Gibraltar


Gibraltar
Gibraltarian /ji brawl tair"ee euhn, jib'rawl-/, adj., n.
/ji brawl"teuhr/, n.
1. a British crown colony comprising a fortress and seaport located on a narrow promontory near the S tip of Spain. 29,934; 17/8 sq. mi. (5 sq. km).
2. Rock of.
a. Ancient, Calpe. a long, precipitous mountain nearly coextensive with this colony: one of the Pillars of Hercules. 1396 ft. (426 m) high; 21/2 mi. (4 km) long.
b. any person or thing that has strength and endurance that can be relied on.
3. Strait of, a strait between Europe and Africa at the Atlantic entrance to the Mediterranean. 81/2-23 mi. (14-37 km) wide.
4. any impregnable fortress or stronghold.

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Gibraltar

Introduction Gibraltar
Background: Strategically important, Gibraltar was ceded to Great Britain by Spain in the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht; the British garrison was formally declared a colony in 1830. In a 1967 referendum, Gibraltarians ignored Spanish pressure and voted overwhelmingly to remain a British dependency. Spain and the UK are discussing the issue of Gibraltar and have set the goal of reaching an agreement by mid-2002. Geography Gibraltar -
Location: Southwestern Europe, bordering the Strait of Gibraltar, which links the Mediterranean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, on the southern coast of Spain
Geographic coordinates: 36 8 N, 5 21 W
Map references: Europe
Area: total: 6.5 sq km water: 0 sq km land: 6.5 sq km
Area - comparative: about 11 times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Land boundaries: total: 1.2 km border countries: Spain 1.2 km
Coastline: 12 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 3 NM
Climate: Mediterranean with mild winters and warm summers
Terrain: a narrow coastal lowland borders the Rock of Gibraltar
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m highest point: Rock of Gibraltar 426 m
Natural resources: NEGL
Land use: arable land: 0% permanent crops: 0% other: 100% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land: NA sq km
Natural hazards: NA Environment - current issues: limited natural freshwater resources: large concrete or natural rock water catchments collect rainwater (no longer used for drinking water) and adequate desalination plant
Geography - note: strategic location on Strait of Gibraltar that links the North Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea People Gibraltar
Population: 27,714 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 18.5% (male 2,633; female 2,509) 15-64 years: 66.3% (male 9,456; female 8,907) 65 years and over: 15.2% (male 1,803; female 2,406) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.23% (2002 est.)
Birth rate: 11.19 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate: 8.88 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate: NEGL migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/ female total population: 1.01 male(s)/ female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 5.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.) Life expectancy at birth: total population: 79.23 years female: 82.25 years (2002 est.) male: 76.37 years
Total fertility rate: 1.65 children born/woman (2002 est.) HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: NA% HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ NA
AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths: NA
Nationality: noun: Gibraltarian(s) adjective: Gibraltar
Ethnic groups: Spanish, Italian, English, Maltese, Portuguese
Religions: Roman Catholic 76.9%, Church of England 6.9%, Muslim 6.9%, Jewish 2.3%, none or other 7% (1991)
Languages: English (used in schools and for official purposes), Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian
Literacy: definition: NA total population: above 80% male: NA% female: NA% Government Gibraltar
Country name: conventional long form: none conventional short form: Gibraltar
Dependency status: overseas territory of the UK
Government type: NA
Capital: Gibraltar Administrative divisions: none (overseas territory of the UK)
Independence: none (overseas territory of the UK)
National holiday: National Day, 10 September (1964); note - day of the national referendum to decide whether to remain with the UK or go with Spain
Constitution: 30 May 1969
Legal system: English law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal, plus other UK subjects who have been residents six months or more
Executive branch: chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor and Commander-in-Chief David DURIE (since 5 April 2000); note - DURIE was appointed in February 2000 but took office in April 2000 elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; governor appointed by the monarch; chief minister appointed by the governor head of government: Chief Minister Peter CARUANA (since 17 May 1996) cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed from among the 15 elected members of the House of Assembly by the governor in consultation with the chief minister
Legislative branch: unicameral House of Assembly (18 seats - 15 elected by popular vote, one appointed for the Speaker, and two ex officio members; members serve four-year terms) elections: last held 10 February 2000 (next to be held NA 2004) election results: percent of vote by party - GSD 58%, GSLP 41%; seats by party - GSD 8, GSLP 7
