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Gibraltarians fume as Spain cleared over border checks

Many residents of Gibraltar reacted angrily to the news that Spain has been cleared of wrongdoing over stringent border controls that caused long traffic queues.

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@eu_commission so 7/8 hour queues are ok then? Cheers. If I had any faith in you before, I certainly don't now. #Gibraltar

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The @eu_commission and @barrosoeu should be ashamed of themselves. I am praying Gibraltar leave the EU with the UK soon. #disgusted

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What a farce! You told Spain you were coming, of course you do not find any issues. @eu_commission an absolute joke!

EU urges UK and Spain to work together on Gibraltar

The European Commission has urged UK and Spanish authorities to work together and "strengthen dialogue" at the Gibraltar border.

An EU Commission statement suggested "daily cooperation between the authorities working on each side of the border" to help combat tobacco smuggling.

Gibraltarians wave Union Flags as the Royal Navy warship HMS Westminster arrives. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Commuters faced delays of several hours over the summer caused by stringent checks imposed by the Spanish during a diplomatic row over an artificial reef sunk off Gibraltar.

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EU: Spain should reduce random border checks

The European Commission said Spain should "optimise" its profiling system at the Gibraltar border "in order to reduce the large amount of random border controls".

However, the EU said the Spanish authorities had not broken any EU laws with its tight border checks.

Commuters and tourists had to endure queues of up to five hours over the summer. Credit: PA

"The Commission has not found evidence to conclude that the checks on persons and goods as operated by the Spanish authorities at the crossing point ... have infringed the relevant provisions of Union law," it said in a statement.

EU to 'advise Gibraltar and Spanish on future relations'

by - Europe Correspondent
Motorists wait at the Gibraltar- Spanish border. Credit: Press Association

Sources here in Brussels are telling me they think the British and Spanish will be receiving a letter from the Commission, advising them on ways to improve the relationship at the border and to co-operate to reduce tensions.

EU to make 'key announcements' on Gibraltar

The European Commission will make "key announcements" about the Gibraltar border issue within the next hour, a spokesperson said.

Olivier Bailly from the EU Commission said on Twitter that there would be "messages for both Spain and the UK" in a press conference at 1100 GMT:

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.@eu_commission to make key annoucements on #Gibraltar border issue at press conference at 12.00 today. Messages for both #Spain and #UK

More: PM meets Gibraltar chief minister

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EU and Spain agree on Gibraltar fact finding mission

The president of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso has spoken on the phone with Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy about the tensions over Gibraltar:

They agreed that a Commission fact finding mission should as soon as possible examine in loco the border control/movement of people and goods questions.

President Barroso expressed his hope that Spain and the UK will address these matters in a way that is in line with their common membership in the EU.

– European Commission statement

Spain refutes scale of health card problems for Britons

Spain's director of general services and pharmacy has said that hospitals in the country always ask people whether they want public or private care.

Agustín Rivero was responding to complaints that a number of UK holidaymakers were refused care in Spain, despite showing an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

They have sent us four very specific cases. Four cases. We're talking about 500,000 [foreign citizens receiving health care].

Even if it were only one case, logically it would have to receive the same treatment as a Spaniard, and we have talked to health services and hospitals about those four cases.

What the insurance companies have told the UK government does not coincide with what our hospitals report. In those four cases, the patients themselves signed their consent requesting private care.

– Agustín Rivero, Spain's Director General of Services and Pharmacy

Mr Rivero said 50 million people visit Spain every year, adding: "I'd like to know if other European countries have the same percentage of this problem as we do."

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