Shipping tariffs problems not solved
In view of the comments made today in Parliament by the Hon.-
Minister Holliday, in response to questions from the opposition,
where he states that problems with the tariffs have been resolved,
we thought it would be an op-portune moment to make a public
statement on this is- i sue, on which we unfortunately do not share
the same opinion. A clear majority of companies involved in the i
Shipping industry, other than those members of the Port Advisory
Council, wrote a letter and sent a report to the \ Captain of the
Port, expressing their concerns on the in- crease of the Port
Tariffs and the long term effects these could have to Shipping in
Gibraltar, to which no reply was received. Given the circumstances
the working group rep- resenting these companies met with, the
Captain of the Port to clarify various issues mentioned in our
letter and requested to at least postpone the implementation until
the matter had been discussed further, which was met with a negative
response from the Captain of the Port. In view of the long term
effects these could bring about to the Shipping industry and the
knock on effects these may also have on service providers, a meeting
has been called for the 23rd June, which will include representative
bodies (including GTC, GFSB, Gibraltar Taxi Association and in
dividual companies, to discuss a way forward towards seek- ing, what
are considered to be vital changes to the tariffs
implemented. Thursday 11 June 2009
Yours faithfully, on behalf of: Tarik Ship Agents & Bunkering
Services Ltd,GibPort Services Ltd, Global Agency Company, A Mateos &
Sons Ltd,Turner & Co Ltd, Inchcape Shipping Services Ltd, Maritima
del EstrechoGibraltar Ltd, Fenmar Ltd, Wilhelmsen Ships Services
Ltd, Redwood (Int)Ltd, Clifton Shipping Ltd, Bominflot Gib Ltd,
James Molinary Ltd, Rock
Maritime Services Ltd, TP Towage Ltd, Sorek Shipping (Gibraltar) Ltd
"THE MOROCCAN QUESTION"
As a Christian, I know that to pass comments on Moroccan issues is
to tread a very thorny path. A problem that has been here with us
for 40 years has no easy resolution. But when all is said and done,
we are dealing with human beings who are the same as everybody else.
They have to work, eat, breath and pay their taxes, insurance and
other bills. They are also living in a democratic country where all
are equal under the law. I know that local politicians think that
there is no political capital to be made out of this issue. Mr.
Bossano, during his eight years as Chief Minister turned a blind eye
to all those poor but persistent Moroccan workers who diligently
marched to Convent Place every morning carry placards and who
manifested under his very nose for a number of years. Our present
Chief Minister has also presented many convincing arguments and
reasons why the 'Moroccan status quo' should be preserved. I see
this whole issue as a very human issue that is crying out for a
humanitarian resolution, but first of all there must be the good
faith and political will from four countries. I do believe that
unless the U.K. Government, the G.S.D. Government, the Spanish
Government and the Moroccan Government can get together in a
responsible and compassionate 'think-tank' no appreciable gains will
be made by the local Moroccan community in the advancement of their
proclaimed rights. Not so long ago a report was commissioned by the
local T.G.W.Union/Unite and experts from U.K. flew to Gibraltar on a
fact-finding mission. Of course, what these experts find out is only
what we all know and what we consequently tell them. No doubt their
findings will be splashed all over the British press giving us all a
bad name but without finding a solution to these problems. The fact
that the 1000 Moroccan workers in Gibraltar do not have an eloquent
representative in Gibraltar is tragic as Mr. Sarsi, Mr. Ratali and
now Mr. Ali Druissi speak English and Spanish very poorly and in my
estimation, it is paramount that anyone who aspires to represent a
group of people must first of all be very educated and eloquent. The
Government in Rabat has not shown any interest in the welfare of its
citizens abroad. I am sure that if the local Moroccan community had
greater representation and muscle flexed from Rabat at least Spain,
who has many interests in the Moroccan mainland would take note and
at least consider granting the local Moroccan workers a transit
permit to be able to cross the frontier each time the local ferry
was out of action so they could catch a ferry boat from Algeciras to
Tangier and Ceuta. The local Government could make the lives of
those Moroccan who do not pay rent in private accommodation easier
by accelerating the construction of a new hostel so that many could
live in humane conditions with the dignity that behoves human beings
residing in a democratic and prosperous country. As regards granting
the local Moroccan workers the right to vote, this is another matter
that I do not want to get into. All I can quote is my own example.
When I migrated to Australia in 1977 I was offered the right to
Naturalisation within four years without losing my British
citizenship or any other rights. I was extended, together with my
own family, all the rights of a born Australian, including the right
to vote. Of course, we are talking about a very huge country and
there is no point in comparing it with Gibraltar as Australia can
accommodate a great number of migrants every year and Gibraltar
cannot afford to get inundated with the families of the present
Moroccan community as all our services like schools, hospital etc
would get inundated. I therefore hope that the best efforts are
extended to the improvement of the Moroccan community by our
politicians. As the saying goes. "When there's a will, there's a
way, and so far, no government in Gibraltar has gone the whole hog
to leave no stone unturned until the plight of these loyal Moroccan
men and women is assuaged and made better to the level of each
Those Telephone Increases
There is probably nothing more unpopular to the consumer than to be
notified of increases in essential services, as is the case now with
Coupled with this is the high cost of living due to spiralling
prices in our supermarkets and some due to the devaluation of the
pound sterling in relation to the Euro and others to profiteering.
But getting back to the subject of the telephone increases it is
doubly unjust to the consumer that not being enough with increasing
the fixed line rental frame to £8 that the monthly free call of
£1.25 is removed.
This is the second time in the last two or three years that the
fixed line rental has been increased which was then £4. It is
deplorable that we now have to pay £8 every month because of this
Gibtelecom seeks to justify the increase in accordance with the
Gibraltar Regulatory Authority and will also be introducing a second
billing which they say consumers should therefore be experiencing an
overall reduction on those bills.
A lot of nonsense! The title “Reduction” should not be awarded until
the scheme has been debated more conclusively and those monthly
bills start to come in.
Plainly what is particularly true here is that if sufficient time is
taken to read “Gibtelecom Info News” and penetrate on the
information. What is revealed is no more and no less that customers
will have to pay more on those telephone bills every month. Whatever
public relations exercise they do a disgusting state of affairs when
Gibtelecom has been making huge profits.
