exercise is allegedly to prevent smuggling from Gibraltar.

A need to increase the number of lanes at the border.

Improvements needed in the exchange of information between authorities on both sides.

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