Gibraltar
Overview
 
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

 at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of 6.843 square kilometres (2.6 sq mi), it has a northern border with Andalusia
Andalusia
Andalusia is the most populous and the second largest in area of the autonomous communities of Spain. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognised as a nationality of Spain. The territory is divided into eight provinces: Huelva, Seville, Cádiz, Córdoba, Málaga, Jaén, Granada and...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. The Rock of Gibraltar
Rock of Gibraltar
The Rock of Gibraltar is a monolithic limestone promontory located in Gibraltar, off the southwestern tip of Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. It is high...

 is the major landmark of the region. At its foot is the densely populated city area, home to almost 30,000 Gibraltarian
Gibraltarian people
The Gibraltarians are a cultural group native to Gibraltar, a British overseas territory located near the southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance to the Mediterranean sea.- Origins :...

s and other nationalities.

An Anglo-Dutch force captured Gibraltar
Capture of Gibraltar
The Capture of Gibraltar by the Anglo-Dutch forces of the Grand Alliance occurred between 1–3 August 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession. Since the beginning of the war the Allies had been looking for a harbour in the Iberian Peninsula to control the Strait of Gibraltar and facilitate...

 from Spain in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession
War of the Spanish Succession
The War of the Spanish Succession was fought among several European powers, including a divided Spain, over the possible unification of the Kingdoms of Spain and France under one Bourbon monarch. As France and Spain were among the most powerful states of Europe, such a unification would have...

.
Encyclopedia
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

 at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of 6.843 square kilometres (2.6 sq mi), it has a northern border with Andalusia
Andalusia
Andalusia is the most populous and the second largest in area of the autonomous communities of Spain. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognised as a nationality of Spain. The territory is divided into eight provinces: Huelva, Seville, Cádiz, Córdoba, Málaga, Jaén, Granada and...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. The Rock of Gibraltar
Rock of Gibraltar
The Rock of Gibraltar is a monolithic limestone promontory located in Gibraltar, off the southwestern tip of Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. It is high...

 is the major landmark of the region. At its foot is the densely populated city area, home to almost 30,000 Gibraltarian
Gibraltarian people
The Gibraltarians are a cultural group native to Gibraltar, a British overseas territory located near the southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance to the Mediterranean sea.- Origins :...

s and other nationalities.

An Anglo-Dutch force captured Gibraltar
Capture of Gibraltar
The Capture of Gibraltar by the Anglo-Dutch forces of the Grand Alliance occurred between 1–3 August 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession. Since the beginning of the war the Allies had been looking for a harbour in the Iberian Peninsula to control the Strait of Gibraltar and facilitate...

 from Spain in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession
War of the Spanish Succession
The War of the Spanish Succession was fought among several European powers, including a divided Spain, over the possible unification of the Kingdoms of Spain and France under one Bourbon monarch. As France and Spain were among the most powerful states of Europe, such a unification would have...

. The territory was subsequently ceded to Britain "in perpetuity" under the Treaty of Utrecht
Treaty of Utrecht
The Treaty of Utrecht, which established the Peace of Utrecht, comprises a series of individual peace treaties, rather than a single document, signed by the belligerents in the War of Spanish Succession, in the Dutch city of Utrecht in March and April 1713...

 in 1713. It was an important base for the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

; today its economy is based largely on tourism, financial services, and shipping.

The sovereignty of Gibraltar is a major point of contention in Anglo-Spanish relations as Spain asserts a claim to the territory
Disputed status of Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory, near the southernmost tip of the Iberian peninsula, which is the subject of a disputed irredentist claim by Spain....

. Gibraltarians resoundingly rejected proposals for Spanish sovereignty in a 1967 referendum and again in 2002. Under Gibraltar constitution of 2006
Gibraltar Constitution Order 2006
The Gibraltar Constitution Order 2006 was taken to a referendum in Gibraltar on 30 November 2006. A coalition of groups opposing the proposal held that a majority of 60% should be required to give effect to a new Constitution, quoting other instances...

, Gibraltar governs its own affairs, though some powers, such as defence and foreign relations, remain the responsibility of the UK Government.

Etymology

The name Gibraltar is the Spanish derivation of the Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 name Jabal Tāriq (جبل طارق), meaning "mountain of Tariq". It refers to the geological formation, the Rock of Gibraltar
Rock of Gibraltar
The Rock of Gibraltar is a monolithic limestone promontory located in Gibraltar, off the southwestern tip of Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. It is high...

, which in turn was named after the Berber
Berber people
Berbers are the indigenous peoples of North Africa west of the Nile Valley. They are continuously distributed from the Atlantic to the Siwa oasis, in Egypt, and from the Mediterranean to the Niger River. Historically they spoke the Berber language or varieties of it, which together form a branch...

 Umayyad
Umayyad
The Umayyad Caliphate was the second of the four major Arab caliphates established after the death of Muhammad. It was ruled by the Umayyad dynasty, whose name derives from Umayya ibn Abd Shams, the great-grandfather of the first Umayyad caliph. Although the Umayyad family originally came from the...

 general Tariq ibn-Ziyad
Tariq ibn-Ziyad
Tariq ibn Ziyad was a Muslim Berber general who led the Islamic conquest of Visigothic Hispania in 711 A.D. He is considered to be one of the most important military commanders in Iberian history. Under the orders of the Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid I he led a large army from the north coast of...

 who led the initial incursion into Iberia in advance of the main Moorish force
Umayyad conquest of Hispania
The Umayyad conquest of Hispania is the initial Islamic Ummayad Caliphate's conquest, between 711 and 718, of the Christian Visigothic Kingdom of Hispania, centered in the Iberian Peninsula, which was known to them under the Arabic name al-Andalus....

 in 711 under the command of Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid I. Earlier, it was known as Mons Calpe, one of the Pillars of Hercules
Pillars of Hercules
The Pillars of Hercules was the phrase that was applied in Antiquity to the promontories that flank the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar. The northern Pillar is the Rock of Gibraltar in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar...

.
Today, Gibraltar is colloquially referred to as Gib or the Rock.

History

Evidence of Neanderthal
Neanderthal
The Neanderthal is an extinct member of the Homo genus known from Pleistocene specimens found in Europe and parts of western and central Asia...

 habitation in Gibraltar between 128,000 and 24,000 BC has been discovered at Gorham's Cave
Gorham's Cave
Gorham's Cave is a natural sea cave in Gibraltar, considered to be one of the last known habitations of the Neanderthals. It is located on the south east face of the Rock of Gibraltar...

, making Gibraltar the last known holdout of the Neanderthals. Within recorded history, the first inhabitants were the Phoenicia
Phoenicia
Phoenicia , was an ancient civilization in Canaan which covered most of the western, coastal part of the Fertile Crescent. Several major Phoenician cities were built on the coastline of the Mediterranean. It was an enterprising maritime trading culture that spread across the Mediterranean from 1550...

ns, around 950 BC. Subsequently, Gibraltar became known as one of the Pillars of Hercules
Pillars of Hercules
The Pillars of Hercules was the phrase that was applied in Antiquity to the promontories that flank the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar. The northern Pillar is the Rock of Gibraltar in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar...

, after the Greek
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 legend of the creation of the Strait of Gibraltar
Strait of Gibraltar
The Strait of Gibraltar is a narrow strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and separates Spain in Europe from Morocco in Africa. The name comes from Gibraltar, which in turn originates from the Arabic Jebel Tariq , albeit the Arab name for the Strait is Bab el-Zakat or...

 by Heracles
Heracles
Heracles ,born Alcaeus or Alcides , was a divine hero in Greek mythology, the son of Zeus and Alcmene, foster son of Amphitryon and great-grandson of Perseus...

. The Carthaginians
Carthage
Carthage , implying it was a 'new Tyre') is a major urban centre that has existed for nearly 3,000 years on the Gulf of Tunis, developing from a Phoenician colony of the 1st millennium BC...

 and Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 also established semi-permanent settlements. After the collapse of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

, Gibraltar came briefly under the control of the Vandals
Vandals
The Vandals were an East Germanic tribe that entered the late Roman Empire during the 5th century. The Vandals under king Genseric entered Africa in 429 and by 439 established a kingdom which included the Roman Africa province, besides the islands of Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia and the Balearics....

. The area later formed part of the Visigothic Kingdom
Visigothic Kingdom
The Visigothic Kingdom was a kingdom which occupied southwestern France and the Iberian Peninsula from the 5th to 8th century AD. One of the Germanic successor states to the Western Roman Empire, it was originally created by the settlement of the Visigoths under King Wallia in the province of...

 of Hispania
Hispania
Another theory holds that the name derives from Ezpanna, the Basque word for "border" or "edge", thus meaning the farthest area or place. Isidore of Sevilla considered Hispania derived from Hispalis....

 until the Islamic conquest of Iberia
Umayyad conquest of Hispania
The Umayyad conquest of Hispania is the initial Islamic Ummayad Caliphate's conquest, between 711 and 718, of the Christian Visigothic Kingdom of Hispania, centered in the Iberian Peninsula, which was known to them under the Arabic name al-Andalus....

 in 711 AD. Seven centuries of Moorish control ended when Gibraltar was recaptured by the Duke of Medina Sidonia in 1462 as part of the Spanish Reconquista
Reconquista
The Reconquista was a period of almost 800 years in the Middle Ages during which several Christian kingdoms succeeded in retaking the Muslim-controlled areas of the Iberian Peninsula broadly known as Al-Andalus...

.

After the conquest, King Henry IV
Henry IV of Castile
Henry IV , King of the Crown of Castile, nicknamed the Impotent , was the last of the weak late medieval kings of Castile...

 assumed the title of King of Gibraltar
Kingdom of Gibraltar
The Kingdom of Gibraltar is one of the many historic substantive titles pertaining to the Castilian monarchy and its successor, the Spanish monarchy, belonging to what is known as Grand Title...

, establishing it as part of the municipal area
Comarca
A comarca is a traditional region or local administrative division found in parts of Spain, Portugal, Panama, Nicaragua, and Brazil. The term is derived from the term marca, meaning a "march, mark", plus the prefix co- meaning "together, jointly".The comarca is known in Aragonese as redolada and...

 of the Campo Llano de Gibraltar
Campo de Gibraltar
The comarca of the Campo de Gibraltar is a comarca in the province of Cádiz, Spain, in the southwestern part of the autonomous community of Andalusia, the southernmost part of continental Western Europe...