Just as disgusting is the fact that the GSD Government holds a 50%
share of Gibtelecom and therefore ultimately responsible for
approving those increases, which clearly displays lack of Social
Justice for the low incomes citizens in our community in order that
higher profits are made.
No joint deals with Spain
In March 2008 I wrote a piece following up the Chief Minister’s
analysis of the Anglo-Spanish deal of April 2002 reference Schengen
and how good it could be for Gibraltar but expressing his concern
that the UK’s partial entry was not either then or now to involve
the Airport, question a British Regional Airport i.e. Gibraltar, so
registered we were told at the time of the UK accession so blatantly
disregarded during, before and after Cordoba.
His next point being that Spain wanted to be responsible jointly
with Britain for our affairs within the European Union, something
that he stated was unacceptable to Gibraltar and so say all of us.
Will he now lead and advise both the European Union and Britain that
any more joint this or the other is not on and that the Government
of Gibraltar will pursue the jurisdiction of our waters in Court.
Finally as a complete layman, if some one has such a strong case
within Utrecht why now wish to come to an agreement or is this a
little bit more of the airport non-concession Cordoba debacle,
Spanish hopes raised
The adage of “Give them an Inch and they will take a Mile” has
become a reality.
In days gone by the AACR advocated “Give Spain a Hope” and the IWBP
replied with “Give Spain No Hope”.
The former position led to two dangerous agreements, the Brussels
Agreement and the 1987 Airport Agreement.
It is obvious that today the Gibraltar Government plays the game of
“Give Spain a Hope”, this has been in the form of statements, made
in Spain and in local interviews, coming from the Chief Minister
that must confuse his Spanish Audience and the local readers.
In 2002 the Chief Minister said that since the question of
‘Sovereignty cannot be settled now that it was something for future
generations to decide.’
In May 2002 two Basque reporters, Txema Montero and Blas Bermudez,
wrote an article and quoted Peter Caruana in the following
perplexing interview. The confusing statements in that article arise
because Caruana starts with a positive statement saying:
“I am not prepared to accept neither full Sovereignty by Spain nor
Shared Sovereignty” (“No estoy dispuesto a aceptar ni Soberania
plena de Espana ni Soberania compartida”) He then goes on to quote
what the UK’s position is “They call it Conference Building Majors,
it is the diplomatic language used by them for everything in order
to bury historic hostility, to bury the lack of confidence and
forget everything, to make us friends to mutually cooperate
economically.. and .. so that at some future date we can return to
the Sovereignty question” “This are the British speaking and the
Spaniards fear that we will benefit economically, politically, and
socially from such a climate of normality and we may defer the
matter of Sovereignty indefinitely.” So far so good but then he
makes the following contradictory remark:
“ What I think is that Spain should entice, ‘mimar’, the
Gibraltarians a little until we say ourselves “good, the British
flag will be lowered by ourselves.”
“ Lo que pienso yo es que Espana tendria que mimar un poco a los
Gibraltarenos hasta que nosotros digamos ‘Bueno la bandera Britanica
la bajamos nosotros mismos.” (Hermes-elkarrizketa May 2002 ).
(Would someone please clarify this report and let us know that this
reporting is untrue!)
And, in 2003, in an article in ‘Parliamentary Brief’ Peter Caruana
wrote “However I do think that the new ‘post-1993 Andorra model’
supported by both France and Spain is precisely the sort of solution
we could well examine and might well support” (cit.Panorama 2nd May,
On the 15th July 2008, in an interview with Paco Oliva, the Chief
Minister is quoted as saying, “Every political leader of Gibraltar
has the obligation and duty to attempt to finally settle all
political issues affecting the Rock including its problems with
Spain”. Also “the Government would be willing to listen to any
proposals and if the Government thought that there was any mileage,
we would put them to the people in a referendum for them to have
their say” (Gibraltar Chronicle, Oliva Interview, 15th July, 2008).
In April 2009, during his talk at the ‘Casino Gaditano’ he is
reported to have said “We are at a cross-roads: we can continue
another 300 years of confrontations and conflict or we can
dialogue.” The reporter adds ‘That is why he reiterated once again
that his position is a total predisposition to negotiations,’
quoting Caruana again,“but counting with the opinion and the right
of the Gibraltarians to decide. The only condition we put is that
the rights of Gibraltar is respected and that solutions are not
reached against its wishes.”
There is no doubt what the Spaniards are going to believe if it is
said that there is a ‘predisposition to negotiate’.
If this language is intended to be ‘diplomatic’ or to ‘play’,
‘Torear a los Espanoles’, as it used to be said in former years,
then this tactics will surely fail. In the meantime no one can
question how Spanish politicians will take such statements, it is a
clear invitation to press forward what they will consider as a
weakening of the Gibraltar position. The blatant incursions into
British Gibraltar waters was a calculated move by the Spanish
Foreign Office. (Excuse the pan) but are they trying the waters?
On this question of the Jurisdiction of the British Gibraltar
waters, should it not have been the responsibility of the British
Government to take this matter up to the Courts in Europe, rather
than the Gibraltar Government. Is not this a Foreign Affairs issue?
Is this not clearly defined within our New Constitution, that
Britain is responsible for Foreign Affairs and Defence?
Joe L. Caruana
It is that time of the year again!! On Friday June 26th June we will
be holding our second 'Lunar Walk' in order to raise awareness of
breast cancer and raise money for breast cancer care services in
Gibraltar. The shorter 5 Km walk starts from Casemates, along
Winston Churchill Avenue to the Airfield, around the perimeter of
the Western end of the runway, out into Devil's Tower Road and
ending in Eastern Beach at a Party at Latino’s. This year the walk
is 1 ½ Km less than last year because we cannot walk on the Eastern
end of the runway due to the construction works.
In order to raise breast awareness, please wear a 'fun' bra or
bikini-top, on its own or over a t-shirt (men included), or wear a
customised t-shirt. If you want to wear our charity t-shirts, they
can be bought at La Senza for £5. There will be prizes for the best
outrageous outfits, so do your worst!