Judicial branch: Supreme Court; Court of Appeal Political parties and leaders: Gibraltar Social Democrats or GSD [Peter CARUANA]; Gibraltar Socialist Labor Party or GSLP [Joseph John BOSSANO] Political pressure groups and Chamber of Commerce; Gibraltar
leaders: Representatives Organization; Women's Association International organization Interpol (subbureau)
participation: Diplomatic representation in the US: none (overseas territory of the UK) Diplomatic representation from the none (overseas territory of the UK)
US:
Flag description: two horizontal bands of white (top, double width) and red with a three- towered red castle in the center of the white band; hanging from the castle gate is a gold key centered in the red band Economy Gibraltar -
Economy - overview: Gibraltar benefits from an extensive shipping trade, offshore banking, and its position as an international conference center. The British military presence has been sharply reduced and now contributes about 11% to the local economy. The financial sector accounts for 20% of GDP; tourism (almost 6 million visitors in 1998), shipping services fees, and duties on consumer goods also generate revenue. In recent years, Gibraltar has seen major structural change from a public to a private sector economy, but changes in government spending still have a major impact on the level of employment.
GDP: purchasing power parity - $500 million (1997 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: NA%
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $17,500 (1997 est.) GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: NA% industry: NA% services: NA% Population below poverty line: NA% Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: NA%
percentage share: highest 10%: NA% Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.5% (1998)
Labor force: 14,800 (including non-Gibraltar laborers) Labor force - by occupation: services 60%, industry 40%, agriculture NEGL%
Unemployment rate: 13.5% (1996)
Budget: revenues: $307 million expenditures: $284 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY00/01 est.)
Industries: tourism, banking and finance, ship- building and repairing; tobacco, mineral water, beer Industrial production growth rate: NA% Electricity - production: 97 million kWh (2000) Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 100% hydro: 0% other: 0% (2000) nuclear: 0% Electricity - consumption: 90.21 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products: none
Exports: $81.1 million (f.o.b., 1997)
Exports - commodities: (principally reexports) petroleum 51%, manufactured goods 41%, other 8%
Exports - partners: UK, Morocco, Portugal, Netherlands, Spain, US, Germany
Imports: $492 million (c.i.f., 1997)
Imports - commodities: fuels, manufactured goods, and foodstuffs
Imports - partners: UK, Spain, Japan, Netherlands
Debt - external: $NA Economic aid - recipient: $NA; note - if an agreement between Spain and the UK is reached, could receive 50 million euros from the EU
Currency: Gibraltar pound (GIP)
Currency code: GIP
Exchange rates: Gibraltar pounds per US dollar - 0.6981 (January 2002), 0.8977 (2001), 0.6596 (2000), 0.6180 (1999), 0.6037 (1998), 0.6106 (1997); note - the Gibraltar pound is at par with the British pound
Fiscal year: 1 July - 30 June Communications Gibraltar Telephones - main lines in use: 19,000 (1997) Telephones - mobile cellular: 1,620 (1997)
Telephone system: general assessment: adequate, automatic domestic system and adequate international facilities domestic: automatic exchange facilities international: radiotelephone; microwave radio relay; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) Radio broadcast stations: AM 1, FM 5, shortwave 0 (1998)
Radios: 37,000 (1997) Television broadcast stations: 1 (plus three low-power repeaters) (1997)
Televisions: 10,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .gi Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 2 (2000)
Internet users: NA Transportation Gibraltar
Railways: total: NA km; 1.000-m gauge system in dockyard area only (no longer used) (2001 est.)
Highways: total: 46.25 km paved: 46.25 km unpaved: 0 km (2001)
Waterways: none
Pipelines: 0 km
Ports and harbors: Gibraltar
Merchant marine: total: 75 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 900,400 GRT/1,277,611 DWT note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Belgium 1, Cyprus 1, France 2, Germany 55, Greece 6, Ireland 1, Monaco 2, Norway 3, United Kingdom 13 (2002 est.) ships by type: bulk 2, cargo 35, chemical tanker 6, container 10, multi-functional large-load carrier 3, passenger 3, petroleum tanker 14, roll on/roll off 2
Airports: 1 (2001) Airports - with paved runways: total: 1 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2001) Military Gibraltar
Military branches: no regular indigenous military forces; British Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force
Military - note: defense is the responsibility of the UK Transnational Issues Gibraltar Disputes - international: Spain and UK are discussing "total shared sovereignty" to resolve 300- year dispute over Gibraltar, but resolution is subject to a constitutional referendum by Gibraltarians, who have largely expressed opposition to any form of cession to Spain

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British colony, Mediterranean coast of southern Spain.

