'Death by drowning'
The result of the Post Mortem carried out by Dr Jerreat,
Forensic Pathologist into the cause of death of Commander
British Forces, Commodore White's death was by drowning.
An inquest will be held in Gibraltar in due course.
British Forces collect
for tsunmai appeal
Volunteers from British Forces Gibraltar have been collecting
unwanted clothes, children's toys and packets of dried food in
response to the Red Cross appeal to help victims of the
Tsunami disaster. The squash court in Devil's Tower Camp has
been used as the collection point.
On Wednesday morning volunteers then packaged over eighty bags
of donations into boxes to be sent via Bishop's Move to Sri
A British Forces Spokesperson says: "People in Gibraltar have
been so generous in giving to the victims of the Tsunami
Appeal. British Forces Gibraltar just want to help out where
"This is a 'funicular folly'
- says GONHS
The Gibraltar Ornithological & Natural History Society (GONHS)
has so far refrained from making much public comment on the
proposals for a funicular train to the top of the Rock. This
is because it has faith in the planning process and is
confident that such a scheme will not receive approval, they
In a statement they add: However, in view of recent public
statements, in particular by the proposers of the project, who
seek to justify it by underplaying the huge negative impact
and giving the false impression of great benefits to heritage,
GONHS has no choice but to state that it totally opposes the
proposal and categorically rejects the points made by the
developers who claim that there will be no significant effect
on the environment.
GONHS is struck by the audacity of the consortium in claiming
that the whole idea of the project is to enhance Gibraltar's
heritage. And the consortium downplays the clear adverse
environmental impact that the running of a railway line up an
undisturbed area of the Upper Rock's habitats will have. This
is incredible and is a clear attempt to cover up what is
obviously a real stumbling block to their proposal.
There is no-one better than GONHS, with its expertise and
track record locally and internationally, to assess the
environmental impact of such a scheme, and our assessment is
clear. The implication in a GBC interview that GONHS is not
independent is as ridiculous as it is regrettable. GONHS is
well known, even by developers, for its reasonable approach to
development and its willingness to co-operate whenever harm
and damage to the environment can be minimised. On this
occasion this cannot be done. If we are against it, then
everyone in Gibraltar will know that it will be for good
They add: The proposal represents the first major construction
on the Upper Rock for half a century and would be a clear
deviation from the policy of successive Governments over many
decades who have supported and respected the integrity of the
Upper Rock. It would set an unacceptable precedent that could
well predict the end of our only stretch of real countryside.
The destruction and the disturbance caused not only during the
works, but also throughout the operation of the train will be
extremely disruptive to wildlife and will result in serious
threats leading to the loss of important components of our
fauna, including our special Barbary Partridge whose habitat
will be dissected.
More than a "lifeline" to the area of Rock Gun, as described
to the media by Brian Francis, it would be a death sentence to
an area of exceptional natural beauty. It would threaten the
"wild" pack of apes by affecting their natural behaviour,
encouraging them to interact with the public, and also
resulting in direct mortality as they are hit by the trains.
It would threaten the habitat of important rare plants special
to Gibraltar - some found nowhere else. It would destroy the
peace of the northern area of the Rock, upwards from
Governor's Lookout - such a popular site for the public and
the Scouts in particular - where a gaping hole will be blasted
out of the ground.
Plans already in advanced stages to introduce to the Upper
Rock - precisely to the area in question - the wild Ibex (or
Mountain Goat) and the Roe Deer would have to be aborted. We
would lose the opportunity of restoring and improving the
wilderness value of the Rock and enhancing it as a nature
reserve and a proper tourist attraction.
The purposes of education and interpretation, which the
proposers are making such a big deal of, we have been serving
for years. While any additional education and interpretation
would always be welcome, it is certain that Gibraltar does not
need such a destructive development to achieve this. It can be
achieved sensitively and at much, much less expense.
GONHS has already presented plans to convert the Rock Gun site
into a biological reserve, once the MOD have left, much as are
parts of the Coto Doñana and the Sierra de Grazalema, with
guided tours and access to the public and tourists in a
controlled manner, so that they can observe Ibex, deer, eagle
owl, peregine, raven and other species, and appreciate the
natural, unspoilt beauty of the Rock.
Instead, now that the MOD are relinquishing the site, rather
than grasping the opportunity to promote it as an asset, we
would be destroying it altogether for all time.
This is even ignoring the impairment of the views of the
northern defences and the Moorish Castle, the unsightliness of
the top station, the rails, and all the negative destructive
work that will go into it. It will involve the wrenching down
of trees, the tearing up of rocks and soil, the meshing and
grouting of cliffs and many other things that the developer's
pretty pictures, as submitted to the public fail to show. Why
is it that none of their photographs or artists' impressions
show machinery digging up our Rock, tearing up mature trees,
blasting our heritage to smithereens?
What about the dangers of rock falls, and the damage to the
environment in trying to prevent these? And the disruption to
traffic and to housing estates, and the economic effects to
traders and tourist operators?