. Six years later Gibraltar was restored to the Duke of Medina Sidonia who sold it in 1474 to a group of Jewish converso
Converso
A converso and its feminine form conversa was a Jew or Muslim—or a descendant of Jews or Muslims—who converted to Catholicism in Spain or Portugal, particularly during the 14th and 15th centuries. Mass conversions once took place under significant government pressure...

s
from Córdoba
Córdoba, Spain
-History:The first trace of human presence in the area are remains of a Neanderthal Man, dating to c. 32,000 BC. In the 8th century BC, during the ancient Tartessos period, a pre-urban settlement existed. The population gradually learned copper and silver metallurgy...

 and Seville
Seville
Seville is the artistic, historic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia and of the province of Seville. It is situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir, with an average elevation of above sea level...

 in exchange for maintaining the garrison of the town for two years, after which time the 4,350 Jews were expelled by the Duke as part of the Inquisition
Spanish Inquisition
The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition , commonly known as the Spanish Inquisition , was a tribunal established in 1480 by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. It was intended to maintain Catholic orthodoxy in their kingdoms, and to replace the Medieval...

. In 1501 Gibraltar passed back to the hands of the Spanish Crown and Isabella I of Castile
Isabella I of Castile
Isabella I was Queen of Castile and León. She and her husband Ferdinand II of Aragon brought stability to both kingdoms that became the basis for the unification of Spain. Later the two laid the foundations for the political unification of Spain under their grandson, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor...

 issued a Royal Warrant
Royal Warrant
Royal warrants of appointment have been issued for centuries to those who supply goods or services to a royal court or certain royal personages. The warrant enables the supplier to advertise the fact that they supply to the royal family, so lending prestige to the supplier...

 granting Gibraltar the coat of arms
Coat of arms of Gibraltar
The coat of arms of Gibraltar was first granted by a Royal Warrant passed in Toledo on July 10, 1502, by Isabella I of Castile during Gibraltar's Spanish period...

 that it still uses today.

In 1704, during the War of the Spanish Succession
War of the Spanish Succession
The War of the Spanish Succession was fought among several European powers, including a divided Spain, over the possible unification of the Kingdoms of Spain and France under one Bourbon monarch. As France and Spain were among the most powerful states of Europe, such a unification would have...

, a combined Anglo
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

-Dutch
Dutch Republic
The Dutch Republic — officially known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands , the Republic of the United Netherlands, or the Republic of the Seven United Provinces — was a republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795, preceding the Batavian Republic and ultimately...

 force captured the town of Gibraltar, leading to a permanent exodus of the existing population to the surrounding areas of the Campo de Gibraltar
Campo de Gibraltar
The comarca of the Campo de Gibraltar is a comarca in the province of Cádiz, Spain, in the southwestern part of the autonomous community of Andalusia, the southernmost part of continental Western Europe...

. Under the terms of the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht
Treaty of Utrecht
The Treaty of Utrecht, which established the Peace of Utrecht, comprises a series of individual peace treaties, rather than a single document, signed by the belligerents in the War of Spanish Succession, in the Dutch city of Utrecht in March and April 1713...

 Gibraltar was ceded to Britain in perpetuity. Spain unsuccessfully attempted to regain control in 1727
Siege of Gibraltar (1727)
The Siege of Gibraltar of 1727 saw Spanish forces besiege the British garrison of Gibraltar as part of the Anglo-Spanish War. Depending on the sources, Spanish troops were between 12,000 and 25,000. British defenders were 1,500 at the beginning of the siege, increasing up to about 5,000...

 and during the Great Siege of Gibraltar
Great Siege of Gibraltar
The Great Siege of Gibraltar was an unsuccessful attempt by Spain and France to capture Gibraltar from the British during the American War of Independence. This was the largest action fought during the war in terms of numbers, particularly the Grand Assault of 18 September 1782...

 which lasted from 1779 to 1783.

Gibraltar became a key base for the British Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 and played an important role prior to the Battle of Trafalgar
Battle of Trafalgar
The Battle of Trafalgar was a sea battle fought between the British Royal Navy and the combined fleets of the French Navy and Spanish Navy, during the War of the Third Coalition of the Napoleonic Wars ....

 and during the Crimean War
Crimean War
The Crimean War was a conflict fought between the Russian Empire and an alliance of the French Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Sardinia. The war was part of a long-running contest between the major European powers for influence over territories of the declining...

 of 1854–56, due to its strategic location. Its strategic value increased with the opening of the Suez Canal
Suez Canal
The Suez Canal , also known by the nickname "The Highway to India", is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows water transportation between Europe and Asia without navigation...

 as it lay on the sea route between the UK and the British Empire east of Suez. In the later 19th century there were major investments in improving the fortifications and the port.

During World War II
Military history of Gibraltar during World War II
The military history of Gibraltar during World War II exemplifies Gibraltar's position as a British fortress since the early 18th century and as a vital factor in British military strategy, both as a foothold on the continent of Europe, and as a bastion of British sea power...

, Gibraltar's civilian population was evacuated (mainly to London, England, but also to parts of Morocco, Madeira and Jamaica) and the Rock was strengthened as a fortress
Fortification
Fortifications are military constructions and buildings designed for defence in warfare and military bases. Humans have constructed defensive works for many thousands of years, in a variety of increasingly complex designs...

. Spanish dictator Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco y Bahamonde was a Spanish general, dictator and head of state of Spain from October 1936 , and de facto regent of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain from 1947 until his death in November, 1975...

's reluctance to allow the German Army
Wehrmacht
The Wehrmacht – from , to defend and , the might/power) were the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Heer , the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe .-Origin and use of the term:...

 onto Spanish soil frustrated a German plan to capture the Rock, codenamed Operation Felix
Operation Felix
Operation Felix was the codename for a proposed German seizure of Gibraltar during World War II. It never got beyond the staff study stage, even though planning continued into 1944, primarily because of Francisco Franco's reluctance to commit Spain to enter the war on the Axis...

. In the 1950s, Franco renewed Spain's claim to sovereignty over Gibraltar and restricted movement between Gibraltar and Spain. Gibraltarians voted overwhelmingly to remain under British sovereignty in a 1967 referendum which led to the passing of the Gibraltar Constitution Order
Gibraltar Constitution Order 1969
The Gibraltar Constitution Order 1969 was published on 30 May 1969 as an Order in Council.The constitution was the outcome of the Constitutional Conference chaired by Malcolm Shepherd, 2nd Baron Shepherd which lasted from July 16 1968 to July 24...

 in 1969. In response, Spain completely closed the border with Gibraltar and severed all communication links. The border with Spain was partially reopened in 1982, and fully reopened in 1985 prior to Spain's accession to the European Community.

In a referendum held in 2002, Gibraltarians
Gibraltarian people
The Gibraltarians are a cultural group native to Gibraltar, a British overseas territory located near the southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance to the Mediterranean sea.- Origins :...

 rejected by an overwhelming majority (99%) a proposal of shared sovereignty on which Spain and Britain were said to have reached "broad agreement". The British government has committed itself to respecting the Gibraltarians' wishes. A new Constitution Order
Gibraltar Constitution Order 2006
The Gibraltar Constitution Order 2006 was taken to a referendum in Gibraltar on 30 November 2006. A coalition of groups opposing the proposal held that a majority of 60% should be required to give effect to a new Constitution, quoting other instances...

 was approved in referendum in 2006. A process of tripartite negotiations started in 2006 between Spain, Gibraltar and the UK, ending some restrictions and dealing with disputes in some specific areas such as air movements, customs procedures, telecommunications, pensions and cultural exchange.

Government and politics

Gibraltar is a British overseas territory
British overseas territories
The British Overseas Territories are fourteen territories of the United Kingdom which, although they do not form part of the United Kingdom itself, fall under its jurisdiction. They are remnants of the British Empire that have not acquired independence or have voted to remain British territories...

. The British Nationality Act 1981
British Nationality Act 1981
The British Nationality Act 1981 was an Act of Parliament passed by the British Parliament concerning British nationality. It has been the basis of British nationality law since 1 January 1983.-History:...

 granted Gibraltarians full British citizenship.

Under its current Constitution
Gibraltar Constitution Order 2006
The Gibraltar Constitution Order 2006 was taken to a referendum in Gibraltar on 30 November 2006. A coalition of groups opposing the proposal held that a majority of 60% should be required to give effect to a new Constitution, quoting other instances...

, Gibraltar has almost complete internal democratic self-government
Self-governance
Self-governance is an abstract concept that refers to several scales of organization.It may refer to personal conduct or family units but more commonly refers to larger scale activities, i.e., professions, industry bodies, religions and political units , up to and including autonomous regions and...

 through an elected parliament, elected for a term of up to four years. The unicameral
Unicameralism
In government, unicameralism is the practice of having one legislative or parliamentary chamber. Thus, a unicameral parliament or unicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of one chamber or house...

 Parliament presently consists of seventeen elected members, and the Speaker who is not elected, but appointed by a resolution of the Parliament. The Government consists of ten elected members. The head of state is Queen Elizabeth II, who is represented by the Governor of Gibraltar
Governor of Gibraltar
The Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Gibraltar is the representative of the British monarch in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. The Governor is appointed by the British Monarch on the advice of the British Government...

. Defence, foreign policy and internal security are formally the responsibility of the Governor; judicial and other appointments are also made on behalf of the Queen in consultation with the head of the elected government
Chief Minister of Gibraltar
The Chief Minister of Gibraltar is the leader of the largest party elected to the Gibraltar Parliament, and is formally appointed by the Governor of Gibraltar, representative of the British Crown.-List of Chief Ministers:...

.

The 2007 election was contested by the Gibraltar Social Democrats
Gibraltar Social Democrats
The Gibraltar Social Democrats, abbreviated to GSD, is a centre-right political party in Gibraltar.Their current leader is Peter Caruana, the Chief Minister of Gibraltar. The GSD has been the governing party in Gibraltar since 1996.-History:...

 (GSD), Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party
Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party
The Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party is the oldest surviving active political party in Gibraltar. Its grass roots are deep in the Trade Union Movement, as its founder and former leader Joe Bossano was the District Officer of the Transport and General Workers Union...

 (GSLP)-Gibraltar Liberal Party
Gibraltar Liberal Party
The Gibraltar Liberal Party is a political party in Gibraltar. The party was founded in 1991 as Gibraltar National Party and is led by Dr...

 (GLP) Alliance, the Progressive Democratic Party
Progressive Democratic Party (Gibraltar)
The Progressive Democratic Party is a political party from Gibraltar established in June 2006 by Gibraltarian lawyer and former Gibraltar Social Democrat Deputy Chief Minister, Keith Azopardi....

