Why Are Huge Rocks Blocking the France-Spain Border?
Things will never be the same for the residents who live near the France-Spain border because of the huge rocks that block it.
The Unmatched Role of the France-Spain Border
The France-Spain border is a 623 km (387 miles) international boundary dividing France and Spain. It stretches across southern Europe from the Bay of Biscay in the north to the Mediterranean Sea in the south. Moreover, it encompasses various geographical features including the Pyrenees Mountains.
The Pyrenees Mountains form an impressive natural barrier along much of France-Spain
border, with numerous mountain passes connecting these countries. Major passes like Col du Somport and Col du Perthus have played major roles in trade, transportation, and military activities between France and Spain over time.
France and Spain share an important cultural and historical border that has long been the subject of dispute and contention, especially during medieval and modern periods.
Today, the border between France and Spain forms part of the Schengen Area, which allows for passport-free travel and free movement of people and goods in most of Europe. Customs and immigration controls may still exist at certain points along the border for security or regulatory reasons.
Major roads and highways connect France and Spain, such as the A9 motorway in France and the AP-7 motorway in Spain. Furthermore, numerous border crossings and checkpoints exist along this border where travellers and goods are subject to customs and immigration controls.
The Road Block that Could Obstruct Economy Growth
France closed the France-Spain border to halt illegal immigration and control terrorism. However, the 6,000 residents of Banyuls-sur-Mer aren’t so happy with these measures. For several decades, they have shared countless economic, personal, and cultural ties with people on the other side of the border. Residents around the town called for its re-opening.
Over 1,000 individuals who called themselves “Alberes without borders” held rallies along the border. They even went to court to attempt and re-open the road.
“Most of the families in Banyuls – my own family, every family – have at different times in history had relatives on one side and part of the family on the other side,” said Pierre Becque, a retired lawyer and founder of the group.
Banyuls Mayor Jean-Michel Sole connects with his Spanish counterparts to convince the French government to re-open the France-Spain border. He thinks the disagreements about road closures don’t make sense, even with France on utmost terror alert.
He added they all want to be safe, however, he finds it difficult to believe any terrorist would traverse a sharp remote course to attack anyone. Besides, immigrants cross using their feet, not by driving vehicles. Moreover, he said that a few rocks won’t stop anyone.
The road closure also impacts the region’s wine industry because pickers can’t get through. Grapes used for winemaking wither on the vines because there aren’t enough grape pickers to do the harvesting.