Development and Planning Commission
living in the stone age
The Development and Planning Commission is acting in a fashion as
erratic as the general concept of planning and development in
Gibraltar these days.
After months and months of a major controversy, the DPC has issued
its decision on the proposed funicular project. And pinned the whole
document in an office in Europort hoping someone would go over to
Someone could have tipped off some in the media about it, or
supplied it with a copy or a reporter may have decided to spend his
days and nights on a bunk bed outside the office in case an official
sneaks out to pin the latest decisions from the DPC.
Such decisions are meant for public consumption, moreso a decision
concerning a controversy over the funicular which had been raging
for months on end.
It would have dawned on any child of nursery age that this was an
issue of great public interest - and hence the public at large
needed to be informed.
It is clear that the DPC is in a state of chaos, perhaps so full of
self-importance that their better judgment gets clouded.
The DPC appears not to have realised that they are there to provide
a public service, and some official or other, or some minister or
other, must be responsible for properly organising its public
While the funicular was a major issue, requiring special treatment,
there is no doubt that the DPC should urgently revise its procedures
and modernise its old-fashioned ways. We are living in a
technologically-advanced age for systems and procedures to follow
suit, and not be enmeshed in methods more in keeping with the stone
As a matter of course, shortly after any decsion is taken by the DPC,
the media should be informed so that the public at large can be duly
informed about matters which are of great public interest.
Will it all end en el toilet del Quarry?
Cynthia mia, que me dijo mi amiga Mariquita en ! Sandy Bay ayer that
el Chief Minestra y un Leon fueron a Torremolinos a planchar.
My dear Cloti, I don't know if there was a planchaso, pero as I
understand it they went there to 'iron out' their difficulties, or
don't you have the GCSE in English? Esta bien, no te mosquees
conmigo, all I was doing was telling you lo que me dijo Mariquita.
Mind you, el otro dia sacaron una maquina en Sandy Bay capaz de
planchar a cualquiera, pero that's something else.
Okay, pero esta gente se están dando unas comelonas at our expense ,
porque in July se fueron a hablar about our Gibraltar en un luxury
hotel in the Al-garve, ahora se van a comer a un restaurante en
Torremolinos which I am sure was not un chiringuito, will the next
round of talks take place en un bar en la Atunara?
Que agudo. Mientras no termine todo en el toilet del Quarry que no
tiene ni agua!
What a way to discuss our future, my dear. I hope que no se lo estén
tomando a cachonfinger, porque ellos se chupan los dedos after
eating un buen potaje y nosotros out here escamao que no se vayan a
meter in our airport.
I don't know, los rumours are que quieren hacer
un túnel como el del Casemates to link up our terminal con un secret
building which the Spaniards are to build in La Linea.
I would suggest that we keep the key, and do a sort of Ceremony of
the Keys para asegurarno que no se trague la llave el Leon.
La cosa esta que da susto, porque el Alcalde se ha quedao mudo,
which is surprising porque los Spaniards cantan por todo, hasta
Lo ultimo que dijo fue que el isthmus is part of the La Linea
municipality, po este tío se quiere quedar hasta con los Glacis.
Give them an inch and they'll take a mile, eso es lo que siempre me
decía mi tatarabuelo.
Bueno, el Chief Minestra dice que el sovereignty que no lo toque
nadie, conque que se lo que hay que tocar, como no sea el Spanish
Bueno, hija, vamo a cantarle a la Virgencita de Europa for if the
flies. Ciao. — Cheerio! —
What are the chances of Gibraltar winning the taxation case?
The complaint made to the European Commission by locally-registered
law firm Europe Advisers about alleged discrimination of certain EU
workers throws the spotlight, in an oblique way, to another EU
matter affecting Gibraltar: The deision that Gibraltar's taxation
must follow that of the UK.
This matter, which flows from the tax-exempt companies, led to the
European Commission taking a line which the Gibraltar government
sees as being something of a catastrophe for the finance centre if
the EC view wins the day.
The matter has been raised in the European courts, but what are the
chances of Gibraltar winning?
While the Foreign Office and the Gibraltar government think they are
going to win, there are those in Europe who cannot understand how
Gibraltar's tax laws can be so different to those of the UK, which
is the member state.