 (PDP) and two independents. Two parties which fielded candidates in the 2003 election did not present candidates in the 2007 election; the Reform Party
Reform Party (Gibraltar)
The Gibraltar Reform Party was a political party in Gibraltar. It was a left-leaning party which described itself as green and for social justice....

 was wound up and Gibraltar Labour Party
Gibraltar Labour Party
The Gibraltar Labour Party was a political party in Gibraltar. They described themselves as a progressive socialist organisation and stated that their formation was prompted by the need for a strong opposition to the government...

 absorbed into the GSD in a merger in 2005. A new party, the PDP, was formed in 2006 and fielded candidates in the 2007 election, but none were elected. Three political parties are currently represented in the Parliament: the governing GSD, and two opposition parties – the GSLP and the GLP which are in an electoral alliance
Electoral alliance
An electoral alliance may take the form of a bipartisan electoral agreement, electoral agreement, electoral coalition or electoral bloc. It is an association of political parties or individuals which exists solely to stand in elections...

 and form a single parliamentary grouping. The head of Government is the Chief Minister
Chief Minister of Gibraltar
The Chief Minister of Gibraltar is the leader of the largest party elected to the Gibraltar Parliament, and is formally appointed by the Governor of Gibraltar, representative of the British Crown.-List of Chief Ministers:...

 (as of June 2010, Peter Caruana
Peter Caruana
Peter Richard Caruana, QC is a Gibraltarian politician, and has been Chief Minister of Gibraltar since 1996, when his party, the Gibraltar Social Democrats , first came to power. His party was re-elected to office in 2000, 2003 and 2007...

 QC
Queen's Counsel
Queen's Counsel , known as King's Counsel during the reign of a male sovereign, are lawyers appointed by letters patent to be one of Her [or His] Majesty's Counsel learned in the law...

). All local political parties oppose any transfer of sovereignty to Spain, instead supporting self-determination
Self-determination
Self-determination is the principle in international law that nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or external interference...

. The main UK opposition parties also support this policy and it is UK Government policy not to engage in talks about the sovereignty of Gibraltar without the consent of the people of Gibraltar.

Gibraltar is part of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, having joined via the Single European Act 1972 and British Treaty of Accession in 1973, with exemption from some areas such as the Customs union
Customs union
A customs union is a type of trade bloc which is composed of a free trade area with a common external tariff. The participant countries set up common external trade policy, but in some cases they use different import quotas...

 and Common Agricultural Policy
Common Agricultural Policy
The Common Agricultural Policy is a system of European Union agricultural subsidies and programmes. It represents 48% of the EU's budget, €49.8 billion in 2006 ....

. The Treaties relating to coal and steel, agriculture and fisheries do not apply simply because Gibraltar does not produce any of those resources. After a ten-year campaign for the right to vote in European Elections
Elections in the European Union
Elections to the Parliament of the European Union take place every five years by universal adult suffrage. 736 MEPs are elected to the European Parliament which has been directly elected since 1979. No other body is directly elected although the Council of the European Union and European Council is...

, from 2004, the people of Gibraltar participated in elections for the European Parliament
European Parliament
The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union . Together with the Council of the European Union and the Commission, it exercises the legislative function of the EU and it has been described as one of the most powerful legislatures in the world...

 as part of the South West England constituency
South West England (European Parliament constituency)
South West England is a constituency of the European Parliament. For 2009 it elects 6 MEPs using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation, reduced from 7 in 2004.-Boundaries:...

.

Geography

The territory covers 6.843 square kilometres (2.6 sq mi) and shares a 1.2 kilometre (0.745647283979768 mi) land border with Spain. On the Spanish side lies the town of La Línea de la Concepción
La Línea de la Concepción
La Línea de la Concepción is a town in Spain, in the province of Cádiz in Andalucia. It lies on the eastern isthmus of the Bay of Gibraltar on the border with the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, with which it has close economic and social links...

, a municipality of the province of Cádiz. The Spanish hinterland forms the comarca
Comarca
A comarca is a traditional region or local administrative division found in parts of Spain, Portugal, Panama, Nicaragua, and Brazil. The term is derived from the term marca, meaning a "march, mark", plus the prefix co- meaning "together, jointly".The comarca is known in Aragonese as redolada and...

 of Campo de Gibraltar
Campo de Gibraltar
The comarca of the Campo de Gibraltar is a comarca in the province of Cádiz, Spain, in the southwestern part of the autonomous community of Andalusia, the southernmost part of continental Western Europe...

 (literally Gibraltar Countryside). The shoreline measures 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) in length. There are two coasts (sides) of Gibraltar – the East Side, which contains the settlements of Sandy Bay
Sandy Bay, Gibraltar
Sandy Bay is a small bay on the eastern Mediterranean coast of Gibraltar, on the opposite side of The Rock from the main city. It is situated to the south of Catalan Bay and is accessible via Sir Herbert Miles Road.-Water Catchments:...

 and Catalan Bay
Catalan Bay
Catalan Bay is a small bay and fishing village in Gibraltar, on the eastern side of The Rock away from the main city.-Etymology:The true origin of the name of Catalan Bay is unknown, but a couple of theories exist...

, and the Westside, where the vast majority of the population lives. Gibraltar has no administrative divisions but is divided into seven Major Residential Areas
Gibraltar Major Residential Areas
The British overseas territory of Gibraltar has no administrative divisions. It is, however, divided into seven Major Residential Areas, which are further divided into Enumeration Areas, used for statistical purposes....

.

Having negligible natural resource
Natural resource
Natural resources occur naturally within environments that exist relatively undisturbed by mankind, in a natural form. A natural resource is often characterized by amounts of biodiversity and geodiversity existent in various ecosystems....

s and few natural freshwater
Freshwater
Fresh water is naturally occurring water on the Earth's surface in ice sheets, ice caps, glaciers, bogs, ponds, lakes, rivers and streams, and underground as groundwater in aquifers and underground streams. Fresh water is generally characterized by having low concentrations of dissolved salts and...

 resources, limited to natural wells in the north, until recently Gibraltar used large concrete and/or natural rock water catchments
Drainage basin
A drainage basin is an extent or an area of land where surface water from rain and melting snow or ice converges to a single point, usually the exit of the basin, where the waters join another waterbody, such as a river, lake, reservoir, estuary, wetland, sea, or ocean...

 to collect rainwater. Fresh water from the boreholes is supplemented by two desalination
Desalination
Desalination, desalinization, or desalinisation refers to any of several processes that remove some amount of salt and other minerals from saline water...

 plants: a reverse osmosis
Reverse osmosis
Reverse osmosis is a membrane technical filtration method that removes many types of large molecules and ions from solutions by applying pressure to the solution when it is on one side of a selective membrane. The result is that the solute is retained on the pressurized side of the membrane and...

 plant, constructed in a tunnel within the rock, and a multi-stage flash distillation plant at North Mole.

Gibraltar's terrain consists of the 426 metres (1,397.6 ft) high Rock of Gibraltar
Rock of Gibraltar
The Rock of Gibraltar is a monolithic limestone promontory located in Gibraltar, off the southwestern tip of Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. It is high...

 made of Jurassic
Jurassic
The Jurassic is a geologic period and system that extends from about Mya to  Mya, that is, from the end of the Triassic to the beginning of the Cretaceous. The Jurassic constitutes the middle period of the Mesozoic era, also known as the age of reptiles. The start of the period is marked by...

 limestone
Limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

, and the narrow coastal lowland surrounding it. It contains many tunnelled roads, most of which are still operated by the military and closed to the general public.

Climate

Gibraltar has a Subtropical-Mediterranean climate
Mediterranean climate
A Mediterranean climate is the climate typical of most of the lands in the Mediterranean Basin, and is a particular variety of subtropical climate...

 (Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 Csa), with mild winters and warm summers. Rain occurs mainly in winter, with summer being generally dry. Its average annual temperature is 18 °C (64.4 °F): about 21 °C (69.8 °F) during the day and 15 °C (59 °F) at night. In the coldest month, January, the temperature ranges from 11–18 °C (51.8–64.4 F) during the day and 9–14 °C (48.2–57.2 F) at night, the average sea temperature is 15–16 °C (59–60.8 F). In the warmest month, August, the typically temperature ranges from 25–31 °C (77–87.8 F) during the day, above 20 °C (68 °F) at night, the average sea temperature is 22 °C (71.6 °F).

Flora and fauna

Over 500 different species of flowering plant
Flowering plant
The flowering plants , also known as Angiospermae or Magnoliophyta, are the most diverse group of land plants. Angiosperms are seed-producing plants like the gymnosperms and can be distinguished from the gymnosperms by a series of synapomorphies...

s grow on the Rock. One of them, the Gibraltar candytuft (Iberis gibraltarica
Iberis gibraltarica
Iberis gibraltarica is a flowering plant of the genus Iberis and the family Brassicaceae. It is the symbol of the Upper Rock nature reserve in Gibraltar, but is actually a native of North Africa. Gibraltar is the only place in Europe where it is found growing in the wild...

), is endemic to Gibraltar, being the only place in Europe where it is found growing in the wild. It is the symbol of the Upper Rock nature reserve. Among the wild trees that grow all around the Rock, olive
Olive
The olive , Olea europaea), is a species of a small tree in the family Oleaceae, native to the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean Basin as well as northern Iran at the south end of the Caspian Sea.Its fruit, also called the olive, is of major agricultural importance in the...

 and pine
Pine
Pines are trees in the genus Pinus ,in the family Pinaceae. They make up the monotypic subfamily Pinoideae. There are about 115 species of pine, although different authorities accept between 105 and 125 species.-Etymology:...

 trees are some of the most common.

Most of the Rock's upper area is covered by a nature reserve
Nature reserve
A nature reserve is a protected area of importance for wildlife, flora, fauna or features of geological or other special interest, which is reserved and managed for conservation and to provide special opportunities for study or research...

, which is home to around 230 Barbary Macaques
Gibraltar Barbary Macaques
The Barbary Macaque population in Gibraltar is the only one in the whole of the European continent, and, unlike that of North Africa, it is thriving. At present there are some 300 animals in five troupes occupying the area of the Upper Rock, though occasional forays into the town may result in...

 (commonly confused with apes), the only wild monkey
Monkey
A monkey is a primate, either an Old World monkey or a New World monkey. There are about 260 known living species of monkey. Many are arboreal, although there are species that live primarily on the ground, such as baboons. Monkeys are generally considered to be intelligent. Unlike apes, monkeys...

s found in Europe. The Macaca sylvanus species, is listed as endangered by the IUCN Red List
IUCN Red List
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species , founded in 1963, is the world's most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species. The International Union for Conservation of Nature is the world's main authority on the conservation status of species...

 and is declining. In the Middle Atlas mountains, are the three quarters of world population.
Recent genetic studies and historical documents point to their presence on the Rock before its capture by the British
Capture of Gibraltar
The Capture of Gibraltar by the Anglo-Dutch forces of the Grand Alliance occurred between 1–3 August 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession. Since the beginning of the war the Allies had been looking for a harbour in the Iberian Peninsula to control the Strait of Gibraltar and facilitate...

