Bay of Gibraltar
In response to the letter by Leslie M P Bruzon can I say that I
totally agree with his sentiments.
However, I would like to propose that we gracefully accept this name
change as a sign of respect to all those poor Spaniards, of not so
long ago, whose misfortune it was to oppose Franco and whose mortal
remains lie at the bottom of the Bay of Gibraltar and the Straits.
For all those missing the name "Bay of Gibraltar" let them be
consoled by the knowledge that there is another, far from Spanish
eyes, in Canada. This one is known as Gibraltar Bay.
As for Colin "El Sabio" well, what can one say to extol his
intellect further that hasn't already been said by him? So there is
only one thing to do and that is to wish Colin a nice life.
Ignorance being bliss Colin is assured a very, very, very nice life!
Jim L Lagares Ballantine
AA error remains
When you point out their errors to the AA they still can't get it
right.(Please see their e-mail below) We are now at the end of
August and still the AA think that Gibraltar is in Spain!
From: theaa.com Customer Services
Dear Mr. White,
I have now received a reply from our route planner department
that the change will take effect at our next update in the
middle of August.
If you require any further assistance, please do not hesitate to
The ignorance of the AA in listing Gibraltar as part of Spain is
deplorable, but nothing new. I have written to the BBC to complain
to their coverage of Gibraltar, in which they referred to 'mainland
Spain'. Would a report on the Channel Islands refer to 'mainland
It's worth pointing out to the AA that while Gibraltar is not part
of Spain, it is pragmatic enough to drive on the same side of the
road, although the road signs, traffic lights and number plates do
look reassuringly familiar to visitors from the UK. Macau, which is
not much bigger than Gibraltar, still drives on the left, unlike
Ignorance of this kind is not unique. Some travel websites still
list Dili Airport in East Timor as being in Indonesia, even though
it has been renamed after a slain independence leader.
When I pointed out this mistake I was told 'yes, it's right, it's a
state in Indonesia, do a Google search'. This led me to believe that
the webmaster was either insane or in cahoots with Osama Bin Laden
(who thinks that East Timor and Andalucia including Gibraltar were
'taken away' from the Islamic world). Or just incorrigibly stupid.
Him and Them
Another 'tertulia' between 'him & them' in the fleshpots of the
Costa del Sol, all very 'buddy-buddy', restrictions, exclusions and
court cases apart, but the Gibraltarians are still 'a dos velas'.
The post-meeting statements, from both sides, were again shrouded in
the now customary legal jargon and/or Dickensean/Cervantine prose.
Hands up all those who believe that Spanish politicians only show
optimism when they feel they are getting their way!
As it did, after the Malaga and Albufeira rounds, The VOGG offers an
opinion, expresses its concerns and asks pertinent questions, with
the sole intention of creating the necessary public debate that is
so lacking, be it because of the Government's reluctance to provide
details on the progress of 'The Talks', or the Opposition's
recalcitrance in engaging the Administration on the issue.
The Spaniards are apologetic and worried 'The Talks' may be
prejudiced. The Chief Minister asks everyone not to look for
'ulterior motives' in what is 'only' an industrial dispute. With
such 'a cordial' relationship between them, it's all soft-talk. What
they can all be sure of (que el demonio lo jure) is that
'confidence-building' amongst the Gibraltarians takes a substantial
It is somewhat surprising that this issue was discussed at 'Frutos'
without a UK representative present, now that most Spaniards accept
that the solution lies with London. Gibraltar's position is
clear-cut, thus out of the equation. However, if a compromise is at
hand, i.e. Spain meeting some of the costs, so be it. At least it
will do away with one antagonism that poisons relations with the
neighbours. The VOGG is glad to hear that Sr. Bado of ALPEG is more
hopeful of the latest prospect. Perhaps he can now forget his
threats of blocking the frontier.
Many fine words, but the truth of the matter is that Spain is
nowhere nearer recognising The Rock's 350 international code. The
working-group of experts, technicians, phone companies and
regulatory bodies may well conjure up a practical solution which, no
doubt, will be duly accepted, with or without reservations, by some
or most in the business community, but that will be a concession,
whichever way it is looked at. All other countries in the world seem
to have solved this 'problem' without any fuss.
The VOGG holds the Chief Minister to his word that any agreement
will not infringe on sovereignty, in whatever shape or form, and
that it will not be rushed into because of any political expediency.
However, The VOGG finds it difficult to reconcile the optimism been
shown when Gibraltar's and Spain's positions on the isthmus are
incompatible. Furthermore, everyone remembers what Sr.