If this project were to go ahead, it would mark the end of the
Upper Rock as we know it, as a serious nature reserve, as
quiet countryside, and make it look more like a fairground,
with carriages going up and down day and night in a scene more
fitting of Tivoli World or the Chessington World of Adventure.
It would give Gibraltar a bad name in nature conservation and
heritage circles and in publications around the world.
The stated aim to enhance our heritage is an attempt to
mislead. The formal plans show no access to "the Jungle", and
access to the area and to the top of the Rock can be opened in
many ways that are not destructive. Significantly the
developers claim that it will open up the northern defences.
This is not at all mentioned in the documents that were
presented in the Environmental Impact Assessment, and so is
attempting to mislead either the authorities, or the public.
Indeed it is planned that one of the tunnels in the Northern
Defences will be filled with the rubble created by the
blasting of a new, 150m tunnel through our Rock.
GONHS has no confidence in the so-called UK experts who have
been involved. They seem to have the impression that the Rock
is the size of the Alps or the highlands of Scotland, where
such a train can be lost in the landscape, hidden within a
huge tract of land. The consortium makes a comparison to the
case of the Cairngorms, which still remains controversial.
They argue that a funicular that was recently installed in
this National Park has had little effect on the integrity of
the Park. What they do not tell you is that the Cairngorms
National Park is 123 times larger than the Upper Rock Nature
Reserve and that the number of people using its funicular
every year is only 250,000, but a third of the target for
Gibraltar. To make such a comparison is misleading and
GONHS has studied the environmental statement prepared for the
project's proposers and has rejected it as being poorly
researched, full of inconsistencies and misquotes, and showing
a supreme lack of understanding of the local environment and
of its scale. It has no confidence in the scheme's so-called
independent environmental advisors, who have produced an
extremely biased report, nor in their heritage advisers. If
their main interest was legitimately the promotion of our
heritage, then they would have approached organisations such
as the Heritage Trust to discuss and develop ways in which our
heritage could be enhanced and promoted without at the same
time having huge chunks of it destroyed. No, their motives are
clearly not those.
They should be honest and admit that their main interest is
In addition, some of the so-called local firms involved are in
fact UK-based and have a questionable record in relation to
their concern for the environment in other local projects in
which they have been involved. We must not be fooled by the
presentation of "acceptable" local faces as partners. This is
a case of people from outside Gibraltar, who have no regard
for our heritage or wildlife, looking to make some money from
the rape of our homeland.
Despite the implication in the statement to the media, GONHS
is extremely well informed about the project. It is the
developers who are guilty of misinformation and not only
downplaying, but ignoring the true and tragic effects that
their project would have on the Rock.
The developers claim that they will produce an asset to our
heritage, an icon representing Gibraltar. Gibraltar already
has its icon - the Rock itself, the majesty of rock and cliff
and nature at the summit, with our town and port nestling at
its base, living in harmony with each other. The Rock is its
own icon, thank you. We don't need half a doughnut sitting on
top of it to be a symbol to the world. It would be more like
an embarrassment, a demotion from the symbol to the world that
we already are.
GONHS rejects the developers' claims that they are enhancing
the conservation of our ecology and heritage. More like a
celebration of its destruction, of the rape of the only part
of the Rock where Nature still reigns supreme. And all for
Once again we see that people who don't even live here are
trying to buy one of our more precious assets and trying to
turn it purely into a money making enterprise for them, while
ignoring the advice of those of us who have lived on and
studied Gibraltar and its natural assets for decades. Ignoring
those of us who love Gibraltar and who care. This time it is
the very outline and peace of the Rock that they are seeking
to destroy. But these have no price.
We ask these people to kindly go away and leave our majestic
Rock in its natural and peaceful state.
GONHS has a lot more to say on the matter, but it will refrain
from making any further statement at the moment, confident
that the authorities will not contemplate this abomination,
says their Press statement.
More soldiers from Royal Gibraltar
Regiment in overseas duties in regiment's history
The soldiers of The Royal Gibraltar Regiment continue to
volunteer for service overseas on operational duties. This
month has seen the largest number of men serving overseas in
the Regiment's history,
A section of men under Sgt James Gracia left this week for
Shaiba Camp, in the British sector of Iraq. There they will be
attached to the Scots Guard Battle Group. They join WO1 Stuart
Bensadon who has been serving as the Camp RSM since Aug last
A further section has been posted as part of an exchange to
the 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, They join Capt
Juri Williamson who has been serving with the battalion again
since Aug 2004.
Both sections will return to UK in early April and join the
Regiment on their UK Battle Camp before going on post-tour
leave. This conforms with the normal Army procedure of
returning to work immediately after an operational tour.
Sgt J Gracia
Cpl D Castrey
Cpl A Chipolina
Cpl I Hamilton
Cpl M Cooper
LCpl A Perez
LCpl B Tosso
Pte K McGuigan
Pte L Traverso
Pte S Wright
LCpl L Mauro
Pte L Cano
Pte N Balbuena
Pte K Gaivizo
Pte A Garro
Pte P Battison
The Regiment also has 4 individuals serving on non-operational
duties in N Ireland, UK and Gennany, bringing the total of
deployed volunteers to 23.
