Friday, 22 July 2011

Spanish boos and insults in Gibraltar itself

Many people in Gibraltar are up in arms on having heard that Spanish people attending the Eurodance Show at the Tercentenary Hall booed and insulted Gibraltar and Gibraltarian participants in the event. This comes hot on the heels of the problems faced by young footballers when parading the Gibraltar flag at a football tournament in Costa Blanca - they had the Gibraltar flag taken away from them.


With the Foreign Office and the Opposition having reacted strongly to what happened at the children's football tournament, people are asking where is the Gibraltar Government. Well, the culture minister Edwin Reyes and the mayor Anthony Lombard will be attending at the La Linea fair this evening the twinning of Gibraltar with La Linea, what the Spanish call an act of 'hermanamiento.'

It had been thought that the Chief Minister Peter Caruana was to have attended as well but so far there is no news from the La Linea municipality that he will make an appearance. The municipality says that at the event taking place there this evening the "Gibraltar Sea Scouts, Show Dance group Company and Santos Academy" will be taking part during the twinning ceremony.

Meanwhile, in his popular Facebook page, Bryan Zammit Snr writes: "Some more bad news regarding Spaniards and their attitude towards us. I was told today that in the European Dance championship held in Gib, Spaniards walked out when our national anthem was being played. I was also told that they were also booing when Gibraltarians received prizes. Now that’s in our own country and no one did anything."

Another person said that whenever Gibraltar holds an event or participates in an event there needs to be an agreement signed by each faction. The agreement would stipulate that racism, anti-sporting behaviour such as insulting or degrading another country will equate in that respective team being given a ban from participating.

They can boo and disrespect our wonderful dancers as much as they want, they still did an amazing job, said someone else.

Mr Zammit himself added: "What we are discussing in this post is...How on earth did Spaniards get away with:

1. Getting up and walking out of the stadium while our National Anthem was being played?

2. How did they get away with booing Gibraltarians while they were receiving their prizes?

3. How did they get away by shouting Gibraltar Espanol in our stadium in front of a packed house of Gibraltarians?

4. And finally. How on earth has it managed to keep out of the newspapers and TV? Who gave instructions for it not to come out in the open?"

One person insisted that nothing had happened and it was all an exaggeration.

Another person explained: I spoke to a gentleman who told me that a local child was waving a Gib flag during the Dance Championships and that a Spanish adult spectator had started waving the Spanish flag and made it a point of making contact between the flag pole he was waving and the local kid on two occasions... approached the Spaniard ...Security came and asked the Spaniards to stick to their side of the stands where they were sitting and not interfere with the other spectators. This sort of thing happened all weekend.

Another person said: I was also at the European showdance championships all weekend and did see the intent on the Spanish to try and provoke and also boo Gibraltar whenever possible.

And another comment: With this behaviour no wonder que quien iba a ser el guapo de poner the Spanish flag in The Instituto Cervantes! Respect is not an entitlement you must earn it! With this cynical behaviour towards children all they are doing is widening the gap in good neighbourly relationship with Spain again, instead of doing the contrary!

Joseph L.Caruana adds: "What happened in Benidorm was disgraceful and how the Spanish team in the Show dance competition behaved whilst in Gibraltar shows how mistaken has been GoG's soft policy, the Tripartite Forum, the Air Terminal, the Pensions, the Guardia Civil incursions(s) etc, etc,

And another: The GoG, what are they going to do now?

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

No Constitutional Change is the name of the Game

The present Constitution may or may not be perfect or agreeable to all and sundry, but it is of recent design and hence we are stuck with it for quite a while.

That is the real world we live in - or haven't we learnt the lesson yet?

It being so that no change can be expected for now, what is the point of trying to stir up constitutional change?

People can think out new ideas or do what they like. That is their prerogative.

But there is no point in stirring things up at a time when it appears so obvious that No Change is the name of the game.

It could well be that we could extract some minor changes if we were determined enough to stage the kind of campaign that would be required.

And in trying to stir up change we should be careful the wise guys and girls at the foreign Office (they are not as dumb as they look) do not twist things in their favour.

Or haven't some people heard that there are those wearing FCO hats who take the view that Britain may have given away too much, too soon.

In fact there are rumours that the UK minister for Europe (that is, the minister for the Foreign Office)was in Gibraltar recently and made it known that the Governor should be respected. From which we can conclude that he did not think that the Governor was being respected.

And the message was obviously for the Chief Minister who is the only person close enough to the Governor to respect or not respect the position of Governor, whatever the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, might be.

But who doesn't know that the Chief Minister aspires to be Head of State or thinks he can behave like one et al?

So, who's for constitutional change at this point in time?

Joe Garcia

Monday, 11 July 2011

Things hotting up at the frontier with Spain

A campaign is afoot to try and stop the frontier chaos, with emails being sent in every direction to get support.

One of the emails has gone to Lesley Pallett, the Deputy Governor, who presumably is the head of the Foreign Office in Gibraltar.

And it is the British Government - also known as the Foreign Office - that gets some stick.

Said an emailer: “This matter should be taken up by the British Government who I suspect are ‘monitoring the situation.’ They have been doing this since Franco started his campaign in 1954.”

Meanwhile it is getting hotter at Europe’s most erratic frontier.