Pons said in his exposé on 4th August. All things considered, The
VOGG has some questions for the Chief Minister, who appears to be as
keen as the Spaniards to strike a deal by the autumn: - Is it merely
an initial act of magnanimity towards the Spaniards to avoid the
collapse of the Forum? - Is it because of the state of the economy,
which the Government insists is in fine fettle, but which others
question? - Has the UK Government warned the local
Administration that the airfield is next in line for cutback,
perhaps saving some jobs at the MOD, if an EU-funded joint-
use/control airport takes its place? - In the event of a deal
'acceptable to the Government of Gibraltar' is reached but is not
acceptable to the majority of Gibraltarians, does he expect the
natives to just 'agachar los cuernos' or to 'revolt'?
In the absence of any specific details on 'progress' from the local
Government, The VOGG will closely monitor the Spanish media for
news, comment and statements from Spanish politicians, whose respect
for the 'protocols' of the Tripartite Forum are non- existent. If
and when the need arises, it will express a view. In the meantime,
it will suffice to advise The Chief Minister that 'remakes' do not
get great reviews in Hollywood nowadays.
'SAFE & REASONABLE', on the understanding that it is so FOR ALL,
must be the over-riding maxim, now more than ever. If the whole
process of dialogue is an exercise in 'intelligent futility', so be
it. That is surely preferable to giving the Spaniards an opportunity
to put their feet in the door.
Paul TUNBRIDGE/Jim WATT (Spokesmen)
THE VOICE OF GIBRALTAR GROUP.
The Bay of Gibraltar
Having read the article about the MOD referring to the Bay of
Gibraltar as the Bay of Algeciras, the very next day I collected a
copy of one of many free magazines available in Gibraltar (The
Market Place West). To my surprise in it was an article, under
Entertainment and Leisure where they also referred to the Bay as the
Bay of Algeciras.
I promptly sent an e-mail explaining that the Bay was indeed
internationally recognised as the Bay of Gibraltar and that to call
it anything else was erroneous and showed an evident lack of
Geography and History. I later received a reply from a gentleman
called Colin that read as follows:
Thank you for your comments regarding the Bay of Algeciras. It's
lucky Franco didn't invade. Have a nice life,
p.s. Make sure you know what you are talking about before you send
these kind of emails."
It seems that like a friend of mine always says “if you repeat a lie
often enough people will believe it”.
It is astounding that people come from abroad and set up a magazine
to make a living off us, and yet they have the audacity to insult
the very same people who feed them!
Leslie M P Bruzon
Dear Mr Editor
I refer to Mr Emilio Peire’s recent letter re pigeons.
On a recent visit to the town of Eastleigh – Hampshire I noticed the
"PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE PIGEONS.
Their droppings make the pathways slippery, and spread disease."
I realise that is would probably not solve Mr Peire’s problem, but
signs around town, followed by possible legislation would keep these
‘rodents with wings’ away from the main town.
D G Gilson (Snr)
Gib in Spain!
*The storm over the Automobile Association over 'Gibraltar, Spain'
continues. This letter has been sent to the AA:
Hello just thought I’d write to express my amazement at your route
finder accuracy / inaccuracy.
I will be travelling from my home in Runcorn (Cheshire) to Gibraltar
and dutifully went to my most trusted site for journey planning
http://www.theaa.com and typed Runcorn in the “From” field and
Gibraltar in the “to” field. Well guess what? In the “from” field
Riencourt-Les-Bapaume, France appeared and in the “to” field an even
stranger appearance – Gibraltar, Spain.
This gives credence to the annual comments made around this time of
year that A Levels are getting easier, education is getting poorer
and everything is being dumbed down.
Runcorn has not been renamed Riencourt-Les-Bapaume and is not yet
part of France though it was occupied by the Normans almost a
thousand years ago. Gibraltar is NOT in Spain it is in the Iberian
Peninsula. Where Gibraltar in Spain Juan Charles King of Spaniards
would have been at the Royal wedding, when Charlie married Diana!
Please AA get it right, the RAC has, see for yourselves:
It has just dawned on me why the name AA; follow your route planner
and you might end up where you started, if you are lucky – if you
want to A to B it you’ll have to RAC it! So, RAC added to my
favourites and AA removed…… and just as soon as my current Road
Recovery membership runs out I’ll be beating a path to the RAC.
Another satisfied customer.
Jim L Lagares Ballantine
*Copy sent to the RAC
Is this the best they can do?
I could not agree more with Mr Willie Serfaty reference the report published in the PANORAMA yesterday.
The presence of Spanish civil guards in our waters, and the reason given by the Spanish authorities that they thought that the vessel they chased could be terrorists. This happened, according to the Spanish civil guards, about 2 miles way from Gibraltar, meaning that the vessel in question was in British waters.
What sort of security do we have at Gibraltar that even one of the Spanish civil guards landed before our local authorities came to know about it? If it really would have been terrorists no one from our side would have stopped them.