Funicular project will
cost over £15 million
The proposed funicular project was presented by Leslie
Ratcliffe, the promotor and director of 21st Century Rock Ltd.
The project is to be sited on the basketball pitch above
Landport Ditch and "will rise to the top of the Rock by the
North face, giving access to the Northern defences."
"My introduction to Gibraltar was through a then young
professional James Levy who was working in the office of Sir
Joshua Hassan at Library Ramp. It was difficult not to be
impressed by Sir Joshua and his goals for Gibraltar. I became
an investor in Gibraltar over 20 years ago through his
connection," said Mr Ratcliffe at a press presentation
yesterday. He said he was also advised by Brian Francis and
initially his first discussion with the MOD took about 6
months to complete when they authorised a 'full technical
feasibility survey in September 2002.
"I believe Gibraltar has a unique opportunity to enhance its
heritage to the advantage of the people of the world. I have
been looking at this opportunity over the time I've been
visiting Gibraltar and hearing everyone talk about it. I
decided some 5 years ago to try to do something to promote
Gibraltar on a global basis. I believe the Gibraltar funicular
project will achieve the result of opening up the heritage
route to all including the disabled."
The Development and Planning Commission has been told that the
£15.5 million scheme offers Gibraltar the chance to realise a
brand new world class tourist attraction. The scheme is said
to incorporate "a major cultural and heritage experience which
will support and build upon the renowned heritage and history
It will offer swift access to a hitherto inaccessible part of
the Rock, and will inevitably attract extra tourists, the DPC
has been told.
The developers say that the environmental effects both in the
construction phase and ongoing will be mitigated by the use of
sympathetic construction techniques and building materials.
ESG objects to funicular
project: Significant negative impact
The Environmental Safety group says it objects to the proposed
"When the first plans were aired for a funicular railway in
Gibraltar some time ago, the ESG did not dismiss the concept
out of hand. It suggested at the time that any such
infrastructure should be very carefully considered if it would
try and improve our current transport systems on the Rock,"
they said in a statement.
An ESG committee member went so far as to have a discussion
with the potential investor to see if the initial proposal
could be developed to accommodate local as well as tourist
traffic, cutting back on road congestion, pollution, and
overall environmental impact. This never got very far.
After a period of silence on this issue the ESG is surprised
to see a second and similar proposal for a funicular railway
coming forward as it does at such a busy time of the year and
regrets the lack of opportunity, given the time frame, for
proper public consultation and participation.
The group acknowledges the amount of work that has evidently
been invested in the substantive environmental statement that
accompanies the plans, but has not been swayed by any of the
positive arguments put forward. The Environmental statement
itself indicates a negative 7 overall score!.
The funicular railway would serve as an additional tourist
facility that would detract from our natural environment
whilst setting an alarming precedent for further urbanisation
in the Upper Rock area in the future.
As the environmental statement rightly indicates, “the
development of the upper station will have a substantial
negative effect on the Upper Rock.”
The visual impacts of the Upper terminal building by nature of
its elevated location, form and mass, would be more widely
seen and impact more heavily on high sensitivity viewpoints
than the route of the funicular railway itself. "The result
would be a significant negative impact on the widely
recognisable appearance of the Rock of Gibraltar," says the
The Environmental Statement highlights the “lack of traffic
data and modelling in Gibraltar “(non-existent).
An example of significance, but merely one of many, is that
the traffic movement calculated to be created through the
construction process over a five month period is set at : 144
total truck movements per day (18 two way movements per hour!
or one every three minutes!!) using 5 ton trucks for eight
hour days, 5 days per week. The document states that impact
from this on the lower station (near and on Corral Road) is
considered to be big but impossible to enumerate given the
lack of traffic data.
It is clear, however, that the impact from such significant
vehicle movements will not only impact the Corral Road area,
but would also have significant repercussions on traffic
congestion generally on Gibraltar’s roads, they add.
There are other issues such as considerations given to
localised impact on people and their quality of life due to
noise and air pollution from blasting of tunnels and various
construction processes as well as the mayhem that the lower
station will cause particularly in the early stages.
Similarly the paper also mentions an inability to access the
“Upper Rock Management Plan” or details of the protection
status of the “Upper Rock Nature Reserve. The ESG considers
that urgent publication of such important information is
necessary and could protect this important area of the Rock
from this proposed urbanisation and any other future attempts
at commercial development in the Upper Rock area.
The ESG reiterates its call for our Government to produce an
updated development plan for Gibraltar to ensure that clear
and practical guidelines are set for all activity and
development to be carried out sensibly and with full
implications understood well ahead of time. To achieve this,
sufficient time has to be allowed for interested members of
the public to look over any plans.
The ESG yesterday lodged an objection directly with the
Planning Commission against the funicular transit system
Top military visit after
The Deputy Chief of Joint Operations, Rear Admiral Wilcocks
has flown in from London to visit British Forces Gibraltar.
He came to visit British Forces Gibraltar following the recent
death of Commodore David White. He also took the opportunity
to visit various units around the Rock including the Joint
Logistic Support Unit and the Royal Gibraltar Regiment.
