(Photo: Screen Grab via flickr; video screenshot by flickr user latoxbelia)
Gibraltar may be an outpost in the heart of Europe but Gibraltar doesn’t fit in with other western European countries that consider it part of the Mediterranean.
The 1,323 square miles UK-French territory on the southern tip of Spain shares this island with other EU neighbors such as Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Denmark, and has an official population of a relatively small 10,348 inhabitants.
Nevertheless, the British island the size of California nestles itself on the Mediterranean Sea, just eight miles from the Spanish coast, with it’s own lighthouse, airport, and seaport.
Unfortunately for Gibraltar the Mediterranean is the hot spot that provided rise to its annual pandemic.
The European Front covers the area but doesn’t concern itself with continental destinations. It is only in 1975 that Britain was forced to sever its relationship with Spain in order to accept back the island from Spain.
On August 15, 1937, there was a bubonic plague outbreak and 125 Britons were infected with the disease. Of the victims, 76 needed hospitalization with as many as 34 dying in 36 days after contracting the disease.
Britain’s acceptance of the British part of Gibraltar was greeted with hysteria in the run-up to the Spanish Civil War.
According to Forbes, for more than half a century almost all the British province of Gibraltar has been ignored by other western European countries. Some even grow cold and cynical about Gibraltar, exclaiming that its existence is unfair and unfair because other provinces that have seaports for economic reasons consider it part of their customs union.
Those turning a blind eye to the anti-Gibraltar sentiments aren’t the only ones. Some counties in the UK, like Wales, East Yorkshire, and West Somerset, have different religion practices and worldviews than Gibraltar, and are even more jaded when it comes to their reality outside the country.
Although the combined and mutually-renowned nation of Spain is open to negotiations with the rest of the continent, the (seething) animosity doesn’t stop at borders. And not only does it deny Spain the carte blanche to decide on seaborne trade, but it is quite the catalyst for the ongoing region’s strategy for regional integration.
Let’s not forget that Spain has also stolen some points by trying to annex western Cebu and Campeche, the three thousand year old and legendary kingdom from mainland Philippines.
The trouble with the Gibraltar pandemic pandemic is that the Spanish political landscape is always roiling with territorial disputes and with the patriotic fervor that Muslims exude and the Philippines has held toward the republics that historically took over from the Spanish by the millions.
But it would be hard to pin the African Ebola outbreak on that here.
Gibraltar has developed its own immunity to Ebola.
I blame the British. To this day the UK and Spain don’t recognize each other and hence there was nothing better for diplomats or NGOs to do than the area for a week and watch the U.S. embassy in Gibraltar prepare for any emergency, and possibly plan for eradication of the disease.
Still, the fallout from the Irish Crisis of 1963 and the Honduran Civil War of 1980 and 1990 hasn’t affected the efficacy of tiny Gibraltar, in any way, shape, or form.
Perhaps among some west European regional offices, Gibraltar’s status doesn’t seem such a bad thing.
That said, possibly the number one problem is that its standing in the region is plummeting.
No other island in the EU has as much influence and on more than one level that Gibraltar does. Take into account the 25 million who live in Europe and Canada and it is hard to find a given island that is on par with Gibraltar in identity or to speak of which it’s most important.
With the British number one position of 21 in that category, Gibraltar may turn out to be the oldest constituency in Europe, politically and sociologically, however the toll from the claim is of its very own making.Originally published at World Religions