The Voice of
PRESS RELEASE 28th. MAY 2004.
The latest statements from Rafael Estrella, in an interview with The Gibraltar Chronicle, are merely an exercise in selling the PSOE's so-called new 'talante', but bereft of any credibility. At the end of the day, the only conclusion The VOGG can reach from his expose, is that from now on Spain wants The Rock 'a las buenas' as opposed to the PP's 'a las buenas o las malas'. So much for Spanish 'tacit' acceptance of the principle of consent.
No-one in Gibraltar needs to shy away from all cross-border co-operation, be it health, education, sports, culture or whatever. As neighbours, it should come naturally, with the sole intention of defusing tensions and improving the relationship. But to subject such a situation to political ends that are totally anathema to the People of Gibraltar, proves that nothing at the 'core' has changed. Read into cruise-liners vis- …-vis pensions, not that the latter are the responsibility of the local government. It would be interesting to know, whether politicians, like Messieurs Estrella and Carracao, so concerned with 'the pensions', have ever dedicated any time to find out where all the money from 'a peseta on a postage stamp', collected to assist those who lost their jobs upon closure of the frontier, went to.
The VOGG does not accept the validity, in the 21st. century, of this 'feudal' treaty. In any case, it has been substituted by the UN Charter, as it denies a colonial people its right to self-determination. The Spaniards know this, otherwise they would have been at the Hague ICJ a long time ago. In the 60's so did the British, but unfortunately Blair and his cabal, think otherwise nowadays. If, and only if, there were any arguments to be had on Utrecht, then Rafael Estrella's selective, if not lateral, use of its contents is difficult to fathom.
What does 'respect for Utrecht' actually mean to him. For Gibraltar, it is permanent British sovereignty to enjoy without impediment. Therefore, the House of Assembly's constitutional reform proposals are compatible with it and an acceptable exercise in self-determination, whether the British and Spanish Governments like it or not. Nowhere does the 'treaty' say or even imply that the Spaniards must be consulted. For that, there is The Brussels Agreement, another bit of proof , if any more were needed to confine The Process to the 'dustbin of history.
The VOGG gives free advice to Mr. Estrella. 50 years of attrition under Franco, UCD, PSOE and PP has not dented the will of the Gibraltarians nor limited their economic advancement. All co-operation and cordial relations are welcome, but if these come at a price then Spanish politicians or whatever 'talante' should stop insulting the intelligence of the Gibraltarians.
THE VOICE OF GIBRALTAR GROUP.