Lieutenant Colonel Mark Randall, Commanding Officer of the
Royal Gibraltar Regiment emphasises how important it is to the
Regiment to be visited by senior military personnel when they
are in Gibraltar.
He says, "We have a unique role in the defence of Gibraltar
but are also able to deploy further afield. It is important
for senior military personnel to meet our soldiers and get an
understanding of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment’s roles and
Gib soldiers in Iraq
Twelve soldiers from the Royal Gibraltar Regiment are in Iraq,
said military sources. They are in the southern area of Basra,
which is not thought to be the main 'hot spot' in that
They left for Iraq on Monday and will be based with the Scot
Guards Battle group. The local soldiers wanted to go there for
experience, and volunteered to do so.
This is not the first time that members of the regiment have
been in Iraq. Officers were there at the start of the
conflict. But this is the largest contingent from the regiment
to go there.
The regiment have already got seven soldiers serving in
Northern Ireland, with the Royal Anglian Regiment.
Consumer guide to insurance
The Financial Services Commission said yesterday they had
published a guide to insurance products aimed exclusively at
The aim of the guide is to provide a clear reference point for
consumers on the different types of insurance products which
are available. It also brings to consumers' attention what
they should be looking out for as well as suggesting questions
that they should be asking of their insurance intermediary or
financial planner, said the FSC.
Written in plain and easy-to-understand language, it is
divided into Life, Home, Health, Motor and Travel Insurance
sections. It also contains a glossary of commonly used
insurance terms and general issues surrounding all types of
Damian Rocca, who co-authored the guide together with Jandra
Borg, said: "Experience tells us that consumers may sometimes
buy insurance without knowing the exact terms and conditions
of their policy and, for example, the types of losses which
are covered and which are not.
"We are therefore delighted to have produced this document to
enable consumers to better understand insurance products.
"The guide is simple and informative, and we trust will be of
good use to the consumer."
The guide has been drawn up in conjunction with the Gibraltar
The FSC has set itself a number of objectives including
raising public awareness of financial products. The guide to
insurance is the first of a series which the FSC will be
producing across the main types of financial products which
are available to the local market.
• Interested persons can read the guide on the
web-site by clicking on the Consumer section on the
menu followed by Insurance Guide.
Gibraltarian gets top job
in UK union
Gibraltarian Manuel Cortes has been appointed as the new
assistant general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs’
Association (TSSA), the UK’s second largest rail union.
Mr Cortes was appointed by TSSA originally in 1998 as a
recruiter, progressing to organiser and most recently
negotiations officer. For several years he has been leading
the union’s campaign to gain recognition rights for managers
in Britain’s train operating companies.
The 37-year old assistant general secretary, born in
Gibraltar, has been a trade unionist from the age of 15. He
starting working life as an electrician, and later graduated
as an engineer (Herriot Watt University, Edinburgh), obtaining
a master’s in optical electronics (Strathclyde University) and
economics (also Strathclyde).
Before joining TSSA, he worked as a fundraiser and campaigner
for Amnesty International and as a recruiter for the Banking,
Insurance and Finance Union (now amalgamated into Amicus).
TSSA assistant general secretary Manuel Cortes said: "I feel
privileged to be given the opportunity to serve our members in
this senior role. I want to make a positive contribution to
the union, and intend to build on TSSA’s successes in getting
recognition rights for workers, despite some challenges from
employers. "I will also work closely with members and our
general secretary on TSSA’s campaign to restore the railways
to public ownership."
Responding to the new appointment, the TSSA general secretary,
Gerry Doherty said: "I am delighted to welcome Manuel Cortes
to his new post. He brings immense commitment, enthusiasm and
talent to the top echelons of our union. I know he is as
committed as I am to delivering our members’ aspirations on
fairness in the workplace, decent retirement benefits, and,
not least, the return of our railways to their rightful place,
the public sector."
TSSA represents 33,000 members in administrative, clerical,
managerial, professional and technical jobs in the railways,
buses, the London Underground, the travel trade, canals, ports
and ferries, and road haulage. Manuel Cortes’ appointment took
effect from Monday, December 21.
Four earth tremors in
Gibraltar area since Christmas
by PANORAMA reporter
There have been four earth tremors in the Gibraltar area since
Christmas, and ten in the last 30 days. With the tsunami
disaster in Asia in everyone's minds, questions are being
asked about earthquakes in the Gibraltar area.
It has to be said that Gibraltar is at the bottom of the
danger area as regards earthquakes, according to scientific
information. But there is no harm in creating a greater
awareness of such matters.
In determining the strength of earthquakes, 33km is used as a
default depth for earthquakes determined to be shallow.
Default depth of 5 or 10km are usually used in mid-ocean
ridges since earthquakes in these areas are usually shallower
An earth tremor on 13 December west of Gibraltar was given a
depth of 10km, while another 13 days later was 8km in depth.
The magnitude of the recent Asian earthquake was 9 in the
Earth tremors in the Gibraltar area in the last 30 days have
ranged in magnitude from 3 to 4.9, less than half of the Asian
one in most cases.
