The failed ‘Spanish autonomy for Gibraltar’ being revived in Spain

There is a feeling in some uninformed circles in Spain that because Gibraltar voted against Brexit in the referendum that this was an ani-UK vote - and that Gibraltarians might favour a deal with Spain to remain in the EU!

Suddenly, interest is being revived in the old and failed 'Party for the Autonomy of Gibraltar', with a full page given to it in the Spanish daily El Mundo. 

Under the heading 'The party of the 12 Yanitos who wanted to make the Rock 'a Spanish autonomy', a reporter has been speaking to some of the members of the PAG, known at the time as 'Doves'.

As a result some interesting facts emerge. It was in December 1979 that three leading members of the party visited the Spanish foreign ministry in Madrid and held a meeting with Carlos Robles Piquer, a senior diplomat and ex Franco minister.

There is a need to re-establish the telephones which remain cut and to open the fence, suggested the lawyer J.E. Triay, said to have been the leader of the PAG. He was accompanied by his brother Juan Jose (now deceased) and historian Tito Benady.They wanted to make the people of Gibraltar pro-Spanish, and appealed for a friendly attitude from Spain, without restrictions.

The report says the PAG was born some 3 years before, in September 1977, in the offices of J.E. Triay. A dozen 'yanitos' attended.

According to Benady, the idea from J.E. Triay was to have an autonomy within Spain, under Spanish sovereignty. But he, Benady, felt it had to be a condominium.

The report speaks of the twelve people promoting the idea, and mentions businessman Patrick Sacarello, the owner of a cafe whose family had settled in Gibraltar in 1817, while Benady's family in 1735, shortly after the signing of the Treaty of Utrecht.

They were all fed up of being caged in Gibraltar, with families separated by the frontier, and a British government'that did not make enough effort', as Sacarello remembers.

The two Triays and Benady stood for election in 1980 as PAG, and did not obtain more than 300 votes. The party ceased to exist shortly thereafter.

Now, says the report, with Brexit rejected, when Gibraltarians are asked if Spain could be a way out , remaining in Europe through a pact with Spain, 'or they remain silent or they reject it.'