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Argentina would 'struggle to find common ground with Falklands' if it took islands back

Despite the Argentinian government maintaining a sovereignty claim over the Falkland Islands, an expert has said that it may not be in the country’s best interest to include the lands as part of its national territory.

Lisa Watson, managing editor of the only newspaper in the islands, explained that finding common ground between Argentina and islanders would be “very difficult”.

“It’s all a bit crazy because when I meet people from Argentina, I always think it would be so easy to understand each other…”, she told news outlet DEF. “However, it’s a political issue, and it’s politicians who keep us apart.

“Perhaps I’m biased, but sometimes I feel that it’s in Argentine politicians’ interest to keep Argentines separate from Falkland Islanders. I feel that Argentine politicians benefit from conflict; not so much the islands’ government.”

The Falkland Islands, which include the main islands of East and West Falkland, as well as hundreds of smaller ones, have long been a topic of controversy, with France, the UK, Spain and Argentina all claiming a stake at various points in history. The Falklands are officially a self-governing British overseaes territory today, but Argentinian leaders have long contested this.

Being born and raised in the islands, the editor was only 13 years old when Argentina reclaimed the territory. She remembers her family farm being searched by Argentinian troops upon six members of the Royal Marines surrendered after escaping following the landing on April 2, 1982.

Nowadays, Watson believes the islands are doing relatively well compared to this hectic time in her life.

“Of course, COVID-19 affected us: tourism and hospitality industries suffered, which also impacted our rural community because many depend partly on this industry as they offer bed & breakfast services”, she said.

“However, generally speaking, we are doing very well economically. The islands’ government has financial reserves and continues to maintain them. The fishing industry has had good years, and the Falklands government has income from corporate tax applied to that industry.”


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