As a general rule, earth tremors in this area are very slight
and more often than not hardly noticeable.
The great Lisbon earthquake of 1755, whose shockwaves
reverberated in Gibraltar, had its epicentre west of Gibraltar
into the Atlantic. It is regarded as one of the biggest in
Europe, around 8 in intensity, and causing major devastation
in Lisbon. Huge waves were recorded down to the Algarve and
the Cadiz coast.
The Euro-asian and African tectonic plates come in from the
Mediterranean and out into the Atlantic through the Strait of
A major earthquake of 5.7 magnitude took place in Agadir,
south of Rabat in Morocco, which some people in Gibraltar
still remember. It happened in February 1960. It is estimated
that at least 12,000 died, with an international relief
operation set in motion at the time, including help from
Gibraltar. In February last year there was a 6.4 earthquake
near the north coast of Morocco.
South-east Spain is well known for its earth tremors, mainly
in the Granada area.
While it is not known if there is any detection equipment in
Gibraltar, equipment that could alert to a Tsunami is being
installed in Spain where there are 78 seismic alert stations.
The high speed of a Tsunami makes it essential that the public
are alerted promptly.
CBF said to have ‘leapt to his death from a
second floor balcony’
Commodore David White leapt to his death in his pool from a
second floor balcony after taking booze and drugs, claims a
report in The Sun. Police believe he downed several whiskies
and took a number of tablets before making the 25ft plunge
The Gibraltar forces’ chief — ordered home on Friday to answer
charges he downloaded child porn images off the internet —
smashed his head on the bottom of the pool, the paper adds.
He had showed no sign of crisis on Friday night, when he was
seen "and looked in great spirits."
As investigations into the death got under way, police in
London confirmed to The Times that Commodore White had been
under investigation for allegedly downloading child
pornography after being identified by Operation Ore, Britain’s
biggest child pornography inquiry.
He is believed to be the 33rd suspect of Operation Ore to kill
himself rather than face the disgrace of an investigation and
Operation Ore was begun in 2002 after American investigators
uncovered a pay-per-view website run by a couple in Texas
enabling customers to download child pornography.
"The commodore was one of 7,250 Britons identified after their
credit cards were traced to the website," said the paper.
So far more than 4,283 homes have been searched and 3,744
arrests made. Suspects range from judges, civil servants,
teachers, lawyers and senior surgeons to police officers.
Around 1,840 suspects have been charged and 1,451 convicted.
Accusation against us is complete
fabrication, says Opposition
The Opposition said yesterday that certain accusations made
against it by the chief minister are a complete fabrication.
A statement says that Mr. Caruana referred last week to the
issue of Gibraltar's legal entitlement to have a tax system
different to that of UK. He then went on to say this was
crucial to Gibraltar’ s future and accused us of having
recently stated that the importance of the issue was being
"That accusation against us is a complete fabrication on Mr.
Caruana's part, saif financizal services spokesman Fabian
Picardo. The Opposition has not made any statement whatsoever
on this issue.
The only statement made recently by the Leader of the
Opposition related to the disappearance of the qualifying
company regime which ended on the 1st of January and which has
not produced the dire consequences predicted by Mr. Caruana on
many occasions in the past.
"Indeed, in answer to a question from me in the last House of
Assembly, Mr. Caruana confirmed that none of the existing
companies had decided to leave Gibraltar as a result of having
to give up their qualifying company status," he said.
Mr Picardo adds: "As regards the right of Gibraltar to set its
own level of taxation independent from UK, we are clear that
this goes to the very heart of our constitutional relationship
with the UK and the supremacy of ourparliament to pass the tax
laws of our own country. If the European Commission has chosen
to challenge this, it is as a result of the political decision
taken by Mr. Caruana to submit to the Commission for its
approval the entirety of a new tax structure covering all
types of business in Gibraltar.
This is something which no other member of the European Union
has ever chosen to do. We have never expressed a view on the
wisdom of this decision and have only commented to point out
that the Opposition was not being briefed on this issue
confidentially or even less consulted on it by the Government.
Instead, we have had to rely on information published by the
At the same time last week, Mr. Caruana announced that he was
confident that an interim agreement reached with the EU last
month will shortly be approved by the Commission and come into
effect. It follows that if his confidence is justified, then
there cannot be a huge threat facing Gibraltar since
presumably this agreement will permit the existing tax exempt
companies to continue. Again, no information has been provided
as to the content of this agreement, but it is logical to
assume that the perceived threat would only arise if the
agreement reached in December is not approved and therefore
not put into effect, and if the present exempt companies leave
Gibraltar as a result.
"It appears from past experiences that the modus operandi
adopted by Mr. Caruana is to magnify the negative effects of
issues affecting Gibraltar in order to claim credit
subsequently when the results are not as bad as predicted. In
this case, we shall have to wait and see," the statement ends.