The walk starts at midnight, hence 'Lunar'. Registration is £5 and
starts at 9pm on the night, so just turn up and join us. At
Casemates, as from 6pm, 'Glamour Nails' will be there painting your
nails for charity and raising money for the Breast Cancer Support
Gibraltar, so why not paint the pink ribbon on them; and during
registration, there will again be glow-sticks on sale at £1 each;
the Calpe Band will be entertaining us with their dulcet tunes; and
Batuka Queen Janine Pereira will be leading the warm-up exercises at
11.30pm in order to get you going. Please wear comfortable shoes, as
last year we had many blisters due to flip flops and heels!
Gina Morello's lovely balloon display will show us the way out of
Casemates at midnight, and before you hit the Airfield, for those
who cannot wait, the Market Place toilets will be open, and there
will be a portaloo just before getting on to the runway. If you
want, take a torch with you to add to the illumination, we also
recommend you take a warm top in case it’s cool on the walk or at
At Eastern Beach, you will be met by the Band and Pipes of the Sea
Scouts; there will be food and drinks on sale at Latinos, Area 52
will be playing there live; and DJs Mifi and Groovey South,
sponsored by Latinos, will party the night away for those who have
any stamina left!
As we expect about 2,000 entrants, please be patient while waiting
for your initial order of drinks/food at Eastern Beach - you will be
served as soon as possible. For those of you who need to get back to
Casemates and do not fancy the walk back, a bus shuttle service from
MH Bland will be running from 1am till 3.30am.
We look forward to seeing you all there, please join us.
Chairman, Breast Cancer Support Gibraltar
Waiting for refund
I note you have written quite a few articles about this “airline”
I had a ticket booked for my mother in law for May 2nd – they
cancelled the flight a few days before. Over a month later, despite
4 emails and two phone calls they will still not refund the ticket,
they cite that it is being dealt with by their lawyers. You would
think any decent airline would be able to refund immediately. I am
also asking them for an additional 250 euros as per EU law if they
cancel a flight that delays a journey by more than 24 hours that is
what they have to pay. Perhaps you would be good enough to highlight
to your readers that the same thing could happen to them, book a
flight, it gets cancelled, and a month later they are still out of
pocket. I feel like going taking action in Court and serving papers
on the MD the next time he is in Gibraltar.
Insight into foreign affairs
Dear Mr Editor,
Since we live in a Society where
unfortunately each and every one ‘per force’ becomes an expert in
Foreign Affairs, I feel that the following snippets require
publication to enable the people of Gibraltar, those who count to
have an insight of what some politicians say at times and then
forget and now more important since people are beginning to query
Cordoba and the side effects.
1. Quote—Yes, we obviously would much prefer that the United Kingdom
did not discuss the question of sovereignty with Spain; but of
course we do not have the power to prevent them from doing so. (
United Kingdom Parliament, question 180 —Tuesday 20 April 1999)
2. Quote--- There is no mileage in a sovereignty discussion that
involves any degree of transfer of sovereignty to Spain, because the
people of Gibraltar and the Government of Gibraltar are implacably
opposed to it (Same question as above No 180)
3. Quote--- In your submission to us you refer to the ‘Spanish
dimension’, and ask the question, ’What does it mean?’ and I suspect
nobody here could help you on what it means but you made it quite
clear that there would be no change unless it was supported by the
people of Gibraltar. I and at least from your evidence get the
impression that we now have a situation where there will not be any
change unless it is agreed to by the Spanish Government ?
Answer—Indeed. That is a change to what? To our constitution.
(question 181- Tuesday 20 April 1999)
4. Quote—Am I right in sensing that there is something of a Spanish
veto in any discussion about your future?. Answer – Absolutely so.
Much more could be quoted but at stage suffice to highlight certain
1. The Constitution took into account Utrecht (as predicted by the
Iranian News Services in London) and surely goes against the grain
of all other treaties since Utrecht.
2. We now have a subtle reference to at least listen to any Spanish
proposals. This runs contrary to his answer to question 180 above
way back in 1999, when only 3 years in power, what has changed,
Cordoba or maturity ?
In the address to the European Atlantic group, Monday 24th November
Many in Gibraltar would support full integration with Britain.
Indeed if this were to be available I believe that it would be the
preferred choice of many Gibraltarians. Regrettably, to date, it has
not been HMG’s position that it is not willing to integrate
Gibraltar into the UK. Indeed integration would resolve many of the
practical contradictions between our Constitutional autonomy and our
EU status in relation to UK.
Question, if after 4 long years of trying to obtain a decent
Constitution for us, one that would decolonise us once and for all
not the crap of a Modern Colonial with the added insult of Utrecht
thrown in for good measure, not to offend the same people who
continue to make our lives dependent on their whims. I really think
that we did not have an honest broker and instead of pushing through
this ‘New Constitution’, it would have been a better exercise to put
to ‘Referendum’ Cordoba so that people would, with open eyes see
where we were being sold.
Spain’s main argument throughout the last 40 years has been the
non-implementation of the 1967 airport agreement, with the usual
that the piece of land was not ceded by Utrecht and therefore
stolen. Why has no politician produced the effects of Treaty of
Seville 1729. Why not Article ii of Utrecht, the part that states
quite unequivocally who the Heirs and successors to the Spanish
Crown are to be from that day (1713) onwards. This is really in
Utrecht and furthermore no provision exists to allow for any one of
the signatories to alter and/or amend any Article singly without the
consent of all others.
Do they want Utrecht, let us give it to them, Chapter and Verse.
Amendments are 'ill-judged'
The Minister for Justice Daniel
Feetham has today described Mr Picardo’s proposed amendments to the
Children Bill as “outdated, technically unsound and ill judged”.
They come seven months after the Government published the Children
Bill as a White Paper on the 8 October and a copy was sent to the
Opposition. Despite having a copy of the proposed Children Bill for
seven months and the Opposition not having raised any of these
issues. That in itself, of course, is not a reason why the
Government would not have supported constructive amendments.