Area: 2.25 sq mi (5.8 sq km). Population (2002 est.): 27,700. The site of a British air and naval base that guards the Strait of Gibraltar, it occupies a narrow peninsula 3 mi (5 km) long and 0.75 mi (1.2 km) wide, known as the Rock. It appears from the east as a series of sheer, inaccessible cliffs, which makes it strategically important. The Moors held Gibraltar from 711 to 1501, when it was annexed by Spain. Captured by the British in 1704, it became a British crown colony in 1830. It was an important port in World Wars I and II. The sovereignty of the territory has remained a source of constant friction between the United Kingdom and Spain, though residents voted in 1967 to remain part of Britain. Spain lifted its border blockade in the mid-1980s. Perhaps its most famous residents are the Barbary macaques, who occupy many of Gibraltar's caves and are Europe's only free-living monkeys.

The Rock of Gibraltar

Hans Huber

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▪ British colony, Europe
 British overseas territory occupying a narrow peninsula of Spain's southern Mediterranean coast, just northeast of the Strait of Gibraltar (Gibraltar, Strait of). It is 3 miles (5 km) long and 0.75 mile (1.2 km) wide and is connected to Spain by a low, sandy isthmus that is 1 mile (1.6 km) long. Its name is derived from the Arabic Jabal Ṭāriq (Mount Tarik), honouring Ṭāriq ibn Ziyād, who captured the peninsula in AD 711. Gibraltar is a heavily fortified British air and naval base that guards the Strait of Gibraltar, which is the only entrance to the Mediterranean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean.

      The peninsula consists of a limestone and shale ridge known as the Rock, which rises abruptly from the isthmus to 1,380 feet (421 metres) at Rock Gun, its northernmost summit. Its highest point, 1,396 feet (426 metres), is attained near its southern end. The Rock shelves down to the sea at Europa Point, which faces Ceuta (a Spanish enclave in Morocco), about 20 miles (30 km) to the south across the strait. From the Mediterranean, Gibraltar appears as a series of sheer, inaccessible cliffs, fronting the sea on the peninsula's east coast. The Rock's slope is more gradual on its western side and is occupied by tier upon tier of houses that stretch for some 300 feet (90 metres) above the old defensive walls. Higher up, limestone cliffs almost isolate the Upper Rock, which is covered with a tangle of wild trees.

      Gibraltar has no springs or rivers, and an area of sand slopes above Catalan and Sandy bays has been sheeted over to provide a rain-catchment area, which was once the sole source of potable water for Gibraltar. The water was stored in a number of tanks blasted into the Rock. The rainwater was then blended with water pumped from wells on the isthmus or distilled from the sea. The catchment ceased to be used as a source of potable water in the 1990s, when a desalinization plant built in the 1980s was expanded, but it still is used as a service reservoir. Gibraltar has hot, humid, and almost rainless summers; mild winters during which there is usually adequate rain; and warm, moderately rainy transitional seasons.

      There are more than 500 species of small flowering plants on Gibraltar, and the Gibraltar candytuft is a flower native only to the Rock. Wild olive and pine trees grow on the Upper Rock. Mammals include rabbit, fox, and Barbary macaque (often erroneously identified as apes). Barbary macaques have roamed the Rock for hundreds of years and are Europe's only wild monkeys. Although free to wander, they are generally seen on the Upper Rock. The macaques were once protected by the British army in Gibraltar, and, according to legend, British dominion over the Rock will cease when these animals are no longer present; their protection is now the responsibility of the Gibraltar Ornithological and Natural History Society. Migratory birds are common, and Gibraltar is the home of the only specimens of Barbary partridge in Europe.

      Gibraltar is considered one of the two Pillars of Heracles (Hercules), the other being Mount Hacho, on the African coast opposite. The Pillars, which according to Homer were created when Heracles broke the mountain that had connected Africa and Europe, defined the western limits of navigation for the ancient Mediterranean world. Since the 18th century Gibraltar has been a symbol of British naval strength, and it is commonly known in that context as “the Rock.” With the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, Gibraltar increased in strategic importance, and its position as a provisioning port was greatly enhanced. Since World War II the British military garrison and naval dockyard have continued to be an important part of Gibraltar's economy, and naval operations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) often use the port facilities.

