Do as Spain does, says Spanish MP!
Every time a Spanish politician opens his mouth it can
irritate Gibraltarian opinion, such as Granada MP Rafael
Estrella who is now saying we should change our economic base
to suit Spain!
In the first place, when this senor speaks nobody seems to
take any notice - except in Gibraltar where some give him a
Be that as it may, he is now saying that we have lower import
duties than those prevalent in Spain and we must scrap them.
How insulting can he be?
What he is really saying is that the residents of Gibraltar
should pay more in certain areas of the economy, to bring us
to the Spanish level.
Ask any Spaniard (except him) if they would want to pay more
or would want to pay less, and let's see what answer he would
It is such a narrow-minded, egoistic policy because, if the
same logic were to be applied the other way round, then we
could ask why Spain does not lower its import duties etc to
provide their citizens with goods at Gibraltar's lower
However, if in certain areas of the economy prices in Spain
happen to be lower than in Gibraltar, why don't they increase
Oh no. But if they are lower in Gibraltar, we are expected to
increase them to suit Spain!
The Portuguese might ask why are petrol prices in Spain lower
than in Portugal, dear Sr Estrella.
Up and down
You are up one day and down the next, that's politics. And you
never know when the bump will come.
Well, it has come now for the GSD, with the PANORAMA poll
showing them behind the GSLP/Liberal Alliance.
There are indeed many issues which are providing concern to
many people, amazingly housing remains quite a big issue -
even for those who may have a house, as there is a wider
perception of the political consequences of not building
houses the average person can afford.
That has come across quite strongly in poll comments, as well
as those increases across a wide range of items when the
public thought the Government's coffers were full to the brim.
Not only must people pay more but if they fall into arrears
they are being told their electricity, for example, will be
People are saying if it is asking too much for the
'monopolies' in water, electricity, telephones etc to send out
warning letters drawing attention to any delays in payment
before taking drastic action, even if it means they have to
work that little bit extra. After all, their salaries are well
beyond the average...
There is also the underlying concern about making concessions
to Spain, which is always possible in any negotiation. Such
concern appears to be centered on the airport, which is not
surprising as the last thing people want is that the British
hold over the airport should weaken in Spain's favour.
Feetham must come clean
With rumours following rumours about Daniel Feetham's hopes of
joining the GSD, many people are asking why he does not come
Although the party has been inactive for longer than I care to
remember, and it is almost as if they did not exist, he still
owes an explanation to the dwindling few who still support the
Not long ago it filtered through that top boys in the GSD were
against Feetham joining them.
So, what is going on?
Who had ever heard of Douglas Alexander, the new Minister for
Europe in the Blair government. It is not only in Gibraltar
that the person is something of a mystery but in Britain, too.
He is one of those people who work behind the scenes, in
obscure places like the Foreign Office.
I don't know if he has more brains than McShane, but whatever
his brain-power it would appear that he will use it more
Tiempos de guerra...
My dear, take cover, estamos en guerra con our
nearest neighbour, La Linea, or haven't you heard?
Bueno, my dear Cloti, it begins con el alcalde, el Juarez,
going to Brussels to protest about los pensions, saying that
Britain has been given an ultimatum and that it will not be
extended. . You don't say.
And he says that the pensions payments are considered
discriminatory to Spanish workers because of the residency
Bueno, they live there and we live here.
Yes, but segun El Chief Minestra el alcalde could not have
been told this by the EU Commission, "because it is simply not
true." Eso dijo el Chief.
My dear, and what is true?
According to el Chief, the EC wrote to the UK on 21 March
saying that 'serious doubt' remained related to Community
Care's nature as a 'social advantage linked to the worker's
conditions' and alleged discrimination.
So, el EC has told the UK to submit its observations within
dos meses, and if not, the EC might issue a Reasoned Opinion.
Well, my dear, el Alcalde has now said that el Chief esta
nervioso, and says that el Chief esta, por primera vez, "ante
un proceso jurídico y legal que le guste o no al señor
Que vamos a las corte?