. A superstition analogous to that of the raven
Raven
Raven is the common name given to several larger-bodied members of the genus Corvus—but in Europe and North America the Common Raven is normally implied...

s at the Tower of London
Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...

 states that if the monkeys ever leave, so will the British. In 1944 British Prime Minister
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

, was so concerned about the dwindling monkey population that he sent a message to the Colonial Secretary
Chief Secretary
The Chief Secretary is the title of a senior civil servant in members of the Commonwealth of Nations, and, historically, in the British Empire. Prior to the dissolution of the colonies, the Chief Secretary was the second most important official in a colony of the British Empire after the...

 requesting that something be done about the situation. Other mammals found in Gibraltar include rabbits, foxes and bats. Dolphins and whales are frequently seen in the Bay of Gibraltar
Bay of Gibraltar
The Bay of Gibraltar is a bay at the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula. It is around long by wide, covering an area of some , with a depth of up to in the centre of the bay...

. Migrating birds are very common and Gibraltar is home to the only Barbary Partridge
Barbary Partridge
The Barbary Partridge , is a gamebird in the pheasant family Phasianidae of the order Galliformes, gallinaceous birds....

s found on the European continent.

In 1991 Graham Watson, MEP for Gibraltar, highlighted conservationists' fears that urban development, tourism and invasive plant species were threatening Gibraltar's own plants as well as birds and bat species.

Economy

The British military
Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom)
The Ministry of Defence is the United Kingdom government department responsible for implementation of government defence policy and is the headquarters of the British Armed Forces....

 traditionally dominated Gibraltar's economy
Economy of Gibraltar
The economy of Gibraltar is managed and controlled by the Government of Gibraltar. Whilst being part of the European Union, the British overseas territory of Gibraltar has a separate legal jurisdiction from the United Kingdom and enjoys a different tax system....

, with the naval dockyard providing the bulk of economic activity. This however, has diminished over the last twenty years, and is estimated to account for only 7% of the local economy, compared to over 60% in 1984. Today, Gibraltar's economy is dominated by four main sectors – financial services
Financial services
Financial services refer to services provided by the finance industry. The finance industry encompasses a broad range of organizations that deal with the management of money. Among these organizations are credit unions, banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, consumer finance companies,...

, internet gaming
Online game
An online game is a game played over some form of computer network. This almost always means the Internet or equivalent technology, but games have always used whatever technology was current: modems before the Internet, and hard wired terminals before modems...

, shipping and tourism (including retail for visitors).

In the early 2000s, many bookmaker
Bookmaker
A bookmaker, or bookie, is an organization or a person that takes bets on sporting and other events at agreed upon odds.- Range of events :...

s and online gaming operators relocated to Gibraltar to benefit from operating in a regulated jurisdiction with a favourable corporate tax
Corporate tax
Many countries impose corporate tax or company tax on the income or capital of some types of legal entities. A similar tax may be imposed at state or lower levels. The taxes may also be referred to as income tax or capital tax. Entities treated as partnerships are generally not taxed at the...

 regime. However, this corporate tax regime for non-resident controlled companies was phased out by January 2011 and replaced by an across the board Corporate Tax rate of 10%.

Tourism is also a significant industry. Gibraltar is a popular port for cruise ships and attracts day visitors from resorts in Spain. The Rock is a popular tourist attraction, particularly among British tourists and residents in the southern coast of Spain. It is also a popular shopping destination, and all goods and services are VAT
Value added tax
A value added tax or value-added tax is a form of consumption tax. From the perspective of the buyer, it is a tax on the purchase price. From that of the seller, it is a tax only on the "value added" to a product, material or service, from an accounting point of view, by this stage of its...

 free. Many of the large British high street chains have branches or franchises in Gibraltar including Marks & Spencer
Marks & Spencer
Marks and Spencer plc is a British retailer headquartered in the City of Westminster, London, with over 700 stores in the United Kingdom and over 300 stores spread across more than 40 countries. It specialises in the selling of clothing and luxury food products...

 and Mothercare
Mothercare
Mothercare plc is a British retailer which specialises in products for expectant mothers and in general merchandise for children up to 8 years old. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.-History:...

. Branches and franchises of international retailers such as Tommy Hilfiger
Tommy Hilfiger
Thomas Jacob "Tommy" Hilfiger is an American fashion designer and founder of the premium lifestyle brand Tommy Hilfiger.-Early life:...

 and Sunglass Hut
Sunglass Hut International
Sunglass Hut is an international retailer of sunglasses and sunglass accessories founded in Miami, Florida in 1971. Sunglass Hut is part of the Italian-based Luxottica Group, the world’s largest eyewear company. As of December 31 2008, the Luxottica Group operated 2,286 stores worldwide, most of...

 are also present in Gibraltar, as is the Spanish clothing company Mango
Mango (clothing)
Mango, stylized MANGO, is a clothing design and manufacturing company. Isak Andic is the president.Its goal is "to be present in every city" in the world...

.

A number of British and international banks have operations based in Gibraltar. Jyske Bank
Jyske Bank
Jyske Bank A/S is the third largest Danish bank in terms of market share.The headquarters are located in Silkeborg, and the Bank has offices, branches, or subsidiaries in Denmark, France, Germany, Gibraltar, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.Jyske Bank is number three in Denmark...

 claims to be the oldest bank in the country, based on Jyske's acquisition in 1987 of Banco Galliano
Banco Galliano
Banco Galliano was the oldest bank in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar.-History:In 1855 Antonio Luis Galliano and his family, immigrants from Genoa via Cádiz, established A.L. Galliano Bankers in Gibraltar, better known as Banco Galliano in Spanish, or Galliano's Bank in English...

, which began operations in Gibraltar in 1855. An ancestor of Barclays, the Anglo-Egyptian Bank
Anglo-Egyptian Bank
The Anglo-Egyptian Bank was a British overseas bank established in 1864. The founding banks were Agra and Masterman's Bank and the General Credit and Finance Co., and the bank incorporated Pastré Frères et Compagnie and Giovanni Sinadino and Co., which was the only one of the four to have its seat...

, entered in 1888, and Credit Foncier (now Crédit Agricole
Crédit Agricole
Crédit Agricole S.A. is the largest retail banking group in France, second largest in Europe and the eighth largest in the world by Tier 1 capital according to The Banker magazine. It is also part of the CAC 40 stock market index....

) entered in 1920.

In 1967, Gibraltar enacted the Companies (Taxation and Concessions) Ordinance (now an Act), which provided for special tax treatment for international business. This was one of the factors leading to the growth of professional services such as private banking
Private banking
Private banking is banking, investment and other financial services provided by banks to private individuals investing sizable assets. The term "private" refers to the customer service being rendered on a more personal basis than in mass-market retail banking, usually via dedicated bank advisers...

 and captive insurance management. Gibraltar has several positive attributes as a financial centre
Financial Centre
A financial centre is a global city that is a company and business hub, as well as being home to many world famous banks and/or stock exchanges....

, including a common law
Common law
Common law is law developed by judges through decisions of courts and similar tribunals rather than through legislative statutes or executive branch action...

 legal system
Law of Gibraltar
The law of Gibraltar is a combination of common law and statute, and is based heavily upon English law.The English Law Act of 1962 stipulates that English common law will apply to Gibraltar unless overridden by Gibraltar law...

 and access to the EU single market in financial services. The Financial Services Commission (FSC), which was established by an ordinance in 1989 (now an Act) that took effect in 1991, regulates the finance sector. In 1997, the Department of Trade and Industry established its Gibraltar Finance Centre (GFC) Division to facilitate the development the financial sector development
Financial sector development
Financial sector development in developing countries and emerging markets is part of the private sector development strategy to stimulate economic growth and reduce poverty....

.

The currency of Gibraltar is the Gibraltar Pound
Gibraltar pound
The Gibraltar pound is the currency of Gibraltar. It is exchangeable with the UK pound sterling at par value.-History:...

, issued by the Government of Gibraltar under the terms of the 1934 Currency Notes Act. These banknotes are legal tender
Legal tender
Legal tender is a medium of payment allowed by law or recognized by a legal system to be valid for meeting a financial obligation. Paper currency is a common form of legal tender in many countries....

 in Gibraltar alongside Bank of England banknotes. In a currency board
Currency board
A currency board is a monetary authority which is required to maintain a fixed exchange rate with a foreign currency. This policy objective requires the conventional objectives of a central bank to be subordinated to the exchange rate target....

 arrangement, these notes are issued against reserves of sterling
Pound sterling
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...

. Clearing and settlement of funds is conducted in sterling. Coins in circulation follow British denominations but have separate designs. Most retail outlets in Gibraltar unofficially accept the euro, though some payphones and the Royal Gibraltar Post Office
Royal Gibraltar Post Office
Postal services in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar are run by the Royal Gibraltar Post Office.-History:The Government of Gibraltar has run the postal service in Gibraltar since 1886....

 do not.

Demography

Gibraltar is one of the most densely populated territories in the world, with a population estimated in 2008 of 29,286, equivalent to approximately 4290 PD/sqkm. The growing demand for space is being increasingly met by land reclamation
Land reclamation
Land reclamation, usually known as reclamation, is the process to create new land from sea or riverbeds. The land reclaimed is known as reclamation ground or landfill.- Habitation :...

; reclaimed land currently comprises approximately one tenth of the territory's total area.

Ethnic groups

One of the main features of Gibraltar’s population is the diversity of their ethnic origins
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

. The demographics of Gibraltar reflects Gibraltarians' racial and cultural fusion
Culture of Gibraltar
The culture of Gibraltar reflects Gibraltarians' diverse origins. While there are Spanish and British influences, a result of the territory's status as a British overseas territory and its proximity to Spain, the ethnic origins of most Gibraltarians are a mix of Andalusian Spaniards, Genoese,...

 of the many European
European ethnic groups
The ethnic groups in Europe are the various ethnic groups that reside in the nations of Europe. European ethnology is the field of anthropology focusing on Europe....

 and other economic migrants who came to the Rock over three hundred years, after almost all of the Spanish population left in 1704.

The main ethnic groups, according to the origin of names in the electoral roll, are Britons
British people
The British are citizens of the United Kingdom, of the Isle of Man, any of the Channel Islands, or of any of the British overseas territories, and their descendants...

 (27%), Spanish (26%, mostly Andalusians but also some 2% of Minorca
Minorca
Min Orca or Menorca is one of the Balearic Islands located in the Mediterranean Sea belonging to Spain. It takes its name from being smaller than the nearby island of Majorca....

ns), Genoese
Genoa
Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

 and other Italians (19%), Portuguese
Portuguese people
The Portuguese are a nation and ethnic group native to the country of Portugal, in the west of the Iberian peninsula of south-west Europe. Their language is Portuguese, and Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion....

 (11%), Maltese
Maltese people
The Maltese are an ethnic group indigenous to the Southern European nation of Malta, and identified with the Maltese language. Malta is an island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea...

 (8%), and Jews (3%). There is a large diversity of other groups such as Moroccans
Moroccan people
The Moroccan people are a people that share a common Moroccan culture, ancestry and speak the Moroccan variant of the Arabic language or a Berber language as a mother tongue....

