The Voice of
21ST. JUNE 2004.
The VOGG thanks all those who voted on the historic 10th. June. Likewise, expresses its disappointment at those who did not bother to go to the polling stations, be it because of 'confusion', did not relate to the candidatures available, or merely plain apathy. Gratitude to the SDGG, the legal team involved in CHR case and successive governments' support should have been reasons enough for a much higher turnout, irrespective how it compared to the UK's or the rest of the EU.
The EU election is over and now the priority is the joint declaration from the UK and Spain, in respect of Gibraltar's inclusion in the European Constitution.
Whilst an initial analysis of the declaration gives the impression that Gibraltar's position has been acknowledged, it cannot escape anyone, even the most optimistic, that such ambiguity will only lead back to the established Anglo-Spanish negotiating process, THE BRUSSELS AGREEMENT! This confirms The VOGG's repeated apprehensions of the outcome. Simply, that, as far as Gibraltar is concerned, the seven elected MEPs will, in practice, be rendered powerless and 'redundant'.
The VOGG welcomes the unity shown by the government and all other political parties in denouncing the 'clause' in question. Pressure, whether by lobbying or protest, is of paramount importance, as is vigilance. Therefore, the 'partisanship' of the electoral campaign must now be buried, for good, and the seven MEPs left in no doubt of what is expected of them. They may not have yet taken their seats in Brussels/Strasbourg, but already, their first challenge appears over the political horizon. Let everyone monitor their 'performances' and see what all the promises amount to.
Finally, Morantino's statements on the elections cannot be allowed to pass without comment. His reproachment of the Gibraltarians in voting for UK candidates, as opposed to Spaniards for Spanish ones, is lamentable. It has not taken the new Spanish Foreign Minister long to prove himself 'un espanolito mas' on the 'Quixote' bandwagon. He can rest assured that he will join the sack-full of his predecessors that thought they were the ones to 'recover' the Rock. The Head of The Palacio the Santa Cruz could not do better than otherwise expend his time and energy in getting 'La Lola de Espana' beatified.