In the submission regarding EU workers, it is stated that the UK has
only one membership to the European Union.
"In article 299(4) of the Treaty it is clarified that Gibraltar is a
part of the United Kingdom," said the submission.
And they then add that this was the EC's point of view in its
decision on the tax-exempt situation.
In this decision, they add, the Commission did not support a
proposal it had received from the Government of Gibraltar concerning
its company taxation regime, which the Commission argued would
differ from the regime in the United Kingdom.
It is important to note that such arguments are being advanced by
two lawyers who are from EU countries other than the UK, which may
indicate that in continental Europe matters are viewed from a
different perspective to that of the UK.
If the judges who are to hear the case on the tax-exempt situation
are largely from continental European countries, as indeed they will
be, it could well be that their perception of things will be more
European than British.
And if such is the case, what are the chances of Gibraltar winning
the taxation case? And if we don't win, what?
Will the Feetham factor help a third party
to make inroads?
In politics you never know. Such as Dan Feetham saying he would
fight Caruana and the GSD from the rooftops, and ending up joining
In elections you never know either. There is a notion that third
parties don't make it, but there are exceptions.
Ask anyone who remembers the golden years of the AACR, the
untouchables of politics. In the 1969 election, the AACR did not get
their eight in, instead the Integration Party and the Isola group,
one with 5 and the other with 3, were to form government.
Can it happen again?
Nothing cannot be ruled out - at the right time.
Parties who have been in power for too long start a deterioration
process which they themselves do not seem to realise. This is
because there is a tendency to be surrounded by 'Yes' men.
The recent PANORAMA poll caused something of an earthquake in
political circles, when the GSD came out as second best.
In GSD circles they like to think this was mid-term blues. Could be,
but was it?
Even at the 2003 election, that was the last election, the
differences between the two main parties was not that big.
If that trend has continued, and if the Feetham factor will turn out
to be negative for the GSD, will a situation be created where a
third party could sneak in?
Those who are in circles which are critical of going for Labour, who
seem to think that fragmentation could set in if there is a third
party which is seen to be something of a force which could attract
votes from the GSD.
Can the GSD be weakened to a point where they would not win the next
election? Can a third party make more inroads that just knock the
eighth man out?
It all depends on the strength of the GSD - the fact is that they
could not win a landslide at the last election and the indicators
are that an opinion poll has taken them downhill.
Feetham may have dented his credibility to be a real vote-catcher,
while there are many in the GSD who would not vote for him for a
number of reasons, in the same way that there are those who say they
would not vote for Bossano.
So, what will the end result be? Interesting times.
Pons dice que la Laguna is Spanish...
I say, querida Cynthia, did you hear what Pons said? That la Laguna
Que me dices, como puede Julio Pons decir eso when he is the
chairman of the Laguna association y todo?
Que tonta que eres, you must be affected by the levante. El que lo
ha dicho es el Ping-Pons, el del Spanish foreign ministration que
anda con los tripartite talks.
Mujer, me parecía que era una locura - aunque si eso es lo que ha
dicho el Ping-Pons la locura sigue.
Ping-Pons dice que el istmus is Spanish, es decir from la verja - as
he calls the frontier - to los Casemates, conque incluye more than
just la Laguna.
Si eso es lo que piensa ese caballero español how can we carry on
having cooperation talks with him?
Not only that, but he thinks that if we do not agree with him
nuestras posturas son estupidas!
What a cachonfinger. If you ask me, if anyone is stuck in the past
it is him porque he even thinks que la frontera no es una frontera!
Y con lo de los flights from Madrid, hasta el General Franco allowed
los Spanish flights.
Y del Patajamon mejor decir nada. Se ha cargao a su partido so that
he can join the GSD, no wonder que el Chief Minestra dice que the
Labour party no longer exists.
Según me dijeron en la Caleta, los Labour members were not even
consulted - la cosa huele mal, I must say.
I prefer jamon York, scouts honour. Changing the page, you can now
start saving pa comprarte un affordable house, ta, ta.
Me la comprare cuando las ranas crien pelo, ciao.