I would like to ask the competent authorities in Gibraltar how are they monitoring our waters, when these things happen. Is this the best they can do? I would like an answer.
Investigate Pigeon issue
I read with great interest the "Roving Eye" piece on the pigeon problem, particularly the last paragraph where he refers to them as rats with wings. Being a nature lover I would not harm beetles, lizards or sparrows seen in the area of Glacis, where, as far as I know, for the first time in thirty years blackbirds have taken advantage of recently planted trees to nest.. I have already seen one of their offspring.
However, nature has its own laws. A species must look after its own and in this respect it is ruthless, the law of the fittest reigns. The pigeons at Glacis are not only a nuisance because of the corrosive droppings but also a health hazard . On either side of the tower blocks - Referendum and Constitution - where the refuse chutes are placed, there are ledges where the pigeons are nesting. These areas are an inch thick with infested grime and feathers. The prevailing strong winds in the area blow these germ-loaded feathers and loose particles through the corridors and force them under the doors of our homes. This must surely present a great hazard to health, particularly to young children who play on the floor of their flats.
In my opinion the Chief Medical Officer, should send some one to investigate this situation and he may then assess if remedial action should be taken by the corresponding department.
One of our civil administration departments has found for the very
first time in the whole world a new and unique formula for solving
problems, which is as follow: they solve one problem by creating a
Parking restrictions was imposed at Devils Tower Road for three days
just in case our neighbours would create delays at the frontier that
was the reason given.
Yet no solution was found for the local residents of this area to
park their cars in that period of time, making parking problem more
I wonder what Einstein would have said if he was alive today.
In your article making an issue of motorbikes parking in normal
spaces, there is a photo showing 6 motorbikes parked in a normal
Rather than complaining that a "car" space, which is actually for
any parking, has been used up, why not consider that 6 people
managed to park in the space where only one person would have parked
The purpose of making special bike parking areas is to encourage
their use and decongest our town by parking 6 vehicles where only
one would normally fit.
George F Imossi Ltd
PANORAMA NOTE: The complaints received were essentially about
motorbikes causing obstruction to others.
Why should the Gibraltar
Government speak for Spain?
Is the acting Chief Minister Joe Holliday something of an actor?
I could not belive what he has been saying about the frontier
queues, even defending the Spanish position.
He tells us that the frontier queues are not politically motivated
against Gibraltar. How does he know? If they are or if they are not,
what has that got to do with the Gibraltar Government who are surely
elected to defend Gibraltar and not to speak for the Spanish
Government and the Spanish National Police!
What is even more crazy is that, having said that the queues should
not be seen as a sign of political hostility by Spain, he goes on to
say that after the "great achievement" of the Tripartite Talks he is
now able to talk direct to the Spanish Foreign Ministry to whom the
Gibraltar Government have made representations.
If the frontier queues are purely and simply the result of an
industrial dispute by the Spanish police, may I ask why has Mr
Holliday made representations to the Spanish Government?
I had to rush in my comments on such absurdities, to get them off my
system. Thank you.
What a shame, as caravan is turned
What a shame I felt when I witnessed, at the frontier, how a tow
caravan was sent back after the occupants had endured at least 90
minutes in the long queue from Spain into Gibraltar.
The caravan was allowed though by immigration but when it came to
Customs they decided to apply the law strictly, without any
consideration to the circumstances of the case.
You should have seen the reaction of the Portuguese when ordered
back into Spain.
Surely there are cases where a bit of humanity is called for. Could
not the caravan have been allowed into Gibraltar on the clear
understanding that they would have to leave the next day, for
Treating visitors in this way cannot win us friends.
With reference to your recent article entitled "Gibraltar boat
owners given notice to quit what are their homes" we would like to
take the opportunity to give you some further facts missing from the
article and would be most grateful if you would consider publishing
The construction of Ocean Village is indeed gathering momentum as it
was planned to do over the last two to three years. The first
announcements in the media that Sheppard's were selling the marina
site for redevelopment appeared in 2002. Clearly to build a new
state of the art Marina, which Ocean Village includes, would mean
that the existing would need to be vacated whilst the new one is
built. The terms of the rental agreement that those berthing in the
marina had is that they are subject to 14 days' notice. Thus it was
in the interests of all those berthing boats there that it might
have been a good idea to have been seeking alternative accommodation
during the last two or three years. Some of our clients have since
chosen to leave and found accommodation elsewhere. We appreciate
that it is difficult to find berthing spaces and especially in a
marina that will accommodate someone whose vessel is their permanent
home and it is precisely because we knew this that we delayed as
long as we possibly could before giving notice to anyone that they
must leave. We have at all times acted in a transparent and
straightforward way, telling the boat owners what we can do for them
and making this the most that we can do and never taking the easy
route to find solutions to what we have always seen as mutual
problems. The vast majority of the boat owners have been patient and
encouraging and have appreciated the efforts we have made; after all
we are only trying to build a new state-of-the-art marina, which
will be an asset to Gibraltar. And we, in our turn, have appreciated
their patience and forbearance.
