A half-page report under the headline 'The Rock of resistance against Spain' appeared in the Sunday Telegraph; the same report was published in their online edition, but under the headline 'Gibraltar: Between the Rock and an increasingly hard-line place.'
The newly-elected Chief Minister of Gibraltar Fabian Picardo hopes that he will find a peaceful way of protecting the Rock – despite an escalation in the war of words with Madrid, said the report.
"We are always hopeful that Spain will follow us into the 21st Century and drop its claim on our land," said Mr Picardo, in his first interview with a British newspaper since winning the December election.
"The Spanish government are playing to their constituency of support and concentrating more on the theory of their claim, rather than the realities on the ground. And that is a tragedy for people of both sides of the frontier."
If Mr Picardo, 39, was expecting a gentle introduction to the 300-year-old tussle over the sovereignty of Gibraltar, then he has had a brusque awakening. Just as the newly re-elected Cristina Kirchner in Argentina has made a diplomatic push against British "colonisation" of the Falkland Islands a key policy of her government, Spain's ruling Partido Popular (PP) – itself freshly in power, following the November general elections – has been pushing sovereignty over Gibraltar up the agenda.
Mariano Rajoy, the Spanish prime minister, has abandoned the tripartite talks over areas of co-operation between Spain, Britain and Gibraltar. Instead, on Wednesday, Madrid formally asked Britain for bilateral talks over the sovereignty of Gibraltar – much to the fury of the excluded overseas territory's residents.
"They want to turn me into a Spaniard," said Martin Pickford, a small businessman. "No one here wants to be suddenly told they are Spanish."
The report adds that Spain's foreign minister, José Manuel García-Margallo, last month sparked alarm in Gibraltar when he greeted a British MEP friend with the age-old rallying cry: "Gibraltar: Spanish!" and he has further pressed the issue by writing to William Hague to demand clarification on Britain's stance.
Mr Rajoy is set to meet David Cameron in London at the end of this month, but the authorities in Gibraltar are trusting that the British prime minister will defend their interests.
Yet Mr Picardo knows that he must remain on his guard. And inside his office just off Gibraltar's Main Street, the Oxford-educated lawyer told The Sunday Telegraph that he is determined his government will not be intimidated by sabre-rattling from Madrid.
"We are seeing what appears to be a more proactive desire by Spain to raise the sovereignty issue," he said, criticising Madrid's decision to cease tripatrite talks.
"The Spanish government does not best serve the interests of its people, especially those in the local area, by snubbing an international agreement to which it has subscribed in principle.
"And with five million or so people unemployed, it seems to me the Spanish have other more important priorities than historic claims over my people."
Across the border, in the windswept Spanish town of La Linea, residents gaze wistfully at their thriving neighbour.
"Just look at it. It is obviously part of Spain, and it's crazy that it isn't accepted as such," said Pepe, 60, a retired hotelier, who did not want to give his surname. "I think it's absolutely right that Mariano Rajoy speaks to Britain about the issue."
His friend Paco, 65, added: "What hurts me most is that they are laughing at us from across there. During the World Cup they even supported Germany instead of Spain! It's not right."
. Smuggling of cheap Gibraltarian tobacco into Spain is also a problem, the paper adds.
"I am Spanish and I defend Spain, but they insult it," said Inmaculada Floria, 36.
Her husband Tomas Rodriguez, 39, a civil servant, said: "It's true that a lot of Spaniards aren't interested in Gibraltar. But here it affects us directly. For instance, a coffee in La Linea costs the same as in Madrid, and we are pushed out of the property market. It needs to be sorted out."
"Gibraltar and Spain have a symbiotic relationship and we can do a lot more to work together," said Edward Macquisten, chief executive of the Chamber of Commerce.
"But if Madrid continues to clamp down, then it won't help anybody."
Is the cannon outside his office pointing in the direction of Spain, the writer asked Picardo.
"It's pointing in the direction of the governor's residence opposite – at the representative of the British Foreign Office!" he laughed. "But that is totally unintentional as in any event it is decorative. We are confident in our position here.
Gibraltar cannot expect Spain to drop its sovereignty claim, says Seruya
But someone who does not agree with Picardo is Solomon Seruya, who years ago said he was retiring from politics but keeps putting his foot in it, writes our Political Correspondent.
In an interview with Spain's most right-wing paper, La Razon, he says Gibraltar cannot pretend that Spain should drop its sovereignty claim.
And why not? because it is a historical and political factor, he says.
What Mr Seruya should understand once and for all is that it is also a historical and political factor that Gibraltar has been British for 300 years, that it was ceded for ever and that it is the homeland of the people of Gibraltar.
He does admit that Spain cannot impose itself after all those 300 years, but reckons that, with time, the Brussels Agreement could be implemented.
The Brussels Agreement is about sovereignty negotiations, about finding a formula to hand over sovereignty to Spain.
At a time when Spain is seemingly again putting on the pressure on Gibraltar,what Gibraltar does not need is to send the wrong signals to Spain, but along comes dear Solomon, proud of being the only Gibraltarian to have been awarded by the Spanish government the 'Gran Cruz del Merito Civil de Espana.'
No surpise that he also tells the Spanish paper: "I am in agreement with Margallo that the tripartite forum should be extended to the Campo de Gibraltar to integrate the Spanish regions. "We need formulae to solve the Gibraltar problem," he said.