, Indians
Non-resident Indian and Person of Indian Origin
A Non-Resident Indian is an Indian citizen who has migrated to another country, a person of Indian origin who is born outside India, or a person of Indian origin who resides permanently outside India. Other terms with the same meaning are overseas Indian and expatriate Indian...

, French, Austrians
Austrians
Austrians are a nation and ethnic group, consisting of the population of the Republic of Austria and its historical predecessor states who share a common Austrian culture and Austrian descent....

, Chinese, Japanese, Polish and Danish.

The Gibraltar Census 2001 recorded the breakdown of nationalities in Gibraltar as being 83.22% Gibraltarian, 9.56% "Other British", 3.50% Moroccan
Moroccan people
The Moroccan people are a people that share a common Moroccan culture, ancestry and speak the Moroccan variant of the Arabic language or a Berber language as a mother tongue....

, 1.19% Spanish and 1.00% "Other EU".

Language

The official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

 of Gibraltar is English, and is used by the Government and in schools. Most locals are bilingual
Multilingualism
Multilingualism is the act of using, or promoting the use of, multiple languages, either by an individual speaker or by a community of speakers. Multilingual speakers outnumber monolingual speakers in the world's population. Multilingualism is becoming a social phenomenon governed by the needs of...

, also speaking Spanish, due to Gibraltar's proximity to Spain. However, because of the varied mix of ethnic groups which reside there, other languages are also spoken on the Rock. Berber
Berber languages
The Berber languages are a family of languages indigenous to North Africa, spoken from Siwa Oasis in Egypt to Morocco , and south to the countries of the Sahara Desert...

 and Arabic are spoken by the Moroccan
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 community, as are Hindi
Hindi
Standard Hindi, or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi, also known as Manak Hindi , High Hindi, Nagari Hindi, and Literary Hindi, is a standardized and sanskritized register of the Hindustani language derived from the Khariboli dialect of Delhi...

 and Sindhi
Sindhi language
Sindhi is the language of the Sindh region of Pakistan that is spoken by the Sindhi people. In India, it is among 22 constitutionally recognized languages, where Sindhis are a sizeable minority. It is spoken by 53,410,910 people in Pakistan, according to the national government's Statistics Division...

 by the India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

n community of Gibraltar. Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

 is also spoken by the Jewish community and the Maltese language
Maltese language
Maltese is the national language of Malta, and a co-official language of the country alongside English,while also serving as an official language of the European Union, the only Semitic language so distinguished. Maltese is descended from Siculo-Arabic...

 is still spoken by some families of Maltese
Malta
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

 descent.

Gibraltarians often converse in Llanito
Llanito
Llanito or Yanito is an Andalusian Spanish based creole spoken in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. It consists of an eclectic mix of Andalusian Spanish and British English, marked by a great deal of code switching and loanwords from many other Mediterranean languages.Gibraltarians also...

(ʎaˈnito). It is an Andalusian Spanish
Andalusian Spanish
The Andalusian varieties of Spanish are spoken in Andalusia, Ceuta, Melilla and Gibraltar. They include perhaps the most distinct of the southern variants of peninsular Spanish, differing in many respects from northern varieties, and also from Standard Spanish...

 based vernacular and unique to Gibraltar. It consists of an eclectic mix of Andalusian Spanish and British English
British English
British English, or English , is the broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere...

 as well as languages such as Maltese
Maltese language
Maltese is the national language of Malta, and a co-official language of the country alongside English,while also serving as an official language of the European Union, the only Semitic language so distinguished. Maltese is descended from Siculo-Arabic...

, Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

, Italian of the Genoese
Genoese dialect
Genoese is a dialect of the Ligurian language, the one spoken in Genoa .Ligurian is listed by Ethnologue as a language in its own right, of the Romance branch, and not to be confused with the ancient Ligurian language...

 variety and Haketia (Ladino)
Haketia
Haketia is an endangered Jewish-Moroccan Romance language, also known as Djudeo Spañol or Ladino Occidental , that was spoken and spread throughout the North of Morocco such as in Tetuan, Tangiers and the Spanish towns of Ceuta and Melilla, in the latter of which it has achieved partial...

.
Andalusian Spanish is the main constituent of Llanito, but is also heavily influenced by British English. However, it borrows words and expressions of many other languages, with over 500 words of Genoese and Hebrew origin. It also often involves code-switching
Code-switching
In linguistics, code-switching is the concurrent use of more than one language, or language variety, in conversation. Multilinguals—people who speak more than one language—sometimes use elements of multiple languages in conversing with each other...

 to English.

Gibraltarians often also call themselves Llanitos.

Religion

Gibraltar's main religion is Christianity. The great majority (78%) of Gibraltarians belong to the Roman Catholic Church. The sixteenth century Saint Mary the Crowned is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gibraltar
Roman Catholic Diocese of Gibraltar
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Gibraltar is a diocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. The Latin name for the diocese is Gibraltariensis. About twenty priests and nine sisters serve in the diocese...

, and also the oldest Catholic church in the territory.

Due largely to the British presence, other Christian denominations are also present. They include the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 (7%), whose Cathedral of the Holy Trinity
Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Gibraltar
The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity is the cathedral for the Church of England Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe. Located in Cathedral Square, it is sometimes referred to simply as Gibraltar Cathedral, although it should not be confused with the Cathedral of St. Mary the Crowned, which is Gibraltar's...

 is the cathedral of the Anglican Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe
Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe
The Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe is the ordinary of the Church of England's Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe in the Province of Canterbury.The diocese covers not only the area of Gibraltar in British jurisdiction but also all of mainland Europe, Morocco and the territory of the former Soviet Union...

; the Gibraltar Methodist Church
Gibraltar Methodist Church
The Gibraltar Methodist Church is part of the South West District of the Methodist Church of Great Britain. It has a long history associated with the development of British Gibraltar, and it has greatly strengthened its ties with the local population since the scaling down of Britain-based forces...

, Church of Scotland
Church of Scotland
The Church of Scotland, known informally by its Scots language name, the Kirk, is a Presbyterian church, decisively shaped by the Scottish Reformation....

, various Pentecostal and independent churches mostly influenced by the House Church
House church
House church, or "home church", is used to describe an independent assembly of Christians who gather in a home. Sometimes this occurs because the group is small, and a home is the most appropriate place to gather, as in the beginning phase of the British New Church Movement...

 and Charismatic movement
Charismatic movement
The term charismatic movement is used in varying senses to describe 20th century developments in various Christian denominations. It describes an ongoing international, cross-denominational/non-denominational Christian movement in which individual, historically mainstream congregations adopt...

s, as well as two Plymouth Brethren
Plymouth Brethren
The Plymouth Brethren is a conservative, Evangelical Christian movement, whose history can be traced to Dublin, Ireland, in the late 1820s. Although the group is notable for not taking any official "church name" to itself, and not having an official clergy or liturgy, the title "The Brethren," is...

 congregations. There is also a ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The religion reports worldwide membership of over 7 million adherents involved in evangelism, convention attendance of over 12 million, and annual...

.

The second religion in size is Islam (4% of the population). There is also a large established Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 population, members of the Bahá'í Faith
Bahá'í Faith
The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. There are an estimated five to six million Bahá'ís around the world in more than 200 countries and territories....

 and a long-established Jewish community
History of the Jews in Gibraltar
There has been a Jewish presence in Gibraltar for more than 650 years. There have been periods of persecution, but for the most part the Jews of Gibraltar have prospered and been one of the largest religious minorities in the city, where they have made contributions to the culture, defence, and...

.

Education

Education in Gibraltar
Education in Gibraltar
Education in Gibraltar generally follows the English system operating within a three tier system. Schools in Gibraltar follow the Key Stage system which teaches the National Curriculum.-Primary education:...

 generally follows the English system
Education in England
Education in England is overseen by the Department for Education and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Local authorities take responsibility for implementing policy for public education and state schools at a regional level....

 operating within a three tier system
Three-tier education
Three-tier education refers to those structures of schooling, which exist in some parts of England, where pupils are taught in three distinct school types. A similar experiment was also trialled in Scotland....

. Schools in Gibraltar follow the Key Stage
Key Stage
A Key Stage is a stage of the state education system in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the British Territory of Gibraltar setting the educational knowledge expected of students at various ages...

 system which teaches the National Curriculum. Gibraltar has fifteen state schools, a MOD
Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom)
The Ministry of Defence is the United Kingdom government department responsible for implementation of government defence policy and is the headquarters of the British Armed Forces....

 school, a private school and a College of Further Education. As there are no facilities in Gibraltar for full-time higher education, all Gibraltarian students must study elsewhere at degree
Academic degree
An academic degree is a position and title within a college or university that is usually awarded in recognition of the recipient having either satisfactorily completed a prescribed course of study or having conducted a scholarly endeavour deemed worthy of his or her admission to the degree...

 level or equivalent and certain non-degree courses, many in the UK. The Government of Gibraltar operates a scholarship/grant system to provide funding for students studying in the United Kingdom. All Gibraltarian students followed the student loans procedure of the UK
Student loans in the United Kingdom
Student loans and grants in the United Kingdom are primarily provided by the government through the Student Loans Company , a non-departmental public body. It has been the subject of much discussion whether or not the SLC is a bank, however these claims are entirely unfounded and The Student Loans...

, where they applied for a loan from the Student Loans Company which was then reimbursed in full by the Government of Gibraltar. In August 2010, this system was replaced by the direct payment by the Government of grants and tuition fees. The overwhelming majority of Gibraltarians continue their studies at University.

Health care

All Gibraltarians are entitled to free health care in public wards and clinics at the hospital and primary health care
Primary health care
Primary health care, often abbreviated as “PHC”, has been defined as "essential health care based on practical, scientifically sound and socially acceptable methods and technology made universally accessible to individuals and families in the community through their full participation and at a cost...

 centre. All other British citizens are also entitled to free of charge treatment on the Rock on presentation of a valid British passport
British passport
British passports may be issued to people holding any of the various forms of British nationality, and are used as evidence of the bearer's nationality and immigration status within the United Kingdom or the issuing state/territory.-Issuing:...

 during stays of up to 30 days. Other EU nationals are equally entitled to treatment on presentation of a valid European Health Insurance Card
European Health Insurance Card
The European Health Insurance Card is issued free of charge and allows anyone who is insured by or covered by a statutory social security scheme of the EEA countries and Switzerland to receive medical treatment in another member state for free or at a reduced cost, if that treatment becomes...

