Unfairness of speed traps
As I am sure most people have noticed, speed traps in Gibraltar are
on the increase and this practice is being hosted simultaneously on
different roads of Gibraltar each day. They are taking place, very
consciously and by no means by accident if I may add, early in the
mornings. The reason for this is that traffic flow early in the
mornings is fairly reasonable as compared to later in the day where
we motorists now have to put up with the chaos we are subjected to,
and will be, for a very long time to come unfortunately.
What is quite frankly surprising is the way in which all this is
happening and people just have to put up with it. Whilst in other
European countries signs alert motorists of speed traps or cameras
ahead, even with available software you can legally purchase and
thus integrate it with your satellite navigation equipment. All this
is perfectly legal and allows motorists to keep within the speed
limits of any given roads.
In Gibraltar our ROYAL GIBRALTAR POLICE finds a nice spot which is
only visible when you are already being pointed at with the speed
gun and being waved to stop. In other words, yes, they practically
Not only is this morally wrong but it should be illegal if it is not
already and we are not aware of it. For what we know about the RGP
they are there to serve and protect the citizens but most
importantly to prevent.
If the objective of these practices is to avoid traffic accidents
why not put up notices alerting motorists so they slow down? Wait a
minute...but this would not be profitable would it? Of course not,
the whole objective of this is not to keep us safe from speeding
motorists; it is to catch us all at one point or another and make us
pay a fine without even a warning or benefit of doubt.
I find this whole situation deeply disturbing not to mention
annoying as it can only go to show how badly this government needs
money and is willing to use any method to do so.
If you take Waterport Road for instance, the speed limit there is
only 30! Even though there are dual lanes and is presently one of
the most decent roads in Gibraltar, for some reason unknown to yours
truly, that is the way it has been decided by the powers that be.
On the other hand you take Queensway Road and more specifically the
Westside School area and the limit there is 50! Where is the logic
here? I can only think that Waterport Road has been intentionally
limited to that speed as a trap in which we can all be caught sooner
or later. If you drive along that road and concentrate on the road
without looking at the speed you are doing you will most definitely
realize that you are over the speed limit. When you try to reduce to
within the speed limit you will also realize that you are travelling
at a ridiculous speed for such a road.
Unfortunately this seems the situation in which Gibraltar finds
itself these days and unless we put a stop to this it can only get
worse. Maybe a possible fight back is if we all default on the fines
and get a sentence for it there won’t be enough room to put us all
Where are the marker buoys?
This is not so much a letter, but an open question, which perhaps
the wise and excellently informed Mr Chamberland could answer for us
I am too young to remember having seen this, but were there not
marker buoys in the Bay of Gibraltar delineating British Gibraltar
Territorial Waters during the Franco dictatorship? If so, have we
therefore gone backwards with respect to Spanish recognition of BGTW?
If this is the case, we can blame the previous Labour regime in the
UK for the pathetic state of the Royal Navy, which is now smaller
than the French and for those fifth columnists in the Foreign Office
who will have ordered poorly equipped Gibraltar Squadron not to
upset the Spanish paramilitaries on account of the natives.
Albert J Yome
Can anyone out there please, after reading the following Official
pronouncements as to travelling within Schengen tell us all
Gibraltarians how on earth Gibraltar Airport is to be considered,
after Cordoba, as Schengen territory.
1. Passengers, who are travelling within the Schengen area,will be
separated from those travelling to or from a non-Schengen State upon
arrival to the border control area of the terminal.
2. Ireland and the United Kingdom (Gibraltar) are the only EU member
states that are neither full members of nor committed to join the
Schengen Area, having negotiated an opt-out from the Schengen acquis
in the Treaty of Amsterdam.