With temperatures in the mid-thirties, another emailer tells a sad story: “Yesterday, for example, I had to be treated in casualty with respiratory distress, anxiety, tachycardia and visual problems accompanied by vomiting and hot flushes caused by these cruel and degrading actions.”

People are said to be suffering the consequences of living or going to Spain.

One day last week hundreds of us (more than 400 motorcyclists, bikes, vehicles and pedestrians) were forced to wait in temperatures of 35 degrees in a very harmful sun for 50 minutes to get into Spain from Gibraltar, it is being said.

The current situation at the border (customs) between Gibraltar and Spain is unacceptable and unsustainable...In these border queues there are children, pregnant women, sick people and so on, who must suffer this ordeal every day to enter their country of residence, runs the argument.

Said one person: The |Guardia Civil supports my opinion and is aware of the situation we are suffering but do not have the means to meet their obligations without harming citizens. They have requested more resources from the Ministry of Interior.

But if there has always been reluctance by the Spanish government to provide more resources at the La Linea frontier, the current world financial crisis and its effects on Spain could be used to keep things as bad as they are.


Meanwhile, at the weekend the Guardia Civil were stopping cars from Gibraltar, requesting to see the ID card of the driver. It is a strange procedure given that seconds earlier the Spanish National Police had carried out their immigration controls just a few metres away.

Further, cars were being stopped before entering Gibraltar at the Spanish National Police post, and people asked to hand in their travel documents which were attended to inside the frontier post.

Whatever is going on - and the Caruana government remains as silent as the grave - aggrieved people are saying that we cannot just look the other way.

One of the emailers claims that “the Guardia Civil have asked me to spread the need of registering a complaint at the Spanish customs office.”

There is a form there called ‘Hoja de Quejas y Sugerencias’ which should be filled up.

“It is the only way to change things...but a single voice does not change anything,” a woman said.

However, it is well known that there are many people who are afraid of registering a protest in Spain for fear of reprisals.

So what is the Foreign Office doing about their subjects in Gibraltar? What is the Deputy Governor doing? What are other Foreign Office officials in Gibraltar doing about it?

Apart from monitoring the situation, that is.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Noise pollution is a health hazard

Even the sound of music can be unpleasant when it irritates the ear. A disharmony of sounds surrounds us day and night, be they from vehicular or air traffic, noise nuisances emanating from entertainment venues, construction sites, fireworks, consumer product noise or that transmitted between dwellings. In a small place like Gibraltar, such noise pollution becomes a health hazard falling on deaf ears.

Noise pollution, particularly during unscheduled load-shedding and unrelenting power outages has been a nightmare for residents of the Harbour Views and Sir William Jackson Grove area. For the past few months in particular, they have had to put up with the deafening sounds from the Generating station at Waterport, not only that, the problem has been considerably exacerbated by the six very powerful 'temporary' generators installed by the Government to help with the demand in the electricity supply.


It is the residents of the area, myself included, who are now seriously suffering the consequences of what is considered to be a badly thought out plan, one that many feel was rushed by Government to fix a problem, that people say they created in allowing Gibraltar’s electricity supply to reach the state it is today.

Although discovering the source of the main problem has not been a rocket science project, the noise pollution has come by way of the six temporary generators; this is the real root of the problem! A problem which is also costing the tax payer well over £30,000 per week, this by having placed 6 massive generators out in the open with no sound or noise protection compounded by them operating incessantly on a 24-hour basis. Although not forgetting another environmental and health aspect, the dangerous toxic fumes that emanate from these machines which go directly into the immediate atmosphere and generally into our homes and lungs!

Many residents in the area have had to resort to having windows permanently closed for most part of the day but certainly battened down or secured during the night where the noise is amplified even more allowing for no peace and quiet day or night.

Residents have also pointed out that the Gibraltar Electricity Authority (GEA) clearly informed the public that the generators were only to be used 'as and when required', this has not been the case as the generators are in operation 24 hours a day. There has been total disregard and absolutely no consideration for the residents of the area and how this situation has affected quality of life in this area of Gibraltar.


Friday, 1 July 2011

The rumour that never was

From Panorama Gibraltar:
The Government has issued a press release rejecting a rumour suggesting that the assault on the Leader of the Opposition may have been perpetrated by a member of the Chief Minister's family. The Opposition, for their part, say they first heard about it when the Government issued their press release.


Said the Government statement: "A malicious rumour has spread around Gibraltar that the recent assault on Opposition Leader Fabian Picardo may have been perpetrated by a member of the Chief Minister’s family.

"This is totally untrue, no member of the Chief Minister’s family has had anything whatsoever to do with this incident, still less perpetrated the assault.

"The Government is deeply concerned about the motives of those who start such malicious and untrue rumours."


Said the Opposition: "The Opposition notes the content of the press release by the Office of the Chief Minister published on the Government's own website in relation to the assault on the Leader of the Opposition.

"The Opposition is surprised to see the Government issuing press releases to address “rumours”.

"The alleged “rumour” was not known to any member of the Opposition or anyone in the GSLP/Liberals until the press release was issued by the Government.

"The Opposition is deeply concerned that anyone would want to spread any rumours at all about the vicious and unprovoked attack on the Leader of the Opposition at the weekend (in respect of which a man has already been arrested) and would question the motives of anyone doing so; especially if that in any way interferes with the work of the officers of the Royal Gibraltar Police who are investigating the matter."