. Dental treatment
Dental surgery
Dental surgery is any of a number of medical procedures that involve artificially modifying dentition, in other words surgery of the teeth and jaw bones.-Types:Some of the more common are:...

 and prescribed medicine
Prescription drug
A prescription medication is a licensed medicine that is regulated by legislation to require a medical prescription before it can be obtained. The term is used to distinguish it from over-the-counter drugs which can be obtained without a prescription...

s are free of charge for Gibraltarian students and pensioner
Pensioner
In common parlance, a pensioner is a person who has retired, and now collects a pension. This is a term typically used in the United Kingdom and Australia where someone of pensionable age may also be referred to as an 'old age pensioner', or OAP. In the United States, the term retiree is more...

s. First-line medical and nursing services are provided at the Primary Care Centre, with more specialised services available at St Bernard's Hospital
St Bernard's Hospital
St Bernard's Hospital is the only civilian general hospital in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar.-Juan Mateos:In 1567, during Gibraltar's Spanish period, a retired Spanish innkeeper by the name of Juan Mateos converted his house into a 20 bed hospital...

. Psychiatric care is provided by King George V Hospital. Patients requiring medical treatment not available on the Rock receive it as private patients paid for by the Government of Gibraltar either in the United Kingdom, or more recently in Spain.

Culture

The culture of Gibraltar
Culture of Gibraltar
The culture of Gibraltar reflects Gibraltarians' diverse origins. While there are Spanish and British influences, a result of the territory's status as a British overseas territory and its proximity to Spain, the ethnic origins of most Gibraltarians are a mix of Andalusian Spaniards, Genoese,...

 reflects Gibraltarians' diverse origins. While there are Spanish (mostly from nearby Andalusia
Andalusia
Andalusia is the most populous and the second largest in area of the autonomous communities of Spain. The Andalusian autonomous community is officially recognised as a nationality of Spain. The territory is divided into eight provinces: Huelva, Seville, Cádiz, Córdoba, Málaga, Jaén, Granada and...

) and British influences, the ethnic origins of most Gibraltarians are not confined to these ethnicities. Other ethnicities include Genoese
Genoa
Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

, Maltese
Maltese people
The Maltese are an ethnic group indigenous to the Southern European nation of Malta, and identified with the Maltese language. Malta is an island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea...

, Portuguese
Portuguese people
The Portuguese are a nation and ethnic group native to the country of Portugal, in the west of the Iberian peninsula of south-west Europe. Their language is Portuguese, and Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion....

, and German. A few other Gibraltar residents are Jewish of Sephardic
Sephardi Jews
Sephardi Jews is a general term referring to the descendants of the Jews who lived in the Iberian Peninsula before their expulsion in the Spanish Inquisition. It can also refer to those who use a Sephardic style of liturgy or would otherwise define themselves in terms of the Jewish customs and...

 origin, Moroccan
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

, or Indians
Non-resident Indian and Person of Indian Origin
A Non-Resident Indian is an Indian citizen who has migrated to another country, a person of Indian origin who is born outside India, or a person of Indian origin who resides permanently outside India. Other terms with the same meaning are overseas Indian and expatriate Indian...

. British influence remains strong, with English being the language of government, commerce, education, and the media.

Gibraltar's first sovereignty referendum is celebrated annually on Gibraltar National Day
Gibraltar National Day
Gibraltar National Day, celebrated annually on 10 September, is the official national day of the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. The day commemorates Gibraltar's first sovereignty referendum of 1967, in which Gibraltarian voters were asked whether they wished to either pass under Spanish...

 (10 September). It is a public holiday, during which most Gibraltarians dress in their national colours of red and white and 30,000 similarly coloured balloons are released, to represent the people of Gibraltar. The 300th anniversary of Gibraltar's capture
Capture of Gibraltar
The Capture of Gibraltar by the Anglo-Dutch forces of the Grand Alliance occurred between 1–3 August 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession. Since the beginning of the war the Allies had been looking for a harbour in the Iberian Peninsula to control the Strait of Gibraltar and facilitate...

 was celebrated in 2004 on Tercentenary Day (4 August), when in recognition of and with thanks for its long association with Gibraltar, the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 was given the Freedom of the City of Gibraltar and a human chain of Gibraltarians dressed in red, white and blue, linked hands to encircle the Rock.

The Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation
Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation
The Gibraltar Broadcasting Corporation is Gibraltar's public service broadcaster. It has provided the community with a radio and television service since 1963.-History:...

 operates a television and radio station on UHF, VHF and medium-wave. The radio service is also Internet-streamed. Special events and the daily news bulletin are streamed in video. The other local radio service is operated by the British Forces Broadcasting Service
British Forces Broadcasting Service
The British Forces Broadcasting Service provides radio and television programmes for HM Forces, and their dependents, in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Brunei, Canada, Cyprus, the Falkland Islands, Germany, Gibraltar, Kosovo, the Middle East, Northern Ireland and Tristan da Cunha as well as a live satellite...

 which also provides a limited cable television network to HM Forces. The largest and most frequently published newspaper is the Gibraltar Chronicle
Gibraltar Chronicle
The Gibraltar Chronicle is a national newspaper published in Gibraltar since 1801. It became a daily in 1821. It is Gibraltar's oldest established daily newspaper and the world's second oldest English language newspaper to have been in print continuously...

, Gibraltar’s oldest established daily newspaper and the world’s second oldest English language newspaper to have been in print continuously with daily editions six days a week. Panorama
Panorama (Gibraltar)
Panorama is a newspaper published in Gibraltar since December 1975. It was first published as a weekly and became a daily in 2002.-See also:* Communications in Gibraltar...

is published on weekdays, and 7 Days, The New People, and Gibsport are weekly.

There exists a small amount of literary writings by native Gibraltarians. The first work of fiction was probably Héctor Licudi's 1929 novel Barbarita, written in Spanish. It is a largely autobiographical account of the adventures of a young Gibraltarian man. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, several anthologies of poetry were published by Leopoldo Sanguinetti, Albert Joseph Patron, and Alberto Pizzarello. The 1960s were largely dominated by the theatrical works of Elio Cruz and his two highly acclaimed Spanish language plays La Lola se va pá Londre and Connie con cama camera en el comedor. In the 1990s, the Gibraltarian man-of-letters
Intellectual
An intellectual is a person who uses intelligence and critical or analytical reasoning in either a professional or a personal capacity.- Terminology and endeavours :"Intellectual" can denote four types of persons:...

 Mario Arroyo published Profiles (1994), a series of bilingual meditations on love, loneliness and death. Of late there have been works by the essayist Mary Chiappe
Mary Chiappe
Mary Chiappe is a Gibraltarian writer and former Gibraltar Minister for Education in the 1960s. She is the author of many books on Gibraltar, including the Giovanni Bresciano series of novels, which she has written in conjunction with the Gibraltarian writer and historian Sam Benady.- Works...

 such as her volume of essays Cabbages and Kings (2006) and by academic M. G. Sanchez, author of the novel Rock Black 0–10: A Gibraltar fiction (2006).

A number of local bands play original material and covers. Local venues have begun accepting Gibraltarian bands and those from nearby Spain, resulting in a varied mix of live performances every weekend as well as some weekday nights. Musicians from Gibraltar include Charles Ramirez
Charles Ramirez
Charles Ramirez is a concert guitarist based in London. He is also Professor of guitar at the Royal College of Music.-Early life:Charles Ramirez was born on 2 September 1953 in Gibraltar...

, the first guitarist invited to play with the Royal College of Music
Royal College of Music
The Royal College of Music is a conservatoire founded by Royal Charter in 1882, located in South Kensington, London, England.-Background:The first director was Sir George Grove and he was followed by Sir Hubert Parry...

 Orchestra, successful rock bands like Breed 77
Breed 77
Breed 77 is a British band from the overseas territory of Gibraltar whose music is a fusion of alternative metal and flamenco.-Origin:Breed 77 comes from the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. Old Gibraltarian school friends, Paul Isola, Danny Felice, and Stuart Cavilla met up in London and...

, Melon Diesel
Melon Diesel
Melon Diesel was a successful Gibraltarian pop rock band, signed by Sony Music, who achieved popularity in Spain.-History:Melon Diesel started playing under the name of Treehouse in the early 1990s. The name was changed in 1995, based on an alcoholic drink served at a Gibraltar bar known as...

 and Taxi
Taxi (Gibraltar band)
Taxi is a Gibraltarian pop rock band founded in 2005 after the break-up of Melon Diesel. After the quintet's break-up, its members dissolved into two different bands: Taxi and Area 52...

. Albert Hammond
Albert Hammond
Albert Hammond OBE is a British singer, songwriter and record producer from Gibraltar.-Birth and early success:Hammond was born in London, England, where his family had been evacuated to from Gibraltar during World War II. His family returned to Gibraltar shortly after his birth, and there he grew...

, had top 10 hits in the UK and US, and has written many songs for international artists such as Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston
Whitney Elizabeth Houston is an American singer, actress, producer and a former model. Houston is the most awarded female act of all time, according to Guinness World Records, and her list of awards include 1 Emmy Award, 6 Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards, among...

, Tina Turner
Tina Turner
Tina Turner is an American singer and actress whose career has spanned more than 50 years. She has won numerous awards and her achievements in the rock music genre have led many to call her the "Queen of Rock 'n' Roll".Turner started out her music career with husband Ike Turner as a member of the...

 and Julio Iglesias
Julio Iglesias
Julio José Iglesias de la Cueva , better known simply as Julio Iglesias, is a Spanish singer who has sold over 300 million records worldwide in 14 languages and released 77 albums. According to Sony Music Entertainment, he is one of the top 15 best selling music artists in history,...

 among many others.

The cuisine of Gibraltar
Gibraltarian cuisine
Gibraltarian cuisine is the result of a long relationship between the Andalucian Spaniards and the British, as well as the many foreigners who made Gibraltar their home over the past three centuries. The culinary influences include those from Malta, Genoa, Portugal, Andalusia and Britain...

 is the result of the rich diversity of civilizations who held the Rock during its history; from the Berbers
Berber people
Berbers are the indigenous peoples of North Africa west of the Nile Valley. They are continuously distributed from the Atlantic to the Siwa oasis, in Egypt, and from the Mediterranean to the Niger River. Historically they spoke the Berber language or varieties of it, which together form a branch...

 of North Africa to the Andalusians
Andalusian people
The Andalusians are the people of the southern region in Spain approximated by what is now called Andalusia. They are generally not considered an ethnically distinct people because they lack two of the most important markers of distinctiveness: their own language and an awareness of a presumed...

 and British. The culinary influences include those from Malta
Maltese cuisine
Maltese cuisine refers to the dishes identified as Maltese. Reflecting Maltese history, it shows strong Sicilian and English influences as well as influences of Spanish, Maghrebin and Provençal cuisines.-History:...

, Genoa
Italian cuisine
Italian cuisine has developed through centuries of social and political changes, with roots as far back as the 4th century BCE. Italian cuisine in itself takes heavy influences, including Etruscan, ancient Greek, ancient Roman, Byzantine, Jewish and Arab cuisines...

