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Tensions rise over Spain-Gibraltar fishing dispute by Gerard Couzens May 24,2012   |  Source: Sky News

Tensions between Spain and the UK over Gibraltar have sharply increased after Spanish police demanded naval protection to defuse a fishing dispute around the Rock.

A leading police union has urged Madrid to send in its armed forces to square up to the Royal Navy if it continued to back attempts to stop Spanish fishermen casting their nets near the British colony.

The Spanish police claimed they were facing a "David and Goliath" battle every time Royal Navy vessels went to the aid of the Royal Gibraltar Police (RGP).

Civil guards have recently been involved in a tense stand-off with the RGP and Royal Navy support vessels after Spanish fishermen claimed they had been stopped from casting their nets.

A civil guard patrol boat is understood to have collided with an RGP boat, although there were no reports of any injuries.

Spain's interior minister, Jorge Fernandez Diaz, insisted the country would not be "intimidated or humilliated" over the fishing dispute.

"Our fishing vessels are going to be protected at all times and I am sure we will reach an understanding in the end.

"We're not going to accept intimidation or humiliation, which I am sure no-one wants, to make Spain suffer."

Mr Diaz claimed the RGB had apologised for the incident and insisted they had

 

© 2012 BskyB

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