Well, I don't know. El Alcalde has also accused al Chief of
having una salida iracunda, so I will have to check the
dictionary to find out what that means.
You do that and let me know.
Y la cosa no queda ahí, porque el Alcalde sugiere "que Caruana
deje de comportarse como un 'yes man' with regard to the
Caramba, la cosa tiene chestnut. And I ask: Y donde deja todo
esto a los tripartite talks about cooperation?
Don't ask me, aunque todo esto si no es una minestra es un
Meanwhile, donde hay una guerra civil es en el Labour Party or
haven't you heard, my dear?
Quien, Desperate Dan?
No,mujer, I don't mean Patajamon, ese esta mas callao que en
misa. I mean Antoñito, who has been cut down to size losing
his big majority in parliament after the general election.
Just as well, y que nos deje tranquilo, aunque el Hombre Paja
Pues que tengan cuidao or it will be us who will start a war!
Bye, bye blackbird!
Argentina’s Defence Minister, Jose Pampuro, has complained to
the UK and the EU that the inclusion of the Falklands in the
EU Constitution as a UK overseas territory will make the
dispute between the two countries a European matter.
Brazil has supported Argentina’s complaint.
Why then has Spain not complained about Gibraltar’s inclusion
in the EU Constitution?
Well, Spain couldn’t very well exclude a European territory of
a member state that’s been in Europe before Spain herself was
member. She couldn’t stop Gibraltar’s inclusion.
Argentina’s worry is that the Falklands will be recognised as
British in the EU Constitution.
That would mean no further negotiations between the UK and
Argentina on the sovereignty of the Falklands.
Argentina’s sovereignty claim will be severely weakened.
It’s very different for Spain. The difference is that that
Gibraltar’s inclusion in the EU Constitution is subject to a
Joint Declaration signed by the UK and Spain, whereas there is
no such Argentina/UK declaration.
No wonder the Argentinians are worried. No wonder Spain is
The Anglo-Spanish Declara-tion says that both countries
recognise the dispute over Gibraltar to be on-going –
Constitution or no Constitution.
Both countries agree that the door has not been closed on the
Spanish sovereignty claim.
They recognise that their ‘differences’ over Gibraltar go on.
They recognise that the Gibraltar dispute goes on even though
Gibraltar is in recognised in the EU Constitution.
The Joint Declaration strengthens the Spanish claim. It makes
it EU business, not UN business.
But it i worse. The Joint Declaration gives Spain the best of
It makes Gibraltar a European Union issue and it keeps
Gibraltar as a bilateral issue.
And that’s the way Spain wants it.
In the EU, she can count on the support of other member
She can pile on the pressure, not least pressure from the
European Court of Justice.
To begin with, we will feel the pressure on a variety of
issues not directly connected to sovereignty – issues on which
the UK will have surrendered their veto.
Gibraltar will be at the receiving end of European majorities
and European judges.
And at the same time, the Joint Declaration will enable Spain
and the UK to maintain their bilateral right to negotiate our
The Joint Declaration entrenches the Brussels Process in the
Argentina is right to fear that with the Falklands in the EU
Constitution as a British overseas territory her claim will be
Spain can be assured that no permanent solution to the
Gibraltar issue is possible without her consent.
That is what the Joint Declaration amounts to.
Those who look to decolonisation coming from the
Constitutional Talks had better take another look at the Joint
Decolonisation is not possible whilst the Joint Declaration is
still there. And if the Constitution is ratified it will be
The French Referendum on the EU Constitution takes place on
the 29th May. A French ‘no’ will not sink the Constitution.
There is now talk that as many as five member states will have
to reject, if the Constitution is to be withdrawn.
But there may be a chance to change the terms.
Gibraltar must make sure that – given the slimmest chance –
the Joint Declaration is torn up. If it is, Spain will howl
ten times as loudly as Argentina.
If we value our future, we must make sure she does.
It's good to see that Tony Blair now has a reduced majority.