The Voice of
Press Release

15TH. JANUARY 2004

So, it appears that the vultures are preparing to return to the roost in spring, after a long winter in the cold.

The announcement, by Mariano Rajoy and Tony Blair, that negotiations under the Brussels Process will resume after the elections in Spain, comes as no surprise and vindicates The Group's sustained campaign since the Referendum.

It would be of the utmost naivety if any Gibraltarian placed too high a hope on the non - election of the president-designate. Zapatero and the PSOE will enthusiastically take on the mantle. If there is any doubt, Senator Carracao's latest statements bear this out.

Straw, MacShane and the plethora of officials who have 'familiarised' themselves with the Rock's issues, over the last year or so, all indicated that the 'done-deal' was on the shelf, gathering dust. The Minister for Europe, in particular, told the Spanish press that he did not envisage any developments over the next thirty years. Since the Spanish position has not changed an iota, nor likely to do so in the foreseeable future, The VOGG asks: WHAT ON EARTH ARE THEY GOING TO 'TALK' ABOUT ?

Obviously, the British will, once again, plead on land, sea and air restrictions, queues, telephones, vetoes, exclusions, etc., etc. and umpteen other etceteras. Then, when they get no joy, down to renegotiating the 'red-lines'. Onto the sovereignty issue, joint or otherwise, and that's when the 'fun' starts.

The Spaniards, for their part and true to form, will care two hoots about pleas unless there is a parallel advance on sovereignty. So what happens if they accept Jack Straw's 12th. July 2002 policy statement? Simple, Gibraltar ends up in a quagmire.

The VOGG has consistently reiterated its mistrust and fears of British intentions and there is no need to repeat the same arguments. Therefore, it will, here and now, suffice to accuse the Prime Minister of Her Majesty's Government of HYPOCRISY, DECEIT and COWARDICE, not to mention conduct unbecoming a minister of The Crown. As the situation unravels, with the Spanish media and politicians, from Aznar down to the Mayor of La Linea, providing all the relevant information, The VOGG will decide, at the opportune moment, what to call Straw, MacShane and all the other quislings.

If anyone in the British Government or any of its local mandarins have any decency left, they can, at least, ensure that Gibraltar's elected representatives are consulted prior to any Brussels Process meetings.

As in the past, The VOGG will protest, outside The Convent, whenever any such meetings take place. Additionally, it will carry out whatever other actions it considers appropriate, wherever and at any time.

Finally, THE VOGG would like to offer its commiseration to His Excellency The Governor for having all his efforts at 'bridge-building' brought tumbling down by a blast from the trumpet of an egotistical Prime Minister.

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