Huge efforts have been made to accommodate the live-on-board boat
owners in spite of the fact we were under no obligation to
accommodate them at all and could simply have given them notice to
leave and insisted it be complied with immediately. But that was
never our policy; we really did want to accommodate everyone for as
long as we could.
• we have lobbied Government to give us more water area on a
temporary basis, and the Government have tried to assist
• we have moved the facilities - shower blocks, toilets, offices -
around the area by crane on not once but three occasions as the
construction work progressed, in order to extend the time that some
berthers could remain
• we have purchased new anchors, chains, pontoons, etc and employed
manpower to place them so that berths could be moved from place to
place as the works progressed
• we have employed the services of professional divers on numerous
occasions to survey the marina below the water line to ensure safety
and compliance with regulations
• we have suffered vandalism - some of it evidently deliberate -
designed to obstruct our works
• our staff have suffered abuse and daily criticism and on many
occasions, abuse from several boat owners despite our staffs efforts
to maintain service and facilities
• we have risked the financial burden of the contractor finding us
obstructive in what is now legally their building site
Our attempts to placate the live-on-board boat owners and maintain
their ability to continue living on board their vessels has resulted
in the creation of a 'pontoon island' to reach which boat owners do
need a dinghy to get to the boats that are their homes but this is a
major and very expensively contrived solution to the predicament in
which we and the boat owners found ourselves. In fact those boat
owners that did move to the "island" did so voluntarily and at a
reduced rent. This was a temporary measure and seen by many as a
welcome and innovative solution.
The situation had been changing on a daily basis as we were
continually and continuously negotiating with the contractor and
with Government so as to try and keep just ahead of their
requirements but finally the only course of action open to us was to
ask the last few live-on-board boat owners to leave. Had we been
desirous of acting in a perfunctory and uncaring manner we would
have given these people the minimum amount of notice we were obliged
to and saved ourselves all the costs of the various moves,
equipment, cost of damage, stress and wasted resources. However we
did not; we truly understand their position, and most understand
ours, and we all recognise that the major issue is lack of berthing.
It is this which frustrates the ability to move of those still
berthing at Sheppard's marina, for Gibraltar only has a certain
amount of water space and no-one has a magic wand.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate our staff in
the marina who have remained calm and helpful at all times and done
a magnificent job in continually challenging circumstances. I would
also like to thank the vast majority of those who berth at
Sheppard's for their support, understanding and good wishes with our
work - which will result in a wonderful Marina asset for Gibraltar.
I quote from your article which correctly quotes from one of our
letters to boat owners:
"We are very sorry to give you this bad news but we have no
alternative because the contractors have the legal right to an empty
building site, be it ashore or afloat, and their piling programme
now has a firm date on it and Government is not prepared to allow us
further encroachment into port waters."
BUT in fact the Government did reconsider and try all it could to
make some water available to us at Western Beach, for which we have
to pay rent and provide services. Thus yet another solution was
found to extend the time the live-on-board boat owners could stay
with us! Those boat owners who moved to Western Beach were assisted
with tows -many of these vessels are not seaworthy - and
arrangements made to provide fresh water and power. All these
facilities are being provided free of charge. No one could have been
more pleased than us that a solution for these few was found at the
By 2007, our new marina will be ready with state of the art
facilities to match the standards to which Gibraltar is becoming
accustomed. Anyone is able to apply to rent a berth in that new
marina and will find that the new infrastructure will provide the
sort of amenities any boat owner will be pleased to enjoy. Meanwhile
we maintain our efforts to provide temporary berthing facilities to
those who had been berthed at the old Sheppard's Marina when we
acquired it. We do our best on a daily basis - miracles take a
Francis Brancato OBE
Temporary Berthing Company Limited
Electorate to blame
Your article on page 2 of the 3rd August 'STOP THIS CRAZY
DEVELOPMENT POLICY' makes very interesting reading, as do letters
complaining of the lack of AFFORDABLE HOUSING, PERSISTING FAULTS
WITH THE GHA, etc, etc.
However, all these complaints are directed against the government,
this is a MAJOR ERROR, which needs to be corrected.
The BLAME must be put squarely on the shoulders of those who are to
blame, THE ELECTORATE.