Matrimonial bills for the
Three bills for ordinances to be approved in the House of
Assembly have been recently published in Gibraltar Gazette,
referring amendments and provisions to matrimonial matters and
A bill for an ordinance to make provision in respect of EC
Regulation (EC) 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 concerning
jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgements
in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental
responsibility, repealing Regulation 1347/2000, to make
further provision in respect of EC Regulation (EC) No. 44/2001
of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and
enforcement of judgements in civil and commercial matters and
to amend the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgements Ordinance 1993.
The effect of the amendments in relation to EC Regulation (EC)
No. 44/2001 and to the Brussels and Lugano Conventions is to
provide that foreign judgements may be enforced in Gibraltar
subsequent to being declared enforceable by the appropriate
court in Gibraltar.
Previously, such judgements could be enforced in Gibraltar if
registered in the prescribed manner with the appropriate court
In relation to EC Regulation (EC) 2201/2003 the amendments are
to ensure that Gibraltar law conforms to European obligations
in relation to jurisdiction of the courts and the recognition
and enforcement of European judgements in matrimonial matters
and parental responsibility.
Another bill is proposed for an ordinance to amend the
Matrimonial Causes Ordinance to make provision for Council
Regulation (EC) 2201/2003 concerning jurisdiction and
recognition and enforcement of jurisdiction in matrimonial
The small amendment makes it clear that the Matrimonial Causes
Ordinance has effect subject to Council Regulation (EC) No
2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 and Council Regulation (EC) No.
These two European regulations concern jurisdiction and the
enforcement and recognition of judgements in respect of
maintenance, matrimonial matters and parental responsibility
for children and apply to all member states of the European
Union except Denmark.
Section 39 of the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgements Ordinance
applies the two European regulations as between the UK and
A proposal to amend the Magistrates’ Court Ordinance in
section 45(a) by substituting the following: (a) under law
relating to the guardianship of minors, including parental
responsibility matters under Council regulation (EC) No
2201/2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and
enforcement or judgements in matrimonial matters and the
matters of parental responsibility.
These small amendments ensure that ‘domestic proceedings’ in
the Magistrates’ Court will include matters relating to
children under Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 of 27
November 2003 and all applications for the recognition and
enforcement of maintenance orders under the Civil Jurisdiction
and Judgements Ordinance 1993 and not simply those which fall
under Part I of that Ordinance.
State of shock
Following the tragic death of Commander British Forces,
Commodore David White, "all British Forces personnel he
commanded in Gibraltar remain in a state of shock at the
news," said chief of staff, Colonel Tom Camp, yesterday
afternoon. He is now the acting CBF until a new appointment is
Certainly everyone who had met Commodore White will equally be
in a state of shock.
As Colonel Camp put it, in a comparatively short time in post
he had become very popular with his staff - and indeed with
Commodore White was determined that British Forces supported
Gibraltar and Gibraltarian people, said Colonel Camp.
He endeavoured to integrate British Forces within the local
Shortly after his arrival, at a reception given by the
Governor at the Convent, it was PANORAMA which suggested to an
aide of CBF that he should organise a collective meeting with
the media, because civilian/services relations are important
whatever differences there might emerge on specific issues
from time to time.
It so happens that Commodore White was to subsequently invite
the media and press officers to his home at Mount Barbary for
a buffet reception one evening which was a huge success. It
became clear there and then what a friendly person he was, how
proud he was of the Royal Navy and how much he wanted to help
Gibraltar and its people.
As Colonel Camp said yesterday, Commodore White had earned the
respect of his staff for not only carrying out his role and
responsibilities as CBF, but also for the way in which he
carried them out.
His popularity extended to Gibraltar as a whole.
The specific reasons that led to his death are not yet clear,
but they are described as being of a personal nature. Whatever
they may be, Gibraltar has lost a great friend.
FULL TEXT of
Statement by Colonel Tom Camp, Chief of Staff and acting
Commander British Forces
As you are aware, Commander British Forces Gibraltar,
Commodore David White RN, died over the weekend. His body was
found within the swimming pool of Mount Barbary Residence,
Gibraltar, on Saturday 8 January 2005. Our thoughts and
deepest sympathies quite clearly at this very difficult time
are with his family and friends.
This tragic event has been met with great sadness by the
Command. All British Forces personnel he commanded in
Gibraltar remain in a state of shock at the news. In his
comparative short time in post he had become very popular with
his staff. He had earned their respect for not only carrying
out his role and responsibilities as CBF, but also for the way
in which he carried them out. He was passionate about his
Command, proud of the professionalism of his people and did
everything in his power to encourage military usage of the
Naval Base, Airfield and training facilities.
From a personal perspective I had worked closely with
Commodore White since his arrival in May last year. I became
aware very quickly of how much he enjoyed his job here, how
proud he was to hold the position of CBF and also how much he
respected Gibraltar and its people.
I would hope that the people of Gibraltar were also aware of
this and share with us the sadness at his death.
Commodore White had a significant and positive impact on
British Forces relationships with Gibraltar across a range of
topics. He was determined that British Forces support
Gibraltar and Gibraltarian people. He was a high profile
public figure and endeavoured to integrate British Forces
within the local community. He was at the forefront at the
planning for and execution of the RN Freedom Parade in August
2004 and an active participant in the Tercentenary
celebrations. He welcomed people from all walks of life on
board visiting ships and aircraft and also opened his home for
I would hope he will be remembered by all of us for his
contribution to Gibraltar.
