The town hall for La Línea de la Concepción in Cádiz, led by Alejandro Sánchez (PP), has begun work on establishing pay tolls on its road linking the Peninsula with Gibraltar despite the government’s opposition to the plan. Moreover, the road in question which links the Spanish mainland to Gibraltar is under the jurisdiction of central government.
The work began on the reorganization of traffic yesterday will lead to the setting up of a pay toll on the road which links it to Gibraltar despite the express opposition to this plan by the government.
The work consists of the construction of a raised border separating vehicles when they leave the customs area coming out of Gibraltar. On Monday Sánchez announced his intentions of imposing the toll of 5 euros for non-residents every time they use the road. This amount will rise for lorries transporting construction material.
The Association of Spanish Workers in Gibraltar has criticised the plan to introduce pay tolls.
Their spokesperson, Juan José Uceda, said that the ‘mere announcement is provoking suspicion in Gibraltar and that it will harm those who cross the border between Spain and Gibraltar on a daily basis in order to get to work’. Spanish workers are worried that the authorities in Gibraltar will adopt a similar measure for those crossing into Spain from Gibraltar.
Declarations by Rosa Torres the president of the Andalucian branch of PSOE hinted that her party might be willing to negotiate a different status for La Linea as a border city in order for it to get more state funds. However, this has led to the socialist mayor of Algeciras (Cádiz) to ask for the same treatment for his city.
The Minister for Justice for the regional government of Andalucia, Luis Pizarro (PSOE), has accused the mayor of La Línea of ‘blackmailing the state’ and has told Sánchez to talk to the regional authorities in order to find a solution to the economic situation of his municipality.
Pizarro added that La Línea already receives special treatment and reminded Sánchez that it was the PP government which decided to freeze the special economic status of La Línea in 2003 which resulted in it losing up to 25 million euros.