Since the beginning of internal self government in Gibraltar the
electorate has always decided for PARTY GOVERNMENT, this has created
a series of DICTATORSHIPS, some of which, benevolent to the lesser
fortunate people of the community, such as the GSLP, and some, like
the present administration, whose arrogance blames everything but
For example the Deputy CM blames the lack of land for the lack of
affordable housing. He does not blame the government for selling the
little available land to entrepreneurs for HIGH COST HOUSING.
The minister responsible for the GHA swears black and blue that
there are no faults with the GHA.
The CM does not care two hoots for the lesser fortunates of our
community, this he has demonstrated during two and a half terms in
office. Not one brick has his government laid for affordable
housing, even though he promised such in his campaign to gain
office. Yet this ELECTORATE has given this government not one, not
two, but three four year terms, and is likely to give it a fourth.
I believe that the electorate, either, does not KNOW the meaning of
DEMOCRACY (GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE),
are too apathetic, or haven't got what it takes to put DEMOCRACY
Let us, therefore, not put the blame on the Government, let us blame
OURSELVES for (a) repeatedly electing a Government which has failed
in all these things, or, (b) for not having what it takes to do
something about it.
Third World Health Care
Surely I am not alone in experiencing problems in getting to see a
doctor and am not the only one who is unable to just turn up at the
centre and wait to be seen.
For weeks I have sat on the end of a telephone line just waiting for
either one of the advertised numbers to be answered or for the
recorded voice to turn into a human one and by the time that it does
there are no advance appointments to be made or what there are
available are embargoed.
The term Primary Care implies first level, ideally preventative
How many people are rendered beyond the stage of preventative and
end up in Critical Care or a wooden box because of this inept
Please see my attached letter to my GP copied
to the Care Centre Manager and Minister for Health
Why are we being submitted to such Third World Health Care
Susan M Haywood
*Letter sent to Dr S Jones at the Primary
Dear Dr Jones
Re Making an Advance Appointment
I have been trying to make an appointment to see you for the past 2
weeks and by the time someone actually answers the telephone all the
appointments are taken.
This morning I started calling all 3 numbers listed in the telephone
book at 0834 am, the only number that was answered was 52441, with a
voice message. I continued to hold in blocks of 10 minutes at a
time, I was eventually answered at 0946.
I have been told that there are now no appointments available to see
you until the end of August or early September and then informed
that there are available appointments but that there was an embargo
I then asked to speak to the Practice Manager and was transferred to
a number that remained unanswered.
This is totally unacceptable as being denied access to a Doctor, is
not only inhumane but potentially life threatening.
I explained my circumstances to you, that I am self employed but
working from home and that I have to be contactable preferably by
e-mail between the hours of 0830 to 1830 Monday to Friday and that
if I should have to go out then I must transfer my landline to a
Mobile. Of course I cannot have my mobile switched on in a Health
Facility and that renders me in breach of my employment terms.
Therefore I cannot sit in the Care Centre for hours waiting to be
attended and have to make an advanced appointment.
I have reached a point where my life is threatened because of lack
of access to a doctor and therefore treatment which is needed.
I would urge you and your colleagues to review this situation and I
fear that I will be unable to continue preventive treatment
forthwith, because available appointments are embargoed.
Susan M Haywoood
CC Primary Care Services Manager,
Minister for Health.
Thanks for swimming pool
The Help Us To Help Them Support Group would like to give its most
sincere thanks to the Chief Minister, Mr Peter Caruana and the
Minister of Social Affairs, Mrs Yvette Del Agua in their decision of
a purpose built swimming pool for the elderly and disabled people.
The construction of the project began at the end of May with the
repositioning of the GASA car park. Excavation works for the pool
itself have also started and completion is expected to take place in
December of this year.
The Support Group would also like to give its thanks to a newspaper
for their interest shown in announcing the above-mentioned. However,
we feel it is imperative to clarify certain points.
First of all may we say that it should have been announced that the
promised swimming pool is not only for the elderly but also for the
disabled people. Furthermore, we would like to inform members of the
public with the facts of the current state of affairs so that the
whole story is clarified.
This idea was first presented to Government by the Chairman Mr Julio
Pons, when the old Montagu Sea Bathing Pavilion was demolished. Many
people had used this venue as a way of getting into the water, when
they could not manage the sand on the beaches. We have had several
meetings with Yvette Del Agua, Minister for Social Affairs, in order
to identify a suitable area to create a swimming facility, for
people who are unable to access the beach or pools.
On February 2003 we were finally able to meet with the Government
about this swimming facility, which we wanted for the disabled and
elderly in Gibraltar. As a result of the points made a plan for the
new swimming pool was drawn up which was discussed further with the
Disability Awareness Group, Disability Society and the Senior
Citizens Associations. Once an area which can be safely used, year
round, and all the planning has been finalized Yvette Del Agua has
announced the details of this area, which be such an asset to these
In relation to the comments made by the newspaper, for which it
states and we quote, “But they’ve already gone the wrong way about
it. Those senior citizens and others who swim in the sea at GASA
during summer now have to put up with all the dust and noise.