Enough is enough
It is really surprising to see the attitude the government has
towards their people in one very important issue, the fishing
problem1 We have with the Spanish anglers and divers coming into
Gibraltar on a daily basis destroying our shores and killing our
Maybe they think we are ignorant, stupid and complacent individuals
who say yes to everything ,but the truth is that we have had enough
of the foreign anglers and the attitude our Government is having
towards them, it is quite clear that even after all the notification
of the problems given by the opposition, letters sent by locals to
the media, meetings that have taken place between club
representatives and the ministers etc, etc, the Govt has done
nothing, it clearly shows that the government does not care one bit,
they forget that they have been placed in their position by the
electorate and which by the way also makes them responsible of their
actions or Inactions towards us. It is a disgrace to see how the
ignore everything, so as not to annoy our neighbours. They are
showing 3 total disregard for us the people (their electors) without
considering that people might be forced to take things into their
own hands that would really upset our neighbours!
Another incursion by the Guardia Civil
At the risk of sounding boring or repetitive, I have again witnessed
another incursion into British Territorial waters by the para
military Guardia Civil. This morning (18th) at about 09.45 I
happened to look out towards the Bay of Gibraltar and I was met by
the unpalatable sight of a Guardia Civil rib in the act of boarding
a Spanish flagged cabin cruiser about 250/300 metres off South Mole.
Moments later an RGP vessel attended the scene, and it appeared that
they began a conversation with the Spaniards. Much later an Royal
Navy rib made a belated appearance.
This lasted about 10/15 minutes, after which the Guardia Civil
vessel departed to Algeciras and the Spanish cabin cruiser left for
La Linea. I don't know if the Guardia Civil contacted the RGP about
the boarding as a matter of courtesy but I suspect they did not!
Maybe the Guardia Civil's radar/navigation system malfunctioned and
they thought they were opposite Algeciras!
Several points immediately come to mind when assessing this
situation. The RGP requires faster, modern vessels to carry out
their duties as a matter of urgency. Only yesterday the El Mundo
newspaper carried a report that Salvamento Maritimo had been advised
to respect our territorial waters. This to me is an implicit
recognition of our jurisdiction, but only the seemingly autonomous
Guardia Civil see it in a different perspective which should not be
a surprise to anyone. A rather confusing state of affairs, a
question of blue or orange beacons or a deliberate ploy?
Until the next incursion.
Pensioners Still Waiting
I make no apology for bringing out publicly again the question of
the non payment of the Social Security pensions increase which were
due from 1st April.
This, of course, has a bearing of the rising cost of living when
prices of food stuffs are rising a record rate and many pensioners
who only have their Social Security Pension look forward to an
increase based on the index of retail prices.
We must certainly not forget the hardship caused to many local
pensioners when the British Government and Foreign Office were
responsible for local pensions to be frozen form 1898 to 2007 due to
the Spanish Pensions claim. Later with local pensioners being
May we dare ask the Chief Minister what is holding up the payment of
the increases? Well, I must say that I have a nasty suspicion that
some sort of Political motivation is involved here. Which prompts my
thoughts to 2007 when security pensions were increase by 65% after
being frozen - the tru2 figure was more in the region of 105% !
The Chief Minister then had the audacity to say that 'The Gibraltar
Government has no legal obligation to increase Gibraltar pensions by
65% or any figure and that the decision to pay was entirely a GSD
Government policy and decision …'
This statement was not only remarkable but also angered local
pensioners when Social Security pensions had seen no movement for
nearly 20 years based on the cost of living index.
And when the Chief Minister and British Foreign Office
representative in the tripartite forum produced a package deal for
Spanish Pensioners by avoiding the implementation of paying
retrospective to local pensioners.
Though it failed to meet the legal right by Gibraltar and European
Perhaps the Pensioners Associations - yes, we have two in this
country and who seems to be in some sort of limbo on this issue asks
Government why this restrictions practice.
Protecting young people
Mr Feetham’s comments in Monday’s Chronicle cannot go unchallenged.
The Gibraltar Women’s Association agree completely that children
should receive guidance on sexual matters from educators and
particularly from parents. It is these parents who are signing our
petition in their hundreds, who support increasing the age of
consent to 18.