Funicular project: until
tomorrow to stop the ‘monstrosity’, say objectors
By Elena Scialtiel
‘Monstrosity’: this is how Mr. Parody, the spokesman for the
“Lobby Group Against the Funicular” describes the project
submitted by 21st Century Rock to develop a funicular transit
system providing tourist access to the Top of the Rock from
the Northern side.
The venture was announced during the Christmas period and the
public given the deadline of Wednesday 12th January to lodge a
complaint against the realisation of such major works that
will produce ‘unpredictably negative impact in the short and
long run on the social, economical, visual and environmental
tissue of Gibraltar’ – an advertising manoeuvre that has
raised eyebrows amongst local associations during a season
when the public was distracted by the festive atmosphere.
Calypso Tours Ltd, The Gibraltar Taxi Association, M H Bland &
Co Ltd, Persian Rose Ltd and Southern Garages Ltd, have
reacted forming an association, the Lobby Group Against the
Funicular to lodge a complaint and raised awareness amongst
Gibraltarians of the negative effects of such a device, both
during construction works and once fully functional. ii iii
iiii iiiCONCERN iii iiii iiii iiii iii iiiThe lobby has
written to the Chief Minister conveying its profound concern
at the proposal, currently before the Development & Planning
Commission, which will be finally approved or rejected
tomorrow, when the span for the public to lodge their
complaint will be expired.
A scheme for the construction of a funicular to the Great
Siege Tunnels has now submitted twice to the Development &
In an interview with PANORAMA, their spokesman listed all the
devastating alterations that the new tourist service may bring
to Gibraltar: first of all the eyesore that a glass
three-floor top station will create standing out in sharp
contrast with the gentle greenery of an uncontaminated
Mediter-ranean flora the Rock is so proud of. This may as well
eventually catch the new facility into a paradox net: if it
looks so ugly from the bay, which tourist will be attracted to
visit a technology-spoilt nature reserve?
Then there’s concern about the preservation of the histori-cal
monuments Gibraltar is so proud of, during the drilling of a
soft limestone, which might collapse as well any time onto the
densely populated areas of Moorish Castle and Laguna Estates –
together with the environmental impact on the fauna that
enjoys the wildlife peace of remote peaks on the northern
But most importantly: what is it going to be the repercussion
on Main Street businesses, lining the walking distance from
the coach park at the entrance of Gibraltar to the existing
cable car at the southern end?
And what about guides, guided tours and licensed taxis? They
are concerned that the funicular will sweep away their
business and make the Upper Rock tours obsolete and rare,
where virtual guides will be strategically placed at the
entrance of the monuments.
In fact, tourists coming from Spain will probably be dropped
off at the border, advised to cross on foot to reach the lower
funicular station and then take their tour the other way round
it is made now from the Cable Car: quicker, more
techno-logical, but more impersonal, skipping the human
experience of a stroll through Main Street and a meal in one
of the many alfresco restaurants whose Gibraltar is so proud
of. iii iii iii iiiFurthermore, the foreign-operated funicular
will cater for visitors to the Upper Rock only, without
intermediate stops to the upper town that might have favoured
the elderly living in that area and lightened the traffic
congestion, and won’t probably absorb with their job offers
potential redundancies from the weaker sectors of the actual
transport market, like for example casual tourist guides or
New funicular project
“flawed”, says party
The Reform Party says that following a thorough consideration
of the plans for the new proposed funicular railway, it does
not support the idea.
"The concept as it stands is deeply flawed in several ways"
said a party spokesperson today. "Environmentally,
construction would cause great disruption. This is especially
true in the tunnel section and in the other aspects as well.
For instance, one envisages at least the possibility for
accident regarding the large helicopters intended to hoist
major construction components for the upper station as they
fly to and from the site.
This and other construction processes could have serious
effects on at least two of the government Housing Estates in
Gibraltar. Also while detrimental effects on wildlife, flora,
bird migration and other natural systems are hard to assess
exactly, it is clear to us that they will be at least
NO REAL SENSE
Economically the project makes no real sense either and the
necessary number of visitors is just not realistic. The
expected figure of 750,000 users per year is not really based
on any practical consideration. The actual usage is likely to
be much less than this average of over 2000 per day which must
be maintained winter or summer, rain or shine.
"We are also concerned about the negative effects, both
primary and secondary, on existing transport systems and
tourism enterprises and the incomes currently generated by
them. They would of course be considerably reduced thereby
having a negative result for Gibraltar's economy as a whole in
contrast to the positive earnings from the funicular
itself,"says a Press release.
The 1Km railway would only go to a viewing platform at the top
of the rock. It would not connect easily with any other
popular heritage or tourism site. So as a tourist feature the
project would hardly be able to be integrated at all into
Gibraltar's tourism package.