Couldn’t they have started in March or September?”
Even if these works had started in March the elderly and others who
swim in the sea at GASA will in any way have to put up with all the
dust and noise by the fact that these works will take several
months. Given that these works is for the elderly and disabled
swimming facility, for which the complex will include an 18x20 metre
pool equipped with a ramp and other amenities to enable it to be
enjoyed by disabled persons and elderly people, including wheelchair
access. Not to mention other facilities for which we are sure that
the elderly and others will not mind in putting up with the dust and
noise as the above-mentioned is so much needed.
May we stress that on our last cavalcade the Chairman Mr Julio Pons
handed a letter to the 3 Wise Men addressed to the Chief Minister,
asking the 3 Wise Men if the pool for the elderly and the disabled
will be ready for 2005. We are sure that the reason for which these
works have started during these months and the completion is
expected to take place in December of this year is due to the fact
that Mr Julio Pons’ request has been granted to make him happy this
In conclusion we must stress that constructive criticism is
exercised frequently. It is very easy to engage in criticism, more
so of a destructive nature. Indeed, anyone would endeavour to inform
themselves before jumping to conclusions. In this way once fully
informed with the facts, then constructive criticism would be
May we congratulate the Chief Minister and the Minister of Social
Affairs for demonstrating that you do care in assisting the elderly
and disabled people.
Chairman Julio Pons
Member of the committee
The Gibraltar Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is in
the process of appointing an Animal Welfare Officer for Gibraltar.
They are in the fortunate position of having a former UK RSPCA
officer available to fill this position if and when funding is put
in place. It appears that the funding is to be a mix of Government
money and private sponsorship which has yet to be finalised.
I would urge all parties involved to make every effort to ensure
that such a valuable opportunity to acquire this vital service does
not slip away due to inaction.
'Cesspool of corruption'
As a resident of the UK, I was amused to hear your correspondent
call it a 'cesspool of corruption'. So far this has not stopped many
Gibraltarians from coming to study and work here, and I doubt that
staunchly Catholic Malta's accession to the EU will prompt them to
move there en masse, where divorce is still not allowed, never mind
abortion or same sex marriages -even if the weather is nicer.
Many Spanish and Italian families send their children to study
English in Ireland, in the belief that it is still a bastion of
Catholic values. Yes, I'm sure, just as most young Gibraltarians who
go across the border on weekends do so to take part in Catholic
As to the merits of celibacy for priests, what a pity some of them
do not practise it, as many unfortunate Irish altar boys will agree.
In 1996, I saw a TV news report about a priest in Durham being
arrested for child abuse. I telephoned some friends of mine, and,
sure enough, it was the same priest who married them two years
Private parts are private business, and as long as one isn't doing
harm to anyone else with them, that's how they should stay. As they
say in the US military: don't ask; don't tell; don't harrass. That
doesn't mean that abstinence isn't laudable, nor that sex should not
be intended for procreation within a monogamous marriage. Indeed,
one should not have to be a priest in order to be celibate, or
celibate in order to be a priest.
When the Isle of Man decriminalised what one local politician called
'the apalling, unnatural, and offensive act of buggery', some people
thought that incest and bestiality would be next. The less
charitable might add that in the Isle of Man, such a step would be
unnecessary. As the genetic pool of the Gibraltarians is wonderfully
diverse, and sheep are wonderfully absent, there is little risk of
them becoming like the Manx (or the Falkland Islanders). Thank God!
Why is this
allowed to happen?
I regularly go to Camp Bay because I have an eight year old child
and I find it much safer than any other beach. I think it is
outrageous that no matter at what time of the morning you go you
always find that the great majority of tables have already been
taken with umbrellas that are still closed.
Now if the people owning these beach umbrellas were going to arrive
at some stage during the morning or early afternoon I could
understand it to a certain extent but there are times when the
umbrella doesn't get used at all.
On Monday, I spent all afternoon at the beach and there were 2
umbrellas right beside me that never got used (I didn't leave till
9pm) this was right in front of the pool and on the sea front there
were 4 that didn't get used.
Why do the local authorities allow this to happen? Surely if the
umbrella is closed and not being used the Police should be removing
them and putting them in storage till they get claimed by their
owners so that other people can make use of this space. I am sure if
this were the case that people would think twice before being so
selfish as to stop people who genuinely want to be at the beach the
place that is the safest to guard their children.