Raising the age of consent, which is there to protect young people
from being sexually exploited by adults, acts as a deterrent not to
do it and not encourage people to break the law. It will protect 16
& 17 years olds who don’t have the strength of character to say no
to older partners, from being coerced or even bullied into saying
yes to sex.
Mr Feetham refers to 16 & 17 yr olds as ‘children’ as the new
Children’s Act covers children up to the age of 18. He seems to be
worried about the criminalisation of children and not the real
issue, which is our children under 18 having sex. We are more
concerned about their emotional and psychological welfare and about
the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted
pregnancies. (and now, if Mr Feetham has his way, the ‘dangerous’
practice of anal sex for heterosexuals as from the age of 16.)
If criminalising 16 & 17 yr olds is the issue, are we then to allow
young people to take drugs so as to avoid criminalizing them? There
are 16 & 17 yr olds who already have criminal records for things
like theft, assault and drugs. Should we then remove all these
There are also 14 & 15 yr olds already having sex. Are their
partners being prosecuted now? Or should we find the lowest common
denominator and lower it to 13 for all sexes like Spain so as not to
Mr Feetham says that prior to the debate on the homosexual age of
consent, no one had ever pointed out the need to raise the age of
consent for heterosexuals. By the same token, prior to this debate,
no one has ever pointed out that buggery should be decriminalised
for women, which at the moment is actually grounds for divorce.
We too cannot ‘sit on the fence’ and stand idly by while our
‘children’ are allowed to indulge in sexual activities with all its
consequences. Therefore we would like to inform the general public
that we will continue to collect signatures for our petition.
The Gibraltar Women's Association
Dear Sir, The United Nations declared 2010 to be the
International Year of Biodiversity (IYB). It is a celebration of
life on earth and of the value of biodiversity for our lives. In
doing this, it invited the world to take action in 2010 to safeguard
the variety of life on earth: biodiversity The year has the
following aims: o to increase awareness of the importance of
biodiversity for our well being o to halt the loss of biodiversity,
which is currently up to 100 times greater than the natural rate of
extinction o to celebrate success stories In order to mark the year,
and specifically, World Day of Biodiversity, which is on 22nd May,
the Society is organizing a number of events.
From Monday 17th to Friday 21st, there will be an exhibition of
photographs which depict both Gibraltar's rich biodiversity and the
problems it faces.
On Thursday 20th May, at the John Mackintosh Hall's Charles Hunt
Room, at 6.30pm, there will be a presentation on Gibraltar's
biodiversity, concentrating on recent work by GONHS in cataloguing
Gibraltar's species - the Gibraltar Biodiversity Project, followed
by a guided viewing of the exhibition. There will also be a relaunch
of the Society's Biodiversity Action Plan and of the book "Nature's
Mountain" itself a photographic representation of Gibraltar's
On World Day of Biodiversity, Saturday 22nd May, there will be an
open day at the Alameda Gardens, starting with bird ringing from
8am, a bird of prey display from 10am, birdwatching throughout the
morning and a guided tour of the Botanic Gardens starting at 11am.
The Alameda Wildlife Park will also be holding an open day from 12
noon to 4pm to celebrate the world's biodiversity.
Above the law
As a personal comment on your page 2 PANORAMApoint (Friday), ‘spot
the difference’, may I highlight the fact that a Chief Justice was
sacked, for want of a better word and his apparent crime was to
challenge parts of the new Non-Colonial Constitution, how is it that
the Spanish Civil Guards who incidentally broke quite a few
Gibraltar Laws were not only allowed to go free but surprise,
surprise no public outcry, organized or not ever took place.
Question since when has any one single individual in Gibraltar’s
long history of politics ever been given powers to be above the Law
of the Country and not been asked to justify his actions not even
the famous saying applicable to Prime Ministers i.e ‘ Primus inter
pares’ would help to condone such action.