However, if Mr Picardo is so serious in offering the Government an
olive branch on a non-partisan basis he could have telephoned or
written to the Minister beforehand. Had he done so he would have
been told that the Government is shortly to circulate an additional
part to the Crimes Bill that incorporates all the relevant
provisions from the UK Protection of Children Act 1978 including the
latest amendments. These are additional to the computer misuse
legislation. Mr. Picardo’s proposed amendments add nothing to the
Government’s own legislation but contain very serious flaws because
(amongst other things) he has left out important amendments made in
the UK in 1988 and 2003.For example, the UK Protection of Children
Act was amended by the Criminal Justice Act 1988 and the Sexual
Offences Act 2003. Mr Picardo has not included the exception for use
of (inter alia) photographs in criminal proceedings which was added
to the Protection of Children Act by the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
This is an important provision to protect police officers and others
investigating offences.Either Mr Picardo has not done his homework
properly or this omission (on its own) shows the danger of hurriedly
drafting amendments without carefully thinking about the
consequences or having the global picture in mind.
Secondly, clause 1 of Mr Picardo’s proposed amendments merges and
conflates possession of child pornography with taking, permitting,
distributing etc ( i.e. publication) of child pornography. In the UK
these offences are dealt with in separate sections since the
Criminal Justice Act 1988 amended the Protection of Children Act
1978. As a result of the confusion in his draft, clause 1(4) omits
the defence in relation to simple possession that the photograph or
pseudo-photograph was sent to the person without any prior request
made by him or on his behalf and that he did not keep it for an
These are but two of a long list of errors which we will deal with
at committee stage and show precisely why these are not matters to
Finally, we note that his amendments seek to increase sentencing
powers in relation to a new offence of possession and publication of
indecent photographs of children to 10 years.
In the light of the fact that the Children Bill (and hence his
potential amendments) will be brought to Parliament before his
Private Members Bill, we do not understand the point of a Private
Members Bill which is restricted solely to increasing the sentence
on a publication offence. As we have said in our previous press
release the legislative gap is in possession
and downloading. To test the colour of Mr Picardo’s olive branch,
the Minister is prepared to meet Mr Picardo in order to discuss his
amendments in the light of the Government’s own legislative
Minister for Justice
Five positive reasons
Conservative European candidates have set out five positive reasons
for voting Conservative in the European elections.
1) To make Gordon Brown change his mind and give us the referendum
on the EU Constitution he promised.
2) To vote for change and reform in Europe.
3) To get better value for money from the EU and real accountability
for EU budgets.
4) To create a greener and more dynamic economy and a better
5) To tell Gordon Brown we want a General Election – now!
There are a number of positive reasons why people should vote
Conservative this Thursday. We have been leading the agenda for
change that the EU really needs.
Only by voting Conservative can we send a message to Gordon Brown
that we must have the referendum we were promised on the European
Constitution. By voting for anyone else, we let Gordon Brown off the
Labour gave away seven billion pounds of our rebate with nothing in
return. We will fight for the EU to slash wasteful spending and give
real transparency over how the EU institutions - including MEPs -
are spending taxpayers’ money.
We need MEPs who will go to Brussels and Strasbourg to defend
Britain’s interests. Labour has let Britain down by giving up our
rebate and voting to scrap our opt-out of the Working Time
Directive. The Liberal Democrats have voted to massively extend the
powers and influence of the EU. As for UKIP, instead of defending
British interests they have repeatedly let Britain down. They have
voted for more EU red tape, to let Spanish trawlers fish in
protected British waters and against global free trade.
If people want real change in Westminster and Brussels, they will
only achieve it by voting Conservative this Thursday.
The only list with a Gibraltarian
Gibraltar should once again set an
example to the electoral regions in the United Kingdom with a high
turnout in tomorrow’s European elections. I am the only Gibraltarian
who is contesting the elections to the European Parliament.
I am very pleased with the way that my campaign has progressed. It
was a positive campaign. I am delighted with the firm undertakings
towards Gibraltar which has been given by the Leader of the Liberal
Democrats Nick Clegg MP. Equally, the commitments of Simon Hughes MP
and Graham Watson MEP to Gibraltar were solid and unshakeable.
People will recall that the right to vote in these elections came
about as a result of a long-drawn out political and legal battle. In
those circumstances it is all the more important that people in
Gibraltar turn out in large numbers and vote.
I would obviously call on people to vote Liberal Democrat for a
number of reasons:
-The Liberal Democrat list (number 7) is the only one with a
Gibraltarian on it.
-The track record of Graham Watson as Gibraltar’s MEP over the last
five years has been nothing short of excellent.
-Only the Liberal Democrats have binding policy resolutions
supporting Gibraltar at a UK, European and global level.
-The Liberal group of MEPs in the European Parliament has been the
only one to have met in Gibraltar.
I am very grateful to all those people who have stopped him in the
street practically every day of the campaign.
The Unite Union is holding a Mock
Election which has no legal backing, to highlight and at the same
time protest, that residents who are and who have been living and
working in Gibraltar for 20, 30, 40 and more years, will not be
allowed as other local residents, to vote in the European Election
to be held on Thursday 4th June 2009. This exercise is part of our
longstanding campaign to achieve equality of rights for all Non –
We consider that it is an act of discrimination that people who pay
their taxes, electricity and water bills, telephone bills, etc and
contribute to the Gibraltar economy, like any other residents, are
unable to participate and vote in this European election. Unlike
other European Countries where after 5 or 10 years residents, they
acquire the nationality and become E.U. Nationals with full rights,
including the right to vote.
We have been constantly arguing for voting rights of Non-E.U.
Nationals (majority Moroccan nationals), we consider it scandalous.
This part of the community are unable to cross the land frontier and
unable to travel on a regular basis to Morocco, because of the
unreliable ferry services that takes them from Gibraltar to Morocco.
In this Mock Election, our “Polling Station” will be Transport
House, where a ballot box will be available for those wishing to
vote. Furthermore, members from the District Committee and
sympathisers together with Moroccan Nationals will be manning the 12
polling stations with posters airing our discontent with the current
Spain's insistence on Utrecht
How true that changes occur in everyday life but what never changes
is Spain’s insistence on Utrecht, which they are so scared stiff in
defending before any International Court that they prefer to
hoodwink UNO, EU or NATO and why not say so even their own
I have recently come across various papers on the Brussels Process
which was concocted by Britain and Spain during the late Sir Joshua
Hassan’s tenure of office, but what is so striking is the difference
that still exist between a democratic politicians approach to a
rather bizarre subject i.e. the attempt to sell us down the river
and modern mature politicians.