, Portugal
Portuguese cuisine
Portuguese cuisine is characterised by rich, filling and full-flavored dishes and is closely related to Mediterranean cuisine. The influence of Portugal's former colonial possessions is also notable, especially in the wide variety of spices used. These spices include piri piri and black pepper, as...

 and Andalusia
Andalusian cuisine
Andalusian cuisine is rather varied, corresponding to a region that is itself extensive and varied. Notwithstanding that, the cuisine of Andalusia is characterized by gazpacho, fried fish , the jamones of Jabugo, Valle de los Pedroches and Trevélez, and the wines of Jerez, particularly...

. This marriage of tastes has given Gibraltar an eclectic mix of Arabic, Mediterranean and British cuisines. Calentita, a baked bread-like dish made with chickpea flour
Gram flour
Gram flour is a cereal flour made from ground chickpeas. It is also known as chickpea flour, garbanzo flour, or besan . Used in many countries, it is a staple ingredient in Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi cuisines, and, in the form of a paste with water or yoghurt, a popular facial exfoliant in...

, water, olive oil, salt and pepper, is considered Gibraltar's national dish
National dish
A national dish is a dish, food or a drink that is considered to represent a particular country, nation or region.A dish can become a national dish for a variety of reasons. It can be the national dish because it is a staple daily food for the majority of the population. It can also be the national...

.

Sport

In 2007 there were eighteen Gibraltar Sports Associations with official recognition from their respective international governing bodies
Sport governing body
A sport governing body is a sports organization that has a regulatory or sanctioning function. Sport governing bodies come in various forms, and have a variety of regulatory functions. Examples of this can include disciplinary action for rule infractions and deciding on rule changes in the sport...

. Others have submitted applications for recognition which are being considered. The Government supports the many sporting associations financially. Gibraltar also competes in the bi-annual Island Games
International Island Games Association
The International Island Games Association is an organisation the sole purpose of which is to organise the Island Games, a friendly biennial athletic competition between teams from several European islands and other small territories. The IGA liaises with the member island associations and with...

, which it hosted in 1995. Football
Football in Gibraltar
Association football is one of the most popular sports in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. It has a strong tradition on The Rock, having first been introduced by British military personnel in the 19th century...

 is the most popular sport in Gibraltar. The Gibraltar Football Association
Gibraltar Football Association
The Gibraltar Football Association was formed as the Gibraltar Civilian Football Association in 1895, changing to its current name in later years...

 applied for full membership of UEFA
UEFA
The Union of European Football Associations , almost always referred to by its acronym UEFA is the administrative and controlling body for European association football, futsal and beach soccer....

, but their bid was turned down in 2007 in a contentious decision. Cricket
Gibraltar Cricket Association
Gibraltar Cricket Association is the official governing body of the sport of cricket in Gibraltar. Its current headquarters is at 1st Floor, GFSB, Irish Town, Gibraltar. The Gibraltar Cricket Association is Gibraltar's representative at the International Cricket Council and is an associate member...

 enjoys massive popularity in Gibraltar. The Gibraltar national cricket team recently won the European Cricket Championship
European Cricket Championship
The European Cricket Championship is a group of various tournaments in which national cricket sides throughout Europe compete. The tournament is designed to encourage and develop the best players in countries where cricket is not a major sport and Europe's only Test cricket playing country,...

. Rugby union
Rugby union in Gibraltar
Rugby union is a popular sport since its introduction by British military personnel in the 19th Century.-Governing body:The has existed since the 1980s when the border with Spain was opened....

 is fairly popular, and Barbarians and Dragons Gibraltar Selections now play in the Andalusian first division and junior categories respectively. The Gibraltar Rugby Football Union is now applying for membership of Europe's governing body for rugby and await a decision at the end of 2011. A complaint has been received from the Spanish Federation.
The Gibraltar Rifle Association (GRA) were the most successful team for Gibraltar at the 2009 Island Games
International Island Games Association
The International Island Games Association is an organisation the sole purpose of which is to organise the Island Games, a friendly biennial athletic competition between teams from several European islands and other small territories. The IGA liaises with the member island associations and with...

  earning four gold medals. The first was won by Heloise Manasco and Stephanie Piri in the ISSF 10m Air Rifle Team event. Heloise later went on to win a second gold in the individual competition. Wayne Piri and Adrian Lugnani took the gold medal in the ISSF 50m Small Bore Team event with Wayne winning the fourth gold for Gibraltar in the individual competition of the same event.

Communications

Gibraltar has a digital telephone exchange
Telephone exchange
In the field of telecommunications, a telephone exchange or telephone switch is a system of electronic components that connects telephone calls...

 supported by a fibre optic and copper infrastructure; the telephone operator Gibtelecom
Gibtelecom
Gibtelecom is the largest telecommunications provider in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. Its headquarters are located on John Mackintosh Square.-History:...

 also operates a GSM network. Internet connectivity is available across the fixed network. Local operator CTS is rolling out WiMAX
WiMAX
WiMAX is a communication technology for wirelessly delivering high-speed Internet service to large geographical areas. The 2005 WiMAX revision provided bit rates up to 40 Mbit/s with the 2011 update up to 1 Gbit/s for fixed stations...

.

International Direct Dialling (IDD) is provided, and Gibraltar was allocated the access code +350 by the International Telecommunication Union
International Telecommunication Union
The International Telecommunication Union is the specialized agency of the United Nations which is responsible for information and communication technologies...

. This has been universally valid since 10 February 2007, when the telecom dispute was resolved.

Transport

Within Gibraltar, the main form of transport is the car. Motorbike
Motorcycle
A motorcycle is a single-track, two-wheeled motor vehicle. Motorcycles vary considerably depending on the task for which they are designed, such as long distance travel, navigating congested urban traffic, cruising, sport and racing, or off-road conditions.Motorcycles are one of the most...

s are also very popular and there is a good modern bus
Bus
A bus is a road vehicle designed to carry passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers. The most common type of bus is the single-decker bus, with larger loads carried by double-decker buses and articulated buses, and smaller loads carried by midibuses and minibuses; coaches are...

 service. Unlike in other British territories, traffic drives on the right, as the territory shares a land border with Spain.

There is a cable car
Aerial tramway
An aerial tramway , cable car , ropeway or aerial tram is a type of aerial lift which uses one or two stationary ropes for support while a third moving rope provides propulsion...

 which runs from ground level to the top of the Rock, with an intermediate station at Apes’ Den.

Restrictions on transport introduced by Spanish dictator Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco y Bahamonde was a Spanish general, dictator and head of state of Spain from October 1936 , and de facto regent of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain from 1947 until his death in November, 1975...

 closed the land frontier in 1969 and also prohibited any air or ferry connections. In 1982, the land border was reopened. As the result of an agreement signed in Córdoba
Córdoba, Spain
-History:The first trace of human presence in the area are remains of a Neanderthal Man, dating to c. 32,000 BC. In the 8th century BC, during the ancient Tartessos period, a pre-urban settlement existed. The population gradually learned copper and silver metallurgy...

 on 18 September 2006 between Gibraltar, the United Kingdom and Spain, the Spanish government agreed to relax border control
Border control
Border controls are measures used by a country to monitor or regulate its borders.The control of the flow of many people, animals and goods across a border may be controlled by government Customs services. Security is enforced by various kinds of Border Guards and Coast Guards...

s at the frontier that have plagued locals for decades; in return, Britain paid increased pensions to Spanish workers who lost their jobs when Franco closed the border. Telecommunication restrictions were lifted in February 2007 and air links with Spain were restored in December 2006.

Gibraltar maintains regular flight connections to London and Manchester
Manchester
Manchester is a city and metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England. According to the Office for National Statistics, the 2010 mid-year population estimate for Manchester was 498,800. Manchester lies within one of the UK's largest metropolitan areas, the metropolitan county of Greater...

. Budget airline easyJet
EasyJet
EasyJet Airline Company Limited is a British airline headquartered at London Luton Airport. It carries more passengers than any other United Kingdom-based airline, operating domestic and international scheduled services on 500 routes between 118 European, North African, and West Asian airports...

 also flies to Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

. Scheduled flights to Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 and Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

 proved unsustainable due to insufficient demand.

GB Airways
GB Airways
GB Airways was a UK airline; prior to its dissolution it was headquartered in "The Beehive," a former terminal building, at City Place Gatwick, London Gatwick Airport in Crawley, West Sussex, England. It operated scheduled services as a British Airways franchise to 30 destinations in Europe and...

 operated a service between Gibraltar and London and other cities for many years. The airline initially flew under the name "Gibraltar Airways". In 1989, and in anticipation of service to cities outside the UK, Gibraltar Airways changed its name to GB Airways with the belief that a new name would incur fewer political problems. As a franchise, the airline operated flights in full British Airways
British Airways
British Airways is the flag carrier airline of the United Kingdom, based in Waterside, near its main hub at London Heathrow Airport. British Airways is the largest airline in the UK based on fleet size, international flights and international destinations...

 livery. In 2007 GB Airways was purchased by EasyJet
EasyJet
EasyJet Airline Company Limited is a British airline headquartered at London Luton Airport. It carries more passengers than any other United Kingdom-based airline, operating domestic and international scheduled services on 500 routes between 118 European, North African, and West Asian airports...

 who began operating flights under their name in April 2008 when British Airways re-introduced flights to Gibraltar under their name. Monarch Airlines
Monarch Airlines
Monarch Airlines, often shortened to and trading as Monarch, is a British charter and scheduled airline based at London Luton Airport in Luton. It is one of the United Kingdom's largest charter airlines, operating to Europe, the United States, the Caribbean, India and Africa, serving mainly leisure...

 operate a daily scheduled service between Gibraltar and Luton
London Luton Airport
London Luton Airport is an international airport located east of the town centre in the Borough of Luton in Bedfordshire, England and is north of Central London. The airport is from Junction 10a of the M1 motorway...

 and Manchester. The Spanish national airline, Iberia
Iberia Airlines
Iberia Líneas Aéreas de España, S.A., commonly known as Iberia, is the flag carrier airline of Spain. Based in Madrid, it operates an international network of services from its main bases of Madrid-Barajas Airport and Barcelona El Prat Airport....

, operated a daily service to Madrid which ceased due to lack of demand. In May 2009 Ándalus Líneas Aéreas
Ándalus Líneas Aéreas
Ándalus Líneas Aéreas also known as just Ándalus was a regional airline based in Málaga, Spain. It offered regular flights, charters and Adhoc services aiming to attract tourist traffic to Andalucia and opening up new destinations for the community....

 opened a Spanish service which also ceased operations in March 2010. An annual return charter flight to Malta
Malta International Airport
Malta International Airport is the only airport in Malta and it serves the whole Maltese Archipelago. It is located between Luqa and Gudja. It occupies the location of the former RAF Luqa and was completely re-furbished, becoming fully operational on 25 March 1992...

 is operated by Maltese
Malta
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

 national airline, Air Malta
Air Malta
Air Malta plc is the national airline of Malta, headquartered in Luqa. It operates services to 36 destinations in Europe, Middle East and North Africa. The airline's hub and base is at Malta International Airport.- History :...