The European status of Gibraltar
by EMILIO PEIRE
THE THIRTEENTH JURISDICTION
When the European venture comprised twelve states plus Gibraltar,
Joe Bossano used to say that the Rock was the thirteenth state.
Theoretically it might be thought to be. In actual fact it was the
thirteenth Jurisdiction! It had the very same rights and obligations
as the others; except in three specific areas, including VAT and the
Common Agricultural Policy, which takes up 40% of the budget! This
equal status was maintained, without any difficulties throughout the
periods in office as Chief Ministers of Sir Joshua Hassan and Mr.
Since joining the Common Market Gibraltar as a separate jurisdiction
though not a state has accepted the European regulations and
directives that apply to it in the same manner and at similar time
as any of the other jurisdictions, who were states in their own
right. European Law has had to be written into the Gibraltar Law,
because Gibraltar is a separate jurisdiction and is not a part of
the United Kingdom. It should have equal rights and not be subjected
to the bilateral impositions agreed to by the UK and Spain
A CHANGE OF GOVERNMENT
Prior to the election of the Gibraltar Social Democrats, Gibraltar
shared in all European rights, benefits and obligations without any
interference from any of the other Jurisdictions, who were all
independent states. But, with Mr. Peter Caruana in office, the
Spanish Government has succeeded in excluding Gibraltar from
conventions, thereby denying its rights and benefits. Incumbents at
the Palacio de Santa Cruz, incessantly monitor all European
proposals and interfere to deny us the benefits through the simple
fact that we are not a state. At the same time the Spanish
Commissioners, well supported by the Spanish Foreign Ministry, press
for unreasonable prompt execution of all our obligations. All this
with an apparent tacid approval of the British Commissioners, the
Foreign Office, and worst of all the frustrating ineffectiveness of
our own Chief Minister, whose well publicised initial objections and
promised action come to nothing in the end.
The ever busy public relations spinning machine of the Gibraltar
Government attempts to create public resentment against all but the
very man, who, through fear of confrontation, weakness or by design
invariably succumbs to injustices and illegalities perpetrated
against Gibraltar. A man who, ironically could have universal
support from the Gibraltarians and British public opinion if he
challenged the Foreign Ministers to adopt the Wellington Way(1) and
stand up against the Spanish Government for the way they have
contrived to undermine our European status, trampled on our
interests and ignored our wishes.
THE FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
One has only to read the recommendations in of the Foreign Affairs
Committee over the last few years to confirm the above.
The Fourth Report of Session 1998-1999 states:
(23) We conclude that there have been occasions in the past when the
British defence of Gibraltarian interests has not been so robust as
it should have been. Of all our overseas territories, Gibraltar is
in the unique position of having to conform to almost all EU
regulations and directives. This means that the British Government
have a special duty of care towards Gibraltar in the European Union,
and places extra responsibilities upon the United Kingdom Ministers
to uphold the interests of Gibraltar. We urge Her Majesty´s
Government both to recognise and to act in full accordance with
The Eleventh Report of Sessions 2001-2002 states:
(e) We concluded that the Government was wrong to negotiate joint
sovereignty when it must have known that there was no prospect
whatsoever that any agreement on the future of Gibraltar which
included joint sovereignty could be made acceptable to the people of
Gibraltar, and when the outcome is likely to be the worst of all
worlds - the dashing of raised expectations in Spain, and a complete
loss of trust in the British Government by the people of Gibraltar.
The same could be said of the present various levels of talks in
progress and planned.
If our economy has continued to grow it is only because of the
Spanish persistent all pervading propaganda against Gibraltar. The
Spanish media has constantly complained of Gibraltar as a tax free
territory and a haven for dubious capital where everyone profits by
registering companies, etc. It has served to attract to Gibraltar
millions of intrigued European visitors. This has been followed by
investment capital from all quarters, which was previously just
pouring into the Costa towns like Marbella! Some wise person once
said that there is no bad propaganda. In the case of the Rock it has
been proved true.