The Reform Party concludes: "Finally, we can't help but wonder
why this project was announced when it was, on the 21st
December. With only 21 days from that date for the public to
examine the plans and comment/object, we suspect a certain
element of hope here by the proposers. Maybe they thought that
much of the community would be 'suitably distracted' during
the festive season. Well, that may be true of some people in
Gibraltar but not ourselves. This project needs to be stopped
in its tracts."
British Forces found dead in swimming pool
Commander British Forces, Commodore David
White, was found dead on Saturday in the swimming pool in his
official home at Mount Barbary. He was fully clothed.
That was the shock news that emerged over the weekend.
Commodore White had been in Gibraltar since May last year. He
was single and lived alone. His staff, such as housekeeper,
military assistant and kitchen staff would attend to their
duties and then leave the house.
On Saturday, his military assistant had gone to Mount Barbary
on a routine check. He found him at the bottom of the swimming
pool, fully clothed.
Commodore White was dressed casually and had his shoes on.
The military assistant telephoned the RGP at 4.20pm to notify
what he had discovered. A waiver was given by the Governor to
the RGP to investigate in an MOD area.
The Coroner had the body identified on site. The body was
taken to St Bernard's Hospital, and a pathologist is coming
over from the UK.
NO FOUL PLAY SUSPECTED
A police spokesman said that no foul play is suspected. There
were no visual signs of any injuries. But clearly it was not a
The RGP have interviewed all staff and will also question the
A 'scene of crime' was instituted at the house, which has been
sealed off. Police are guarding the house. There was a search
of all the perimeter.
Commodore White was 50 years of age.
He wanted to promote the image of the Navy in a place like
Gibraltar which had always served the Navy so well. He had
ideas about more warships coming to Gibraltar and of having
sailors in uniform when on shore leave, to highlight the
presence of the Navy he loved so much.
As Commander British Forces he was in charge of the military
operations here, where there are about 800 military personnel.
The MOD has five core functions in Gibraltar: The nuclear
powered submarine berth; the airfield; intelligence gathering
facilities, the headquarters and command, control and
communications, and the Royal Gibraltar Regiment.
The MOD said he was under police investigation.
GONHS is taking the initiative in
establishing, once and for all, that our Barbary Macaques are
wild animals and not a circus act.
Feeding of the apes, other than official provisioning, is
illegal, and touching them is unwise and potentially dangerous
as there is the real possibility of transferring disease in
Contact and interference with the monkeys will often lead to
bites or scratches, another potential avenue for disease
GONHS asks all its members, staff and volunteers, to take an
active role in dissuading visitors from coming into any kind
of physical contact with the apes.
"We are asking you to take time to visit the ape sites on the
Upper Rock and get actively involved in solving this problem,"
Here are some guidelines as to what to do:
If you see anyone attempting to feed, stroke, or otherwise
touch a monkey, politely call their attention and ask them to
stop doing so.
Explain that feeding the apes is illegal.
Explain that rich foods such as chocolates or crisps are bad
for their health.
That even if they appear hungry they are well provisioned and
are just reacting like a child will eat an ice cream no matter
how well they’ve eaten and, like humans, they become
habituated to over-eating.
Explain that receiving food from visitors will make them
expect this from everyone and they will become aggressive if
Explain that they are a potential source of disease
And that we can transmit disease to them.
Offer them additional information on the apes, for example:
* That they are a threatened species
* That they live in the wild in Algeria and Morocco
* That they are members of the Macaque family and are in fact
*That they live in groups of up to 40 individuals
*That this species takes special care of their babies, with
even the males looking after them.
*That they can live up to 20 years.
*That their diet is almost totally vegetarian but they will
eat insects, etc.
*That they can best be enjoyed by observing their natural
behaviour and not by degrading them by making them jump onto
shoulders and perform tricks.
If anyone gets bitten or scratched, advise them to:
Wash the wound thoroughly and place under running water for 15
Treat with anti-septic
Seek medical advice at St Bernard’s Hospital
If any person escorting a visitor complains, politely explain
the reason for our actions. Any threatening or aggressive
approach should be dealt with by way of a calm response. Log
down the details of the incident, with names or vehicle
registration numbers if possible and hand this in to our
offices at the Botanic Gardens. If the problem escalates,
quietly walk away and then call the Police on 72500.
Planned Eastside project put at nearly £2 billion
MULTIPLEX, the Australian builder, and the
Reuben brothers, the billionaire private investors, are in
talks to develop a £1.8 billion marina development in
The ambitious project includes at least two luxury hotels, a
cruise liner terminal, a 500 berth yacht marina and hundreds
of luxury apartments, as well as a housing development.
The project, which is known as Eastside, was inherited by
Multiplex and the Reuben brothers after their takeover of
Chelsfield, the property company founded by Elliott Bernerd,
reports The Times.
It adds: The Government of Gibraltar is keen for the plans to
proceed because it believes the project will help to deliver
economic growth and hundreds of new jobs.
A spokesman for the Gibraltar Government would only say that
the project was being negotiated with MCB Gibraltar, a joint
venture between Multiplex and Chelsfield, which has since been
taken over by the reuben brothers and Multiplex.