Jesamine J De La Rosa
Gib on the net
I refer to the column “Gib on the net” dated the 12th July. It
covers much ground but... “local affairs dominate the discussions on
internet.” “The media is making a great deal of noise about the
Spanish new civil law legalising same sex marriage.” Also, that they
can adopt children. The writer asks:- “Is there any sign of
Gibraltar following suit?” God forbid. The anus has a purpose but
not to be impaled. Is this what the writer approves in the name of
“freedom?” Many crimes and abuses have been committed and are
committed in the name of “freedom” (liberty) and one of them is
terrorism. As to adoption: is a child to grow up in a disgusting
collusion between man and man and woman and woman with the
columnist’s blessing? The Catholic Church he writes, “seem” against
such things. The Church does not “seem”; but is totally opposed to
it. A possible EU directive must be rejected immediately in
Gibraltar as a predominantly Roman Catholic Community reinforced by
our other exemplary religious brothers.
Christian marriage is a sacrament instituted by Jesus Christ and the
foundation of the family. No higher value. The union is an act of
love between husband and wife, not a lustful liaison between man and
man and woman and woman.
My question again: Does the writer of the article also bless those
indecent unions in the name of “human rights”?
A legal (man’s) joining of partners is not love but lust. The
different between marriage and homosexuality and lesbianism is
The writer also asks: “Does marriage undermine anybody?” Yes, by
corruption even to the level of adopting children. Another point
mentioned is that the UK is on the right track about civil contracts
in a civil marriage. Today the UK is a cesspool of corruption.
Mention is made of Holy Orders and celibacy. It is an essential
condition for the priesthood and this cannot be changed. The
vocation is a gift from God and the reward is in proportion to the
I have seven children. How could I have possibly devoted my life to
my family and the Church? I looked at my wife’s legs over 55 years
ago and sacrificed the glory of sainthood. Semanarists study for six
or seven years. They have ample opportunities to leave at any time
even at the moment of their ordination. Once they take their final
vows it should be for life like the late Father George McGrail. God
I wish the writer of the column happiness but he would be a far
happier man if he upheld the fundamental doctrine of the Roman
Catholic Church, if he is a Catholic.
Further to a complaint made to the Buildings and Works Department in
relation with a welfare case by the fact that the kitchen unit was
in a terrible state of disrepair, we The Help Us To Help Them
Support Group would like to give its thanks to the Head of
Estimators Mr Dyam Prats.
Given that the kitchen unit was in such a state of disrepair, for
which it was reported one year ago, once we voiced our concerns to
the Head of Estimators Mr Dyam Prats, he informed us that
consequently this matter was already in the pipe line and in hand as
a matter of emergency.
The kitchen unit was installed two weeks later.
The actions of the Senior Management, Head Of Estimators and
Estimators have now become both pro-active and efficient and can
only be classed as the proper manner to act when a tenant complains.
May we congratulate the Head of Estimators, Mr Dyam Prats for his
professional etiquette and most important for his integrity with the
above mentioned matter.
Chairman Julio Pons
Member of the committee Jessica Collado
HOUSING: Apologies alone not good
May I through your column add my comments to those of other readers
who are astounded by the housing situation in Gibraltar.
May I commence by reminding government that apologies are all very
good when they are backed by positive action. In cases where the
Chief Minister apologises for their inactivity in the housing front,
but then does nothing, this is just shocking, as if a simple apology
is going to make people forget and make everything ok.
As with a previous letter, families on the Social A or Medical lists
are being made to wait for over a year to be allocated a residence.
I would like to add the lack of shelter facilities for people who
are homeless but are not cases of domestic violence. There are, for
example, couples who separate and the father leaves the matrimonial
home to his wife and children but thereafter has nowhere to go.
In many cases they have to move back with their own parents, due to
not being able to afford to pay rent, especially when they have a
low income and children are involved and they pay maintenance. The
same is the case for mothers, or wives, who leave the matrimonial
home, who, when they have nowhere to go often end up squatting. Also
people who have just left Bruce's Farm and have no adequate housing
either have to rely on the generosity of other family members, or
often end up squatting.
Regarding empty flats, perhaps government should contact the general
public to find out exactly how many there are. Everyone I talk to
seems to know of a number of such dwellings, yet the Chief Minister
recently said that they are going to do a report to see how many
empty flats there are. Another “publicity stunt” from government
trying to justify the inadequate situation by making us believe that
something is being done.
As far as cases like the tenders for Rosia Court are concerned,
Government treats locals with insolence by offering them the
possibility of a house and yet making the people wait for months
before making the tender results public, a splendid example of a
carrot and stick situation. In other cases such as Lind House, these
have been sold to developers who now sell these at exorbitant
I would also like to highlight the wonderful work and hard efforts
of the one woman who has been there for victims of domestic violence
for seventeen years. As mentioned in a previous letter, the house is
currently full to capacity with women and their children, who
despite everything that they have already been through, specially
the children, are now treated with disregard by Government.