THE NEED FOR CHANGE
Our present predicament in the European Union especially the fact
that everything affecting Gibraltar is now processed in a bilateral
way by the United Kingdom and Spain must be resolved. A Gibraltar
Government, well supported by “groupies” must face up to this
challenge. It must lobby the British and European Parliaments and
inform public opinion in Europe in order to reverse the trend and
recover our standing in Europe. Our Government should ensure that
European Members give back to Gibraltar its rightful status as a
separate jurisdiction in Europe and our little country must then
stand or fall on its merits under the critical but honest eyes of
the United Kingdom and Europe.
The constitutional talks must replace ministerial talks with Spain.
The latter will only lead to greater evils locally. They give false
hope to Spain without any reason and they do not have the
indispensable support of the Gibraltarians. One cannot see our
present Government even attempting this.
(1). The Wellington Way: "YOU MAY RELY ON THIS, THAT IF YOU TAKE A
FIRM AND DECIDED LINE, AND SHOW YOUR DETERMINATION TO GO THROUGH
WITH IT, YOU WILL BRING THE SPANISH GOVERNMENT TO THEIR SENSES, AND
YOU WILL PUT AN END TO THEIR PETTY CABALS"
By Joe Carseni
No improvement in day-to-day running of St Bernard's Hospital
On the 15th March this year, I wrote about the new St. Bernard's
Hospital. I praised the GHA for a job well done on the transition
from the old to the new. However, I also did mention that although
this hospital was equipped with high technology and cosmetically
beautiful, it had to be run with strict professional ethics.
Based on my own experience, I can now tell you that I see no
improvement in the day to day running of St. Bernard's. I find that
with the exception of a few staff members, the majority still show
signs of very un-professional approach towards patients and lack of
hygienic practice which should be a must and a priority in
Last week, we were a total of three patients that had knee
arthroscopy done. No surgeon or doctor came to do their post
operative round to re-assure and explain to us what was done and/or
what discrepancies were found in each case.
The following morning, the charge nurse came with a little brown
card telling us that we could now go home but that we would have to
go to the records office on Monday to schedule an appointment with
the surgeon in two weeks.
In other words, this unprofessional attitude that originated from
the surgeon was reflected down onto the nursing staff with no
concern for the patients.
First of all, the appointment should have been made there and then
by the nursing staff without having to inconvenience the patient.
In addition, when we were discharged, we were offered no wheel chair
assistance to the entrance of the hospital. Just think of this....
Three knee operations and made to walk from the orthopaedic ward to
the hospital's main lobby.... This is quite a long walk especially
for anyone that temporarily has lost the mobility of one leg.
Intravenous needles were removed and placed on one of the seats
right there in the ward. These needles were soiled with blood,
something that in this day and age where AIDS is a great threat to
human life, adequate measures should and must be taken to avoid
Breakfast serving personnel serving Wheatabix cereal placing
portions bare-handedly on the plate. Have these people gone through
any kind of training?
Nursing staff by their counter, continuously talking to each other
at the top of their voices without any consideration for those
nearby patients who have to overhear all kinds of personal and job
related negativism towards their employers (The GHA). Management is
totally responsible for this attitude and if charge nurses allow
themselves to be drawn into these types of discussions, how on earth
can they set example to others?
CODE OF ETHICS
We all know the saying "Familiarity breeds contempt" This is
something that both Mr. Britto and the CEO should emphasize to their
management staff to ensure that a code of ethics and professionalism
be strictly adhered to. Nursing, besides being a profession, it
requires at the same time, an element of vocation. The absence of
one without the other is not conducive to good performance of
Televisions not in working order.... but most important, there were
blood pressure taking apparatus that continued to malfunction.
Mr. Britto and the CEO should make sporadic calls to the hospital
from an outside line so that they can see for themselves that they
either cannot get through or the caller gets the biggest ran-around
of their lives. Telephone switchboard is the lifeline to any kind of
business but to hospitals where human lives are concerned, there is
no excuse at all for the lack of prompt answering and/or
transferring to the proper departments, which incidentally, these
too show little or no interest in answering.
I will continue to constructively criticize the GHA in the hope that
top Honchos will come up with an answer to better both the quality
and calibre of service to those unfortunate people that have to
depend on services that need and must be improved on.
Not Gibraltar's problem
The Chief Minister has been saying in the past that the EU Tax
Savings Directive, which means that London has to be provided with
details of bank deposits, could be a bad thing for Gibraltar. He has
been saying he will have none of this.
