A Government For All!
|by LEO OLIVERO
As the press gathered at 6 Convent Place to hear the first public announcement from the new Chief Minister Fabian Picardo they were all greeted at the entrance to his office by Mr Picardo himself.
The Chief Minister had also summoned all his Ministers in waiting who were present in the CM’S office on the arrival of the press.
Mr Picardo welcomed everyone and said his government ‘Would be A Government for all of Gibraltar.'
The Chief Minister then went on to explain that minutes before convening the press conference he had spoken with the Governor and had advised him that he should make particular directions under section 45 and 46 of the Constitution for the appointment of the new GSLP/Liberal Alliance Council of Ministers. Mr Picardo then went on to announce the various ministerial portfolios of his new Government.
The first ministerial position announced was the important post of Deputy Chief Minister which went as many people anticipated to Dr Joseph Garcia.
The Chief Minister himself will supervise: the Economy and Finance, IT, E-Government, Personal Status including Immigration, Customs, EU & International Treaties (including other ministerial post included on our main list of ministerial responsibilities)
Dr Joseph Garcia: additionally to his Deputy Chief Minister position will also have responsibility for the supervision of Government Departments, Public Administration, Planning and Lands, Political, Democratic and Civic reform amongst other responsibilities.
Dr John Cortes: takes on Health the Environment and Green Areas, The Upper Rock and Public Health and others.
Charles Bruzon: as expected becomes the new Minister for Housing, additionally Housing and the Works Agency, Hostels and Senior Citizens.
Samantha Sacramento: is now the new Minister for Social Services and the Care Agency together with added responsibilities for Families and Children and Equality and others.
Gilbert Licudi: Financial Services, the Justice Ministry, Education, Telecommunications and Gaming amongst others.
Joe Bossano: will take on Employment and Labour, Social Security, Pensions and Social Assistance amongst others.
Neil Costa: Has been given Tourism, Shipping, the Port and Public Transport amongst others.
Paul Balban: will tackle Traffic, Parking, Roads, Health and Safety and Technical Services amongst others.
Steven Linares: Sports and Leisure, Culture, Heritage, Youth Postal Services and the Fire Brigade amongst others.
Ministers have been allocated offices in their respective ministries although Dr Garcia as Deputy Chief Minister will have his office together with Mr Picardo at 6 Convent Place.
The Chief Minister said he had talent at his disposal, he had assembled a team that would deliver and demonstrate to the electorate that the manifesto which had won the Alliance the election will be a reality before he calls the next elections in 4 years' time.
The Chief Minister also commented that he was keen to understand what the position is in respect to a number of ongoing Government projects.
Mr Picardo, looking upbeat and confident, also said that he had a very clear view of where he wanted to go with respect with the re-birth of the civil service and delivery of the manifesto and delivery of jobs, also of projects to deliver homes.
In answer to a question from a Spanish journalist the Chief Minister stated that ‘his government wanted friendly relations and cooperation with Spain but what his government will never do as they have always said, is negotiate Gibraltar's sovereignty.
In answer to a question from Panorama where we asked the Chief Minister if he saw areas where he would be taking up the offer from the former Chief Minister in briefing the new government - Mr Picardo said that he would, he thought that there were areas where he would be grateful to hear what Mr Caruana had to say about certain things.
The various heads of departments had been asked to gather at 6 Convent Place and were waiting the termination of the press conference to accompany the respective Ministers to their Departments and formalisation briefings. All newly appointed Ministers then branched off to their respective ministries with heads of departments.
This press conference in its most practical sense saw the end to one of the most important aspects of the democratic cycle in any society. From the calling of an election over 6 weeks ago right through the intensive period of an election campaign, the excitement of polling day and the exercising of one's right to vote.
The tension that mounted during the election count which this year provided a stressful experience to many if nothing else, all culminating with a New Government who have already reiterated they will be the Government for all of Gibraltar… Just those few simple words in book, gets the new Administration off to a flyer!