Let me explain although Sir Joshua was not very much in favour of
this process in particular the prospect of sovereignty discussions
and let me say he attended 3 meetings and was the last Chief
Minister to do so, what follows is the true status of a democratic
politician in that his Government pledged to keep the House
regularly informed on developments in the negotiations and deposited
communiqués on the meetings.
We now come to the crux of the matter, 2 years of secret talks, no
information per se to either the House of Assembly, the media or any
one else and this we are told is a sign of maturity and
statesmanship not by diehard supporters but even by persons who in
their political days would have cried foul if this same attitude had
I would like to end by quoting from a naval saying, ‘ when we have
problems on board a ship we change the captain’
What a farce
I hope that patriotic Gibraltarians who project Spain’s harassment
and intimidation have read, listened to, and inwardly digested the
comments made by Sol Seruya in his contribution during his
participation at the seminar held at the Universidad Menendez Pelayo
in La Linea, in which he had the blatant audacity to organise praise
for the Spanish Foreign Minister Moratinos for his alleged current
part played in posing in a distinct manner as was traditionally
before the Spanish case in the Gibraltar dispute.
The whole thing of course, is a huge farce and full of hypocrisy
when Gibraltar and its people are still subjected to treatment at
the hands of the Spanish socialist government whose foreign affairs
are dealt with by no other than Sr. Moratino. Which is a disgrace to
any enlightened caring democratic nation.
Under Sr. Moratino’s ministry we now have the invasion and non
recognition of Gibraltar’s territorial waters: non recognition of
Gibraltar–flag ships: The question of regional selectivity and the
shameful situation with transit passengers when aircraft have to
land at the Malaga Airport.
A few words are also necessary when he touched upon the Cordoba deal
when he said that the spirit of cooperation so apparent in Cordoba
should not be lost.
This of course, have never been convincing to the majority of the
Gibraltarians who see the unwarranted interference against Gibraltar
and lack of genuine cooperation and good will by Spain. So apparent
on their side of the frontier with the road full of potholes and
lack of proper green and red zones.
As for the Cordoba deal. The majority of Gibraltarians do not
support the underhand deal which gives Spain joint control, with the
aid of evidence and commonsense. Which is a copy of the airport
agreement of 1987 which had been rejected by the people of Gibraltar
and the House of Assembly. The agreement was brought out, dusted ,
and with the aid of the British foreign office was “approved” by
Peter Caruana- who only represent half of the electorate.
Finally, it was wrong for Sol Seruya to use the seminar platform to
air his pro Spanish views. Spain will be judged by one standard and
one standard only-The good standard of a civilised caring
cooperative neighbour-of which she is not!
Amendments to Bill for Children
*Letter to the Speaker:
Dear Mr Speaker
I hereby give notice that at the Committee Stage of the
consideration of the above Bill, I will be moving the following
amendments to include within the provisions of the proposed Act
provisions designed to prevent the exploitation of children by
making indecent photographs of them; and to penalise the
distribution, showing and advertisement of such indecent
I have numbered the proposed amendments from 1 to 7, as I am happy
to consider with the Government where in the Bill to insert these
clauses and then number them accordingly.
1 Indecent photographs of children
(1) It is an offence for a person—
(a) to possess or to take, or permit to be taken or to make, any
indecent photograph or pseudo-photograph of a child; or
(b) to distribute or show such indecent photographs or
(c) to have in his possession such indecent photographs or
pseudophotographs, with a view to their being distributed or shown
by himself or others; or
(d) to publish or cause to be published any advertisement likely to
be understood as conveying that the advertiser distributes or shows
such indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs, or intends to do
(2) For purposes of this Act, a person is to be regarded as
distributing an indecent photograph or pseudo-photograph if he parts
with possession of it to, or exposes or offers it for acquisition
by, another person.
(3) Proceedings for an offence under this Act shall not be
instituted except by or with the consent of the Attorney General.
(4) Where a person is charged with an offence under subsection
(1)(b) or (c), it shall be a defence for him to prove—
(a) that he had a legitimate reason for distributing or showing the
photographs or pseudo-photographs or (as the case may be) having
them in his possession; or
(b) that he had not himself seen the photographs or
pseudo-photographs and did not know, nor had any cause to suspect,
them to be indecent.
(1) In proceedings under this Act relating to indecent photographs
of children a person is to be taken as having been a child at any
material time if it appears from the evidence as a whole that he was
then under the age of 18.
3 Offences by corporations
(1)Where a body corporate is guilty of an offence under this Act and
it is proved that the offence occurred with the consent or
connivance of, or was attributable to any neglect on the part of,
any director, manager, secretary or other officer of the body, or
any person who was purporting to act in any such capacity he, as
well as the body corporate, shall be deemed to be guilty of that
offence and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished
(2)Where the affairs of a body corporate are managed by its members,
subsection (1) shall apply in relation to the acts and defaults of a
member in connection with his functions of management as if he were
a director of the body corporate.
4 Entry, search and seizure
(1)The following applies where a justice of the peace is satisfied
by information on oath, laid by a constable, that there is
reasonable ground for suspecting that, in any premises in Gibraltar,
there is an indecent photograph or pseudo-photograph of a child.
(2)The justice may issue a warrant under his hand authorising any
constable to enter (if need be by force) and search the premises,
and to seize and remove any articles which he believes (with
reasonable cause) to be or include indecent photographs or
pseudo-photographs of children.
(3)Articles seized under the authority of the warrant, and not
returned to the occupier of the premises, shall be brought before a
justice of the peace.
(4)This section and section 5 below apply in relation to any stall
or vehicle, as they apply in relation to premises, with the
necessary modifications of references to premises and the
substitution of references to use for references to occupation.
(1) The justice before whom any articles are brought in pursuance of
section 4 above may issue a summons to the occupier of the premises
to appear on a day specified in the summons before the Magistrates’
Court for that Court to show cause why they should not be forfeited.