Certainly because Gibraltar is part of the UK for EU purposes, there
is no need to inform London. The same does not apply to the Channel
islands and the Isle of Man who are not in the EU and have entered
into a separate agreement with the UK.
But they see a great benefit for their finance centre threatened, if
they have to inform London and we do not have to.
If there is a problem it is a problem between the UK and the
islands. What has that got to do with us?
If Gibraltar stands to benefit from its EU membership - and about
time too! - then we should not be made to give up that benefit, much
less should the chief minister come out saying that he is happy to
sign away our EU rights.
No to claim, yes to self-determination
A vital difference between the Gibraltar question and that of
Northern Ireland is that Dublin gave up its formal claim to Northern
Ireland and at the same time accepted the concept of
In Gibraltar's case the Spanish government continues with its
archaic claim and denies the right of people to determine their own
Gibraltar must continue to fight for recognition of its
self-determination AND we must not say, as some do, that Spain will
never give up its claim.
If Spain gives up its claim or does not give it up, is for Spain to
Our only argument must be to defend our position, which is that we
have self-determination and that sooner or later Spain will have to
drop its sovereignty claim which increasingly makes less and less
sense in an EU context
Officials and not ministers
SDGG spokesman Willie Serfaty made a good point in his PANORAMA
interview on Friday.
"We would prefer to see that at talks at the level of officials
Gibraltar were also represented by our own officials who, like their
UK and Spanish counterparts, would then report back to their
Government," that's what he said.
Indeed, that is how it should be.
If tripartite talks give us equality, then the chief minister should
only attend when UK and Spanish ministers do so.
Otherwise, what we are doing is downgrading the role of the chief
minister of Gibraltar.
Likewise, when there are local talks with the alcaldes, Gibraltar
should be represented by its mayor.
Otherwise, we are demoting the role of the chief minister to that of
The Right to our Land, pa los rico de
outside the back...
Valiente lio se ha armao con esto de los Savings Tax, my dear
Cynthia, y ahora quieren que Gibraltar should foot the bill porque
los del Channel islands pueden perder un buen negocio.
My dear Cloti, is it not about time that Gibraltar gained something
from its membership of the Uropean Union?
Claro que si, and so says the whole of our Gibraltar. Resulta que
because we are in the EU no tenemos que notificar al UK Governation
de los bank deposits in our Gibraltar porque siempre nos dicen que
we are part of the UK for EU purposes. O no se acuerdan del sellito
que ponian in our passports?
I know. Pero los de los Channel islands quieren el pan mantecao on
both sides, and the UK Governation agrees. Pero when we have el
bread buttered on both sides nos dicen que it is unfair y cosas de
Que verdad. Yo lo que digo es que si los Channel Islands are not
part of the EU y esto le afecta, pues mira que se metan en el EU y
que paguen las consecuencia en otras cosas in the same way that we
Of course. Why should our EU rights not be upheld porque cae mal en
los Channel Islands? Eso es como todo los rights, including los del
air liberalization, como dice Pepe, que nos lo han quitao porque a
los Spanish le cae mal.
Como lo del sport. Ahora, como dice el presidente Pardo, los Spanish
en plan cafetera de presión so that we are not allowed to join los
Olympics. Do we have rights or don't we?
Es que todo esto es un gran cachonfinger, como el out-of-bounds
island que están haciendo en el Queensway Quay pa los ricos. Con la
poco tierra y sea-front that we have in our Gibraltar, cuando se va
a acordar our Governation que habernos Gibraltarians in our
Cuando hagan casas for us lo harán near the airport, pa que nos
quedemos sordo con el ruido de los aeroplanos, or opposite the
cemetery, as if Gibraltar was not ours. No hablaba el AACR of the
right to our land?
That's right, pero el GSD se cree que we have no right to our land.
Y vengan pinturitas de los chief minestras y cosa de esa, que sirven
bien poco, while our rights se las llevan los de fuera.
Y nos quejábamos del MOD, and our own Governation nos quita what is
ours, todo el seafront and all our land, y se lo da a los outsiders,
que te parece hija de mi corazón?
Como que me pongo mala Adió mi alma.