      Gibraltar is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom (British Empire) and is self-governing in all matters but defense. In 1981 Gibraltarians were granted full British citizenship; Gibraltarians age 18 or older and British civilians resident for more than six months are entitled to vote. The governor, appointed by the British sovereign, is the head of the executive and is advised by the Gibraltar Council. The governor appoints the Council of Ministers, composed of the chief minister and other ministers, from the party or coalition of parties that gains a majority of seats in the House of Assembly. The House of Assembly consists of the speaker (appointed by the governor), 15 members elected to four-year terms, and 2 ex-officio members. Instead of a city council, one minister is responsible for municipal affairs.

      Because of lack of space on the peninsula, there is no agriculture. There is a small amount of light industry—tobacco, beverages, canning—but the main sources of income are the provisioning of ships and military personnel, tourism, and the re-export trade. Tourism has been stimulated through the large-scale expansion of hotel and beach facilities and gambling casinos. The port facilities occupy most of the western shore and a portion of land reclaimed from the sea. Income and customs taxes produce most of the colony's revenue. The United Kingdom supplies a significant amount of development aid. Principal expenditures include social services, public works, and municipal services. Gibraltar joined the European Community (now embedded in the European Union) with the United Kingdom in 1973. The monetary unit is the Gibraltar pound.

      Passenger and cargo vessels stop at Gibraltar's port, and ferries cross daily to Tangier, Morocco. Regular flights link Gibraltar to London and Manchester. The peninsula has a road system and a system of tunnels within the Rock for vehicular traffic. A cable car ascends to the central summit of the ridge.

      About four-fifths of the population are Gibraltarians, which includes those born in Gibraltar before 1925 and their descendants, as well as the spouses of Gibraltarians. The remainder are resident aliens and the families of British military personnel. Most Gibraltarians are of mixed Genoese, British, Spanish, Maltese, and Portuguese descent. Moroccans and Indians predominate among the resident aliens.

      About four-fifths of Gibraltarians are Roman Catholic. The Anglican bishopric also covers communities in southern Europe. The small Jewish community is of Sephardic descent. English is the official language of government and education, though most Gibraltarians are bilingual in English and Spanish, and many speak an English dialect known as Yanito (Llanito), which is influenced by Spanish, Genoese, and Hebrew.

      Education is free and compulsory between ages 5 and 15. Educational facilities include several government primary schools and two comprehensive secondary schools. There are also private and military institutions, a school for children with disabilities, and a technical college.

      Excavations of limestone caves in the Rock have revealed that Gibraltar was sporadically inhabited from prehistoric times. The Muslim commander Ṭāriq ibn Ziyād captured Gibraltar in 711, and the site was thereafter held as a fortress by all its successive occupiers. The Muslim occupation was permanently ended by the Spanish in 1462, and Isabella I annexed Gibraltar to Spain in 1501. But in 1704, during the War of the Spanish Succession (Spanish Succession, War of the), Sir George Rooke captured Gibraltar for the British, and Spain formally ceded it to Britain under the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht (Utrecht, treaties of) in 1713. The Spanish nevertheless made several attempts to retake Gibraltar from Britain, most notably in a protracted but unsuccessful military siege that lasted from 1779 to 1783. In 1830 Gibraltar became a British crown colony. The opening of the Suez Canal (1869) heightened British determination to keep possession of Gibraltar, since the Mediterranean was now the main route to Britain's colonies in East Africa and southern Asia.

      Early in the 20th century the Rock was tunneled to facilitate communication between the peninsula's east and west sides, and the excavated material was used to reclaim 64 acres (26 hectares) from the sea and thus expand the area of the cramped settlement. Gibraltar was a vital repair and assembly point for Allied convoys during the world wars. In the 1960s the Spanish government stepped up its demands for the “decolonization” of Gibraltar. A referendum in Gibraltar in 1967 gave the colony's residents a choice of opting either for Spanish sovereignty or for continued close association with Britain; the result was an overwhelmingly pro-British vote (12,138 votes to 44). The new constitution that Britain introduced for Gibraltar in 1969 explicitly reaffirmed Gibraltar's link with Britain while also granting it full internal self-government. Spain responded by closing its border with Gibraltar, thus depriving the colony of its Spanish trade and a labour force of Spanish commuters. Spain lifted its border blockade in 1985.

      The status of Gibraltar has remained a source of friction between the Spanish and British governments. In a nonbinding referendum in 2002 recognized by neither government, 99 percent of Gibraltar's voters rejected joint British-Spanish sovereignty. Gibraltar subsequently was allowed by both governments to represent itself in negotiations on its future. Area including port and harbour water, 2.5 square miles (6.5 square km). Pop. (2003 est.) 28,605.

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Universalium. 2010.

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