(2) If the court is satisfied that the articles are in fact indecent
photographs or pseudo-photographs of children, the Court shall order
them to be forfeited; but if the person summoned does not appear,
the Court shall not make an order unless service of the summons is
(3) In addition to the persons summoned, any other person being the
owner of the articles brought before the Court, or the persons who
made them, or any other person through whose hands they had passed
before being seized, shall be entitled to appear before the Court on
the day specified in the summons to show cause why they should not
(4) Where any of the articles are ordered to be forfeited under
subsection (2), any person who appears, or was entitled to appear,
to show cause against the making of the order may appeal to the
(5) If in respect of any articles brought before it the Court does
not order forfeiture, the Court may if it thinks fit order the
person on whose information the warrant for their seizure was issued
to pay such costs as the court thinks reasonable to any person who
has appeared before it to show cause why the photographs or
pseudo-photographs should not be forfeited; and costs ordered to be
paid under this subsection shall be recoverable as a civil debt.
(6) Where indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs of children are
seized under section 4 above, and a person is convicted under
section 1(1) or section 153 of the Criminal Offences Act of offences
in respect of those photographs, the Court shall order them to be
(7)An order made under subsection (2) or (6) above (including an
order made on appeal) shall not take effect until the expiration of
the ordinary time within which an appeal may be instituted or, where
such an appeal is duly instituted, until the appeal is finally
decided or abandoned; and for this purpose—
(a) an application for a case to be stated or for leave to appeal
shall be treated as the institution of an appeal; and
(b) where a decision on appeal is subject to a further appeal, the
appeal is not finally decided until the expiration of the ordinary
time within which a further appeal may be instituted or, where a
further appeal is duly instituted, until the further appeal is
finally decided or abandoned.
(1) Offences under this Act shall be punishable either on conviction
on indictment or on summary conviction.
(2) A person convicted on indictment of any offence under this Act
shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than ten
years, or to a fine or
(3) A person convicted summarily of any offence under this Act shall
(a) to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months; or
(b) to a fine not exceeding Level 5 on the standard scale, or to
(1)The following subsections apply for the interpretation of this
(2)References to an indecent photograph include an indecent film, a
copy of an indecent photograph or film, and an indecent photograph
comprised in a film.
(3)Photographs (including those comprised in a film) shall, if they
show children and are indecent, be treated for all purposes of this
Act as indecent photographs of children and so as respects
(4)References to a photograph include— (a)the negative as well as
the positive version; and (b)data stored on a computer disc or by
other electronic means which is capable of conversion into a
(5)“Film” includes any form of video-recording.
(6)“Child”, subject to subsection (8), means a person under the age
(7)“Pseudo-photograph” means an image, whether made by
computergraphics or otherwise howsoever, which appears to be a
(8)If the impression conveyed by a pseudo-photograph is that the
person shown is a child, the pseudo-photograph shall be treated for
all purposes of this Act as showing a child and so shall a
pseudo-photograph where the predominant impression conveyed is that
the person shown is a child notwithstanding that some of the
physical characteristics shown are those of an adult.
(9)References to an indecent pseudo-photograph include—
(a)a copy of an indecent pseudo-photograph; and
(b)data stored on a computer disc or by other electronic means which
is capable of conversion into a pseudo-photograph.
I will look forward to the Committee Stage of this Bill in order to
be able to debate this issue further with Parliamentary Colleagues.
Voting for Labour
The Unite position regarding the European Election, which has been
agreed by the District Committee, is that we will be supporting Glyn
Ford, of the Labour Party in this coming European elections, and
urges members to do likewise. The District Committee also agreed to
provide funding from the political levy fund of the Union.
As this is a European Election, where Gibraltar will be voting as
part of the UK, this Union maintains its position as we did four
It is also important for the members to know, that this is not a
general election of the UK parliament, where a Conservative or
Labour government is elected. This is an election of the European
Parliament, where the most important decisions are taken which
concerns all European citizens regardless of their country. In the
European parliament fundamental decision will be taken which will
affect working people of all the countries that make up the European
Union. As such the more socialist M.E.Ps that are elected, the more
chances we will have of adopting progressive policies that will
benefit working people, more so in this economic crisis, where the
right wing will try and curtail workers rights.
Glyn Ford is a friend of Gibraltar and of the Trade Union Movement,
and no doubt will defend and support progressive policies.
We must also thank him publicly, for promising and most important
for raising in the European parliament and commission, the issue of
Non – EU Nationals rights, which Unite is campaigning for. The only
MEP who has had the courage and conviction to do so.
Charlie Sisarello, Unite
Government vandalism, uprooting
plants and trees
When Governments throughout the world are now showing concern for
the living world of plants and trees, when conservationists in the
world are trying to save the valuable areas like the tropical rain
forests and other valuable areas, we in Gibraltar, that is to say
the Government of the GSD by a stroke of a pen and thoughtlessness,
uproot trees and plants from a piece of greenbelt that provide a
lung for people to enjoy round Gibraltar's concrete jungle along the
Trafalgar and Southport area.
Some readers may be staggered to learn that this vandalism of this
relatively small and yet so rich in it's visual attraction that it
is easy to why it is a crime against nature to uproot trees and
plants for the sake of creating a roundabout. The question is how
many of the trees and plants will eventually survive?
We all are aware in this country that one of the issues confronting
this administration is the question of the chaotic traffic situation
on our roads. But what I would lkike to say without belittling the
genuine desire to improve the genuine traffic situation that
creating a roundabout will certainly not solve the problem.
To me the whole situation has evoked memories of the demolition and
destruction of the Bus shelter with its dome and clock that was
situated by the public market which played a prominent role as a
historic landmark and part of our heritage, which will continue to
be missed for many years to come.
The bus shelter which many admirers say was the best in Victorian
architecture, while others dismiss it as nothing but a glorified bus
shelter which provided in its time to our citizens and visitors
shelter from the sun and rain.
In its place we have an empty open space with two hideous "plastic"
bus shelters which give little shelter from the weather and where
buses cannot be adequately parked: where a glorious opportunity was
missed to plant trees and other plants and made into a green area.
Will the green area by Trafalgar be the next victim to join the long
list of casualties demolished by the GSD government which includes
the public market bus shelter, Theatre Royal and Rosia Tanks.