.

Gibraltar Airport
Gibraltar Airport
Gibraltar Airport or North Front Airport is the civilian airport that serves the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. It is owned by the Ministry of Defence for use by the Royal Air Force as RAF Gibraltar. Civilian operators use the airport; currently the only scheduled flights operate to the...

 is unusual not only due to its proximity to the city centre resulting in the airport terminal being within walking distance of much of Gibraltar but also because the runway intersects Winston Churchill Avenue
Winston Churchill Avenue
Winston Churchill Avenue is an arterial road in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar.It is the only road in and out of the territory, connecting it with Spain. Once the customs are crossed, the avenue becomes the dual carriageway CA-34 .The road intersects the runway of the Gibraltar...

, the main north-south street, requiring movable barricades to close when aircraft land or depart. New roads and a tunnel, which will end the need to stop road traffic when aircraft use the runway, are planned to coincide with the building of a new airport terminal building with an originally estimated completion date of 2009, although due to delays the airport will now fully open in early 2012.

Motorists, and on occasion pedestrians, crossing the border with Spain have been subjected to long delays and searches by the Spanish authorities. Spain has closed the border during disputes or incidents involving the Gibraltar authorities, such as the Aurora cruise ship incident and when fishermen from the Spanish fishing vessel Piraña were arrested for illegal fishing in Gibraltar waters.

The most popular alternative airport for Gibraltar is Málaga Airport
Málaga Airport
Málaga Airport , also known as Malaga Costa Del Sol Airport and Pablo Ruiz Picasso Airport, is the fourth busiest airport in Spain after Madrid-Barajas, Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca. It is an important airport for Spanish tourism as it is the main international airport serving the Costa Del Sol....

 in Spain, some 120 kilometres (74.6 mi) to the east, which offers a wide range of destinations, second to Jerez Airport
Jerez Airport
Jerez Airport , also known as La Parra Airport, is an airport located northeast of Jerez de la Frontera in Southern Spain, about from Sevilla and from Cadiz...

 which is closer to Gibraltar.

Gibraltar receives a large number of visits from cruise ship
Cruise ship
A cruise ship or cruise liner is a passenger ship used for pleasure voyages, where the voyage itself and the ship's amenities are part of the experience, as well as the different destinations along the way...

s, and the Strait of Gibraltar
Strait of Gibraltar
The Strait of Gibraltar is a narrow strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and separates Spain in Europe from Morocco in Africa. The name comes from Gibraltar, which in turn originates from the Arabic Jebel Tariq , albeit the Arab name for the Strait is Bab el-Zakat or...

 is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.

Passenger and cargo ships anchor in the Port of Gibraltar. Also, a daily ferry links Gibraltar with Tangier
Tangier
Tangier, also Tangiers is a city in northern Morocco with a population of about 700,000 . It lies on the North African coast at the western entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Spartel...

 in Morocco. The ferry between Gibraltar and Algeciras
Algeciras
Algeciras is a port city in the south of Spain, and is the largest city on the Bay of Gibraltar . Port of Algeciras is one of the largest ports in Europe and in the world in three categories: container,...

, which had been halted in 1969 when Franco severed communications with Gibraltar, was finally reopened on 16 December 2009, served by the Spanish company Transcoma.

The closest train station is San Roque station
San Roque station
Station San Roque is a neighborhood belonging to the municipality of San Roque in Cadiz province. Its population is 2582 inhabitants and is situated between the river and mountain Guadarranque stone overweight...

.

Police

The Royal Gibraltar Police
Royal Gibraltar Police
The Royal Gibraltar Police is, along with the Gibraltar Customs, the principal civilian law enforcement agency in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. It is the oldest Police force in the Commonwealth of Nations outside the United Kingdom....

 (RGP) is, along with the Gibraltar Customs, the principal civilian law enforcement agency
Law enforcement agency
In North American English, a law enforcement agency is a government agency responsible for the enforcement of the laws.Outside North America, such organizations are called police services. In North America, some of these services are called police while others have other names In North American...

 in Gibraltar. It is the oldest police force in the Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 outside the United Kingdom, having being formed when Gibraltar was declared a crown colony
Crown colony
A Crown colony, also known in the 17th century as royal colony, was a type of colonial administration of the English and later British Empire....

 on 25 June 1830, shortly after the creation of London's Metropolitan Police
Metropolitan police
Metropolitan Police is a generic title for the municipal police force for a major metropolitan area, and it may be part of the official title of the force...

 in 1829.

In general the Gibraltar force follows British police models in its dress and notably male constables and sergeants on foot patrol wear the traditional headgear of the British "bobby on the beat", correctly known as the custodian helmet
Custodian helmet
Custodian helmet or centurion helmet, technically known as a 'Home Office pattern helmet', is a helmet worn by many policemen in England and Wales.-History:...

. The helmet is traditionally made of cork covered outside by felt or serge like material that matches the tunic.

The force, whose name received the prefix "Royal" in 1992, currently numbers over 220 officers, who are divided into a number of units. These include CID, Drug Squad, Special Branch, Firearms Unit, Scene of Crime Examiners, Traffic Department, Marine Section, and Operations Division.

The current headquarters is at New Mole House Police Station, Rosia Road.

Military

Gibraltar's defence is the responsibility of the tri-service British Forces Gibraltar
British Forces Gibraltar
British Forces Gibraltar is the name given to the British Armed Forces stationed in the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. Gibraltar is used primarily as a training area, thanks to its good climate and rocky terrain, and as a stopover for aircraft and ships en route to and from deployments...

. In January 2007, the Ministry of Defence announced that the private company – SERCO – would provide services to the base. The announcement resulted in the affected trade unions striking.
  • The Royal Gibraltar Regiment
    Royal Gibraltar Regiment
    The Royal Gibraltar Regiment is the home defence unit for the British overseas territory of Gibraltar. It was formed in 1958 from the Gibraltar Defence Force as an infantry unit, with an integrated artillery troop.-Formation:...

     provides the army garrison, based at Devils Tower Camp. The regiment was originally a part-time reserve force but the British Army
    British Army
    The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

     placed it on the permanent establishment in 1990. The regiment includes full-time and part-time soldiers recruited from Gibraltar, as well as British Army
    British Army
    The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

     regulars posted from other regiments.

  • The Royal Navy
    Royal Navy
    The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

     maintains a squadron
    Gibraltar Squadron
    The Gibraltar Squadron is a unit of the British Royal Navy. It is the only resident sea-going Royal Naval unit in Gibraltar, attached to British Forces Gibraltar...

     at the Rock. The squadron is responsible for the security and integrity of British Gibraltar Territorial Waters (BGTW). The shore establishment at Gibraltar is called HMS Rooke
    HMS Rooke
    One ship and two shore establishments of the Royal Navy have borne the name HMS Rooke. after Admiral Sir George Rooke:Ship*HMS Rooke was a Thornycroft-type flotilla leader launched in 1920...

     after Sir George Rooke who captured the Rock for Archduke Charles
    Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor
    Charles VI was the penultimate Habsburg sovereign of the Habsburg Empire. He succeeded his elder brother, Joseph I, as Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia , Hungary and Croatia , Archduke of Austria, etc., in 1711...

     (pretender to the Spanish throne) in 1704. The naval air base was named HMS Cormorant. Gibraltar's strategic position provides an important facility for the Royal Navy
    Royal Navy
    The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

     and Britain's allies. British and U.S. nuclear submarines frequently visit the Z berths at Gibraltar. A Z berth provides the facility for nuclear submarines to visit for operational or recreational purposes, and for non-nuclear repairs. During the Falklands War
    Falklands War
    The Falklands War , also called the Falklands Conflict or Falklands Crisis, was fought in 1982 between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the disputed Falkland Islands and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands...

    , an Argentine plan to attack British shipping in the harbour using frogmen (Operation Algeciras
    Operation Algeciras
    Operation Algeciras was an ill-fated Argentine plan to sabotage a Royal Navy warship in Gibraltar during the Falklands War. The premise being that if the British military felt vulnerable in Europe, they would decide to keep some vessels in Europe rather than send them to the Falklands.A commando...

    ) was foiled. The naval base also played a part in supporting the task force sent by Britain to recover the Falklands.

  • The Royal Air Force
    Royal Air Force
    The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

     station at Gibraltar forms part of Headquarters British Forces Gibraltar. Although aircraft are no longer permanently stationed at RAF Gibraltar
    RAF Gibraltar
    Royal Air Force Station Gibraltar, better known as RAF Gibraltar and formally as North Front, is a Royal Air Force station on Gibraltar. No military aircraft are currently stationed there, but there are regular visits...

    , a variety of RAF aircraft make regular visits to the Rock and the airfield also houses a section from the Met Office.


The Rock is believed to be a SIGINT
SIGINT
Signals intelligence is intelligence-gathering by interception of signals, whether between people , whether involving electronic signals not directly used in communication , or combinations of the two...

 listening post. Its strategic position provides a key GCHQ and National Security Agency
National Security Agency
The National Security Agency/Central Security Service is a cryptologic intelligence agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the collection and analysis of foreign communications and foreign signals intelligence, as well as protecting U.S...

 location for Mediterranean and North African coverage.

Town twinnings

Current
Gibraltar is currently twinned with the following European towns:
Funchal
Funchal
Funchal is the largest city, the municipal seat and the capital of Portugal's Autonomous Region of Madeira. The city has a population of 112,015 and has been the capital of Madeira for more than five centuries.-Etymology:...

, Madeira
Madeira
Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago that lies between and , just under 400 km north of Tenerife, Canary Islands, in the north Atlantic Ocean and an outermost region of the European Union...

, Portugal (2009) Ballymena
Ballymena
Ballymena is a large town in County Antrim, Northern Ireland and the seat of Ballymena Borough Council. Ballymena had a population of 28,717 people in the 2001 Census....

, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom (2006)

Past
Gibraltar was once twinned with the following British town:
Goole
Goole
Goole is a town, civil parish and port located approximately inland on the confluence of the rivers Don and Ouse in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England...

, England, United Kingdom (1969)

See also

  • British Overseas Territories
    British overseas territories
    The British Overseas Territories are fourteen territories of the United Kingdom which, although they do not form part of the United Kingdom itself, fall under its jurisdiction. They are remnants of the British Empire that have not acquired independence or have voted to remain British territories...

  • Gibraltar in popular culture
    Gibraltar in popular culture
    - Film :* In the film The Captain's Paradise, Alec Guinness plays the captain of a ship that travels between Gibraltar and Morocco.* The film The Silent Enemy was filmed on location in Gibraltar in 1958...

  • Gibraltarian people
    Gibraltarian people
    The Gibraltarians are a cultural group native to Gibraltar, a British overseas territory located near the southernmost tip of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance to the Mediterranean sea.- Origins :...

  • List of Gibraltarians


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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