Saturday, November 03, 2007

The big news around here is that the King announced he would pay an official visit to Ceuta and Melilla, Spanish cities on Morocco's north coast, on November 5. Morocco claims those two cities, along with a few uninhabited rocks along that coast which are in Spanish hands. So the Moroccans have recalled their ambassador for "consultations," and there's a diplomatic crisis under way.

The whole situation is ironic, since Spain claims Gibraltar, a British enclave on the Spanish south coast, but denies Morocco's claim to Ceuta and Melilla. That is, they're completely hypocritical. Spain's reason for denying the Moroccan claim is that Ceuta and Melilla were built by Spaniards, they have been part of Spain for hundreds of years--they're not recent colonies--and that their population is Spanish, not Moroccan. True. But Gibraltar has been English for hundreds of years, and its population is English, or at least English-speaking, not Spanish.

Seems to me the logical thing is to be democratic about the whole thing and follow the wishes of the residents. Those of Gibraltar want to stay with Britain, and those of Ceuta and Melilla want to stay with Spain. So just let things stay the way they are and everybody will be happy. If it ain't broke, stay out of the kitchen. Or get off the pot. Whatever.

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