Feetham 'totally misleading'
The remarks made by Mr Daniel Feetham MP on the Oppositions’ vote
against his Motion for a Private Member's Bill to amend the Criminal
Offences Act are totally misleading. Mr Feetham has tied himself up
in knots and does not understand how gravely he has exposed the
divisions between him and Mr Caruana on the legal obligation to
equalise the age of consent.
Mr Feetham is saying to all the media that will hear him that he is
acting out of "conscience", but all the arguments he presented in
the Parliament only referred to his motion being presented because -
and we agree - it is undoubtedly a legal obligation that the age of
consent be equalised.
In effect, therefore, Mr Feetham is not arguing that the age should
be equalised for any reason related to his conscience telling him
that there is anything but a legal issue here. It is clear to the
Opposition that Mr Feetham’s use of the Private Member’s Bill
mechanism is just a device to save the bacon of the Government on
the failure to comply with international and Constitutional law
whilst hiding the blushes of some members of the Government.
Commenting on Mr Feetham's reference to the Private Member's Bill
that was brought in UK in the 1960s to decriminalise homosexuality,
Mr Picardo said that: "Mr Feetham seems not to understand even this
basic issue. In the 1960s in the UK there was no international or
national legal requirement to decriminalise homosexuality, so it was
then purely as a matter of conscience that a Member of Parliament
acted. The situation in Gibraltar in 2009 is totally different.
Because we agree with Mr Feetham that this is now about the
implementation in Gibraltar of international, European Convention
and national, Constitutional legal obligations, there can be no
"conscience" issues that arise. How can there be a member of the
Government that believes, as a matter of conscience, that Gibraltar
law should not comply with what their own Minister for Justice (who
swears a specific oath to defend our rule of law) tells Parliament
are our obligations under European and Constitutional law?
Mr Feetham says, almost proudly, that the Government do not have a
collective position on this issue, which is frankly incredible. Has
he taken leave of his senses and left all concept of collective
responsibility at the altar of his own political ego?"
On the question of how the Opposition will vote on the Bill, Mr
Picardo said that "the Bill deals with much more than just
equalisation - which is an important issue of fundamental rights -
but also addresses many other aspects of the criminal law which need
to be considered now that the Bill is in Parliament. No-one in the
Government except Mr Feetham has indicated how they will vote; so
why is he surprised we have not done so? Indeed, I see he told the
media that we have "threatened" to vote against the Bill. That is
totally wrong. We have not given any indication of how we will vote,
as is always the case before a Second Reading.
We will as usual want to hear what is said in the debate by each
member before making a final voting decision as is the case in every
parliament in the world. That is what Parliamentary debates are for.
If each member was required to say how they would vote, there would
be no point in having such debates. In this case, Mr Feetham's
problems are with the votes of his Parliamentary colleagues, not
ours. But that is a matter for him. He choose to sit in Parliament
with the GSD.
Our view is that equalisation should not necessarily have been taken
for granted to be at 16. We would prefer that there should be a
detailed consultation with the community on what the right age for
equalisation should be. It is not too late for this to occur. In
1992 when the GSLP in Government decriminalised the homosexuality,
the age for homosexual consent was set at 18. It may be that our
community would be better served with an age of consent across the
board at 18 or 17. This should be a matter that should be consulted
on much more widely.
Epidemiological study welcomed
The Progressive Democratic Party have for some time been calling on
Government to commission an independent epidemiological study. As
such the announcement made by
Government yesterday is very welcome. Such research should
investigate any potential correlations between bay-generated
pollution and cancer cases in Gibraltar. The PDP would also like to
congratulate the sterling efforts conducted by the Gibraltar
Environmental Safety Group and as well as other environmental NGOs
that have been responsible for generating the sufficient awareness
of the need for such studies.
This is a step forward in the analysis of how bay activities might
impact on our health.
The results of this might be pivotal in understanding the risks
faced by Gibraltar’s population as a result of polluting entities
around the bay. It is also a good platform for analysing other
health concerns that can be attributed to pollution in and around
the bay of Gibraltar.
The fact that the epidemiological study will be commissioned as an
independent study gives further merit to the results. What is also
important is that the Government publish the results of the study as
soon as it is received so that there can be a full and informed
debate about its findings.
Dr. Gavin Gafan
The ESG welcomes the announcement made by the Minister for the
Environment Ernest Britto of the awarding of a contract to a team
from the National Environmental Research Institute at the Aarhus
University in Denmark, to begin an Epidemiological Study in
The group has campaigned for several years now for an independent
and transparent study to be carried out on populations around the
Bay and is therefore delighted that this important programme will
now get underway if only at a local level so far.
There are serious concerns of higher than average rates of cancer
not only in our community but within towns around the Bay so
rigorous and expert assessment of these issues as advocated also by
public health specialist Professor Joan Benach, is clearly both
overdue and necessary. It is further hoped that such independent
studies will also be conducted in the Spanish towns as soon as
The ESG confirms its commitment to assist those undertaking the
studies as best it can.
Environmental Safety Group
It makes my blood boil to read that the British National Party (BNP),
are playing for Euro votes in Gibraltar. Their candidate from Newton
Abbot, Devon, Jeremy Wotherspoon, will be distributing leaflets on
the Rock and says that his main reason for coming is to show
Gibraltarians that the BNP is “interested in Gibraltar and to
promise to defend our interests. Dear Mr. Wotherspoon, your British
National party is a racist and fascist organisation and we
Gibraltarians have no time for your party’s vile propaganda.
Enjoy your trip back home!
Tommy “Peto” Smith
Dancing to success
On Saturday 9th May 2008 the annual Gala Dinner Dance and Grand
Raffle was held at the Eliott Hotel. This was a great success with
over £3500 raised.
We would like to thank Joseph of the Eliott’s Hotel for his help and
patience, Gavin from Gibralflora and Maurice from L Stagnetto
Limited for their gifts, S M Seruya Limited, Calypso Tours,
Tourafrica, Kaycee, Redwood International, Gala Casino, Gauchos
Restaurant, Gibtelecom and A D Cohen for the donations of the prizes
for the raffle.