Our future in Gibraltar is the same as Monaco. There the natives
from Monaco have to live in France, because they can’t afford to
live in their homeland. They travel to Monaco every day to work and
then back “home” to France. At this rate we will all become frontier
workers in our homeland.
Government will have to remember their inadequate stance when the
votes are cast in the next elections. Some people say that
Governments are not ousted from power, rather they drive themselves
out of command. If our present government believe this to be true,
they are doing everything possible to prove the theory right.
I have read that the La Linea pensioners association are threatening
with blocking vehicular access to Gibraltar if they are not paid
what they claim.
May I ask if this blockage at the frontier will also apply to
themselves and they will not be able to cross to Gibraltar to
collect their pensions.
Trilateral talks - VOGG
Since its return from the protest at The Sheraton - Algarve, The
VOGG has taken its time in analysing, as much as possible, all the
official statements, media reports, interviews and comments on the
talks, in order to give a measured opinion.
The VOGG's conclusions on this meeting are no different from those
on the one previously held in Malaga. The F&CO sat on the fence,
only intervening when its interests were alluded to, i.e. pensions,
submarines and MOD's part in any airport arrangements. The MAE,
reflected in Pons' comments and body language, was not amused. The
Chief Minister again ran the show and so it must be, after all,
Gibraltar is the one and only issue on the agenda. Chilcott's 'modus
operandi', intentional or otherwise, forces the Spaniards,
reluctantly no doubt, to talk directly to the Chief Minister. That
in itself is something of a success. At the end of the day, the
process may look to cure some of the 'symptoms' but the 'disease'
will remain, awaiting future 'festering'.
The 'tripartite' forum has set a protocol whereby joint statements
are issued in diplomatic jargon, with the minimum of detail. This
unfortunately leads to speculation and the subsequent increase in
scepticism on The Rock. The VOGG has no intention of adding to this,
but will offer 'food for thought' for objective debate, away from
the mud - slinging of the bi-partisan political system.
The core message of the protest in Portugal was why talks are not
held on The Rock. After juggling with the Chief Minister's and Pons'
replies to questions on this point, The VOGG is obliged to enquire:
- Were the Spaniards invited to Gibraltar and refused or was it
assumed that they would not come and therefore not asked? - Was it a
concern of the local administration that such a visit might cause a
It is 'wishful - thinking' on the part of the Chief Minister to
believe that the People of Gibraltar will not react to a visit by
representatives of a government which is hell - bent on taking over
their homeland. If this is a concern now, it will continue to be so
tomorrow and for a while to come. The VOGG would protest, in its
proven peaceful and dignified manner, during such visits, not just
because of restrictions, should they still be in place, but against
the sovereignty claim. However, it cannot speak for the actions of
others, as occurred during Jack Straw's stroll.
Spain has to accept that its 'talante', to-date merely rhetoric,
must be converted into concrete actions of good - will, if not
legality. Restrictions, exclusions and the blocking of Gibraltar's
applications to international bodies must stop.
The VOGG refutes the so-called confidence building measures, so much
part of the Spaniards' rhetoric, if these travel down a one-way
street to Spanish sovereignty. The journey must also proceed in the
opposite direction, where Spaniards learn to accept a Gibraltar,
decided in its own future, which is of no prejudice or threat to
them. The latter cannot be allowed to become another bit of 'wishful
- thinking' but the paramount 'reality'.
On the day of the launch of the talks, The VOGG issued a statement,
critical of the Chief Minister's defence of Spanish 'sensitivities'.
After his clear-cut message in 'EL PAIS' interview, it is somewhat
relieved. Once again, The VOGG takes the liberty of suggesting that
the sort of language therein is what Gibraltarians expect from its
leaders. More of the same will diminish the level of scepticism and
bring about a state of consistency that will allay the apprehensions
of many. Most important of all, it strengthens The Rock's
Furthermore, since the 'devil is in the detail', transparency on the
progress of any prospective agreements is advisable. No - one,
repeat no - one, in the end, wants a 'shock', which can easily be
avoided by a regular feel of the pulse on 'the street' and less
'statesmanship' behind the closed doors of 'ivory towers'.
Finally, a word for the elected Opposition. The VOGG shares in its
congratulations for Monaco's Prince Albert's support for Gibraltar's
IOC application. However, the People of Gibraltar are more expectant
in hearing its reaction to the latest round of 'talks'. In the same
way as The VOGG calls on the Chief Minister to be more 'in touch'
with popular feeling, it asks the Opposition to end its deaf - dumb
policy and create the debate that is so essential to a democratic
society, respective sycophants apart.
Paul TUNBRIDGE/Julio PONS (spokesmen)
THE VOICE OF GIBRALTAR GROUP.