Opposition expresses "serious concern"

After two days of talks at the Foreign Office in London, the Gibraltar chief minister Peter Caruana returned to Gibraltar and said that the Anglo-Spanish deal over Schengen would be 'good for Gibraltar.'
The current Gibraltar ID card, which Spain does not recognise, will now have 'UK' printed on it as Spain had been demanding. The cards, which will change in format and be issued in Gibraltar as at present, will now be recognised by Spain.
On the substance of the English texts of the agreement on competent authorities, police recognition and ID cards "we are there", said Mr Caruana, who added that matters of form rather than substance remain to be settled, as well as the Spanish translation of the agreement.
Spain has been refusing to accept Gibraltar as a competent authority for European union matters and police, saying it corresponds to the United Kingdom as the EU member state. Once agreement is reached, a number of EU directives will be unblocked, now the subject of a Spanish veto.
Mr Caruana said that the agreement will uphold Gibraltar's constitutional status and separate jurisdiction.


The Labour/Liberal opposition has meanwhile expressed serious concern at the latest disclosures by the Gibraltar government about the Anglo-Spanish deal."It is now abundantly clear that Gibraltar is being made to introduce changes in a variety of areas in order to accommodate long-standing Spanish objections to our autonomous competetent authorities," they said today.
In a statement, the oposition recall that the current ID card was cleared by Britain with the European Commission, and maintain that if Spain had not objected to the cards"then there would have been no need to change them at all."
The reason why Spain is no longer objecting to the cards is precisely because Gibraltar has changed them to make them acceptable to Spain.
The opposition says that Spain is being given a right " to interfere in issues which are the competence of Britainand Gibraltar alone." (13 April 00).

Gib Liberal elected European Liberal Vice President

  Liberal Party executive member Rebecca Faller has been elected vice-president of the Liberal Youth Movement of the European Union, LYMEC, the first time that a Gibraltar politician is elected into office in an international political organisation of this kind.

  The election took place at the weekend at a European Liberal congress in Denmark.  There were two other delegates standing for the post, one from Finland and another from Denmark.  Ms Faller won through on the first round of voting.

  Ms Faller has been a member of the Liberal Party of Gibraltar for over five years, and is currently the chairperson of the Gibraltar Liberal Youth and also the International Officer of the party.

  Gibraltar Liberal Party leader Dr Joseph Garcia, expressing delight, said: "It is the product of many years of lobbying and hard work, and is a well deserved appointment. It can only be good for the party and positive for Gibraltar as a whole."  (11 April 00)


Tavern licences complaints upheld

  The Gibraltar Licensed Victuallers Association  have had complaints against certain clubs upheld.  "We objected on the grounds that as registered clubs they should have club licences and be governed by the clubs ordinance rather than having tavern licences and being able to trade to the general public," said  GLVA chairman Michael Oton, who saw it as a case of unfair competition to legitimate and registered businesses.

  The GLVA says that it is delighted at the court ruling  of refusing to renew the club's tavern licences.  It has also lodged complaints against two registered clubs regarding alleged breaches of the clubs ordinance.

  The current ruling affects the International Police Association Social Club, the City Fire Brigade Social Club, the Motorcycle Club and the Cormorant Camber Boat Owners Club.

  Mr Oton added: " The GLVA also wishes to express their dissatisfaction and disappointment that it has to take on a policing role in this issue, which is as a result of the Police and the relevant authorities' inactivity in properly enforcing the Clubs Ordinance in Gibraltar." (11 April 00)

Israelis charged with stealing priceless synagogue bells

  Two Israeli nationals visiting Gibraltar have been charged with the burglary of two priceless antique Rimonim Bells which were reported missing at the weekend from a local synagogue.  In court, they denied all charges.

  Yitshak Kimhi and Avraham Nechemia Waldman were jointly charged with having entered as trespassers the Abudarham Synagogue in Parliament Lane and having stolen the pair of antique bells. Kimhi was also charged with  entering another synagogue as a trespasser and stealing four keys and assault on police.

    The prosecution said that the two-feet high bells were of high value to the Jewish community. The accused have been remanded in custody. Members of the Jewish community packed the court-house, including  Rabby Roni Hassid and the president of the Jewish Community Solomon  Levy. (11 April 00)

Spain wants EU role over Gibraltar

Only Britain is responsible for Gibraltar - Says Caruana
With the Chief Minister having further discussions in London today on the Schengen deal it shows to what extent the Anglo-Spanish agreement was not acceptable to Gibraltar. The substance of the texts on competent authorities and police cooperation has been the stumbling block, as well as issues of form.
Mr Caruana let the cat out of the bag last week by indicating that the Spanish Government wants to be seen as being responsible with Britain for Gibraltar within the European Union.
Thus, the wording of the agreement is of particular importance to ensure that Britain alone is responsible for Gibraltar. It is believed that to allow the Spaniards to slip in under the guise of EU cooperation would, in effect, distort Gibraltar’s terms of entry into the European Union as a European territory for whose external relations Britain alone is responsible. Further, Gibraltar is a British overseas territory.
As Mr Caruana puts it: “It will obviously be unacceptable to Gibraltar that any agreements that may emerge be in form inconsistent with the legal and political fact that it is the UK, and only the UK, to the exclusion of all other countries, that is responsible for Gibraltar within and without the EU and for establishing arrangements relating to Gibraltar.”
To open the door for direct Spanish involvement could lead to the sharing of sovereign power and responsibilities. It would also be contrary to the spirit and letter of the preamble to the Constitution - a commitment which only last week was described by the new Governor David Durie as “unshakeable”.
The Gibraltar Government is prepared to go as far as recognising that Gibraltar is not a separate member of the EU, and that the UK has overall responsibility for Gibraltar’s position within the EU.(10 April 00)


First for Governor 

The official opening of the executive committee meeting of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association took place today by His Excellency the Governor David Durie, his first public function since becoming Governor.(10 April 00)

Youth Princess is 8-Year old

Bianca Garcia, aged 8, was elected Youth Centre Princess 2000.
There were 19 girls between the ages of 6 to 10 competing for the title, only one could be elected, but for us they were all winners, says the Youth Centre.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the contestant parents for their endless support throughout the eight weeks of rehearsals and also parents of all different dance groups and their cheographer’s for their continued support throughout the past 16 years. We are blessed with so much talent in Gibraltar, as could be witnessed by the packed audience last Saturday, “ says Lawrence Robles of the management committee.
The idea arose of giving our youngsters an opportunity to develop their self-esteem and to raise funds for local welfare cases, local charities and to encourage them in community work, says the Youth Centre.

It’s Drugs Dump Week 

Operation Drugs Dump started today for a week.
This is an awareness campaign aimed at informing the public that pharmaceutical medicines are also classified as drugs, which can easily be abused or misused.
In the majority of local households, a number of “UNWANTED PHARMACEUTICAL MEDICINES”, are stored for future use, and these should actually be disposed of, as their retention is potentially dangerous.
The Royal Gibraltar Police are asking the community to raid their medicines cupboards and dispose of any unwanted medicines in “BINS” which will be provided at entrance to ICC, and Safeways, and the Piazza, from 10.00 in the morning to 16.00 in the afternoon.