The prize winners were as follows:
1st Prize : Mr Schembri
2nd Prize : ML Olivero
3rd Prize : F Rodriguez
4th Prize : N Ferro
5th Prize : M MAuro
6th Prize : L Payas
All the prizes have now been claimed.
Lastly, we would like to thank family and friends for their support.
Without them we would not have been able to sell all the tickets.
Gillaine & Jennie
On behalf of Cancer Research UK - Gibraltar Branch
Is this fair?
The following is what's happening to me, and I think it's very
unfair. It makes me feel like a second class Gibraltarian. And as
you can see its not without reason.
My name is J G Byrne, I am from Gibraltar, I was born in 16-04-1941
so I am 68 years old now. In 1959 I went to the UK and I stayed and
worked there for about 28 years. Out of the 28 years I had 20 years
paid income tax and social security stamp, for which at 65 years
old, I started to get my pension from the UK of 173.80 pounds per
month, for apparently there was a dispute going on, about the
pensions at the time. Now in 2009 I get 187.00 pounds per month.
From the national UK pension scheme.
I explain the above because it reflects in this main matters, of
which they make me feel like a second class Gibraltarian.
And they are. In 1987 I came back to Gibraltar to stay for good,
finding that the accommodation in Gibraltar was so very expensive, I
went across the border into Spain to live as thousands of
Gibraltarians do . For its within walking distance from Gib. And
work in Gib.
So I then started to work in Gibraltar, so after working in Gib for
almost 20 years paying my social security stamp and income tax fully
. The same as everybody does. When I became 65 years of age I
claimed my pension as I am entitle to do, the same as every
Gibraltarian who is 65 yrs old.
I then started to receive, as my pension from the Gibraltar
government the amount of83.00 pounds a month, as they said that the
UK and the Spanish government where in dispute over the Spanish
workers in Gib pensions., that's all the information I received, I
did not get any information about anything else. [ I stayed working
full time till I was 66 years old ]
So after approximately 40 years work between Gibraltar and the UK I
end up with the GRAND total of 156.80 pounds a month, [when the
dispute was over they raised it to 207.00 pounds a month,] which is
what I get now from the Gib pension . I get at this moment in time
again the GRAND total of 394.00 pounds a month between the UK and
the Gibraltar pensions after 40years of fully paid social security
stamps and income tax I have to live on , which I think is
I then explained the above to a friend of mine, and he said to me,
the Gibraltar government has what they call the community care, it's
a fund or society, of which we get some money every three months.
It's for the Gibraltarians pensioners, whom have paid his national
contributions and taxes. You are a Gibraltarian and you've paid all
your contributions so you should go and claim it, you are entitled
to it. I was never informed of that by the government.
I took his advice and went to apply, for the community care benefit
as a Gib pensioner. I gave my address and the rest of details, and I
was told that because my address was in Spain and not in Gibraltar,
that I was not entitled to the community benefit I was very much
surprised. I spoke to a family of mine, and asked him if I could
come and live with him and his family in Gib because of the
situation, and then I could use the address, he agreed, so it's the
above address . I then went back to the community care and gave them
my new address. I was told that I had to produce an electricity or
water bill in my name otherwise I would not get the benefit, but I
told them that it was not my house, that's why I could not produce
an elect or water bill. I was told that, that was not their concern.
Not knowing what to do next I wrote to the government, and asked for
a meeting with our CHIEF MINISTER MR PETER CARUANA, which I was
granted. And met him and explained the situation. His reply to me
was as this was a fund, that there was nothing that he could do. I
came away from the meeting with him very disappointed and under the
impression that he was not very interested about my problem.
After all that it came to my notice that the money that the
community care uses is supplied by the government. In other words
it's the tax payers money. I always thought that the funds or
society's, they got their money from voluntary donations. How is it
that being tax payers money, that it is the taxes that I have been
paying for almost 20 years ,and I cannot benefit from my own money.
Where the rest of Gibraltarian pensioners can ,and I can not. Up
till now after almost three years as a pensioner I still don't get
the community care benefit.
When I retired I was advised by a friend to go and get the European
health insurance card. I took his advice and went and did that. I
gave the girl there all my details, and explained to her that I
although was 65 yrs old and getting my pension, I was still in full
She then made up the European health insurance card, and where it
says status she put employed, and explained that since I was
employed that I would have to pay for all my medical prescriptions,
and when I finished working that they would change under status from
employed to pensioner, and I would not have to pay for my medical
prescriptions as pensioners don't pay. A year later I went back to
change the status from employed, to pensioner, and told the girl
that I had finished working. I then was asked if I was getting a
pension from the Gibraltar social security pensions. I said that I
was, she then was about to go and change the status to pensioner,
when I being honest told her that I was getting a small pension from
the UK. She then turned back and said that she could not change the
status that had to leave it like that. So I said that if it stayed
like that, I would have to pay for my medical prescriptions, and
that I was a pensioner and not working. She said that there was
nothing that she could do, and she did not change the status on the
card. Later on I went and saw the manageress of the primary care
centre, of the Gibraltar health authority, health cards.
I explained the situation to her, and her answer to me was that they
had an agreement with the UK that the Gib health authority would
claim for the medical expenses for UK nationals. And that she would
get in touch with the UK and that when had a reply from the UK they
would change the status on my card and not before. I then told her
that regardless whether UK answered her or not, I was entitled to
free prescription , as a Gibraltarian who has payed the Gib social
security for almost 20 years , and get the same as the rest of the
Gib pensioners, I am still paying for my medical prescriptions and I
will soon be 68 yrs old. So it looks like the Gibraltar health
authority, is using me as a UK national, which I am not, to claim
the UK for my medical expenses, of which correct me if I am wrong
but that's illegal, and secondly they are depriving me of my rights
as a Gibraltarian of which has for almost 20 years has payed his tax
and social security. I was told even though I had payed my stamps if
I had an address across the border I would have not been entitled to
see a doctor. If mat was the case, it means mat I would have payed
my stamps for nothing.
Having said that, regardless where I had payed my stamps we are all
supposed to be EUROPEANS are we not. Or are we only Europeans when
its convenient to the Government. Now you can see why I feel like a
second class Gibraltarian.
Joseph Gerald Byrne