Sunday, 28 November 2010

Am I Dishonest - the Andorran Constitutional Model Debated?

Yesterday, I was accused, on the Llanito World Facebook page, of being disingenuous and dishonest because I posed a question about the Andorran model floated by the Chief Minister in a forum in Spain. The question suggested that it was a model based on joint sovereignty and that the GSD were advocating the possibility of this joint sovereignty model for Gibraltar. I stand by those assertion, which I will show are sustainable. Significantly, I am not alone in having come to this conclusion. Other news media and individuals have also done so. I accept that this alone does not prove that I am not being dishonest but it does go some way to show that I came to a reasonable conclusion.

The accusation of dishonesty on my part is false and so malicious. To accuse someone of being dishonest is a serious accusation. Perhaps that individual should reconsider carefully what he has said. He bases his accusation on two grounds, first that the post-1993 Andorran constitution does not amount to joint sovereignty (although he soon starts to resile from this position) and secondly that it is not the GSD that supports it because it was only the Chief Minister who said that "he" would support the Andorran model.

My question, that posits opposite conclusions, is not only highly supported by the facts but is so reasonable as to render the accusation made of me unjustifiable. Normally I would let something like this go by without reaction but it is such a blatant attempt at political dissembling that I consider that it is essential to set the political record straight. At the same time readers will gain an understanding of what the Andorran model is and thus come to their own conclusion.

The relevant constitution can be read at It is title III (I have also published it in full in the Facebook page) that deals with the fact that the Head of State (Cap de Etat, translated as "Head of State" at the foot of the Constitution) are jointly the Bishop of Urgell (Spanish) and the President of France. In Britain and in Gibraltar the Head of State, the sovereign, is the Queen. If there is a joint Head of State, namely joint sovereigns, that equates to joint sovereignty. For those who are interested the powers of the joint sovereigns are listed in article 45 and include matters that relate to general elections, referenda, sanctioning of laws etc.

One counter-argument that I will immediately pre-empt is that under article 3 sovereignty is vested in the people. Absolutely right in a parliamentary democracy. What this is, is the use of the word sovereignty in its different meanings. It is this vesting of governmental authority in the people that allows Andorra to claim sufficient democratic "independence" to permit them a place in the UN General Assembly. It does not detract from the description "joint sovereignty" in relation to who are its Head of State. Article 3 simply reflects the reality of any democracy.

What the Chief Minister has suggested is not independence under the British Crown, which is what all the Commonwealth has. He has suggested independence under joint sovereignty with Spain. Spain's involvement must have some significance, otherwise it is a pointless suggestion. What one significance is, is preciseley that sovereign power does not emanate from one sovereign source, the British Crown, but jointly from two, namely the Spanish Crown and the British Crown. This is not an insignificant concession to joint sovereignty because it is on this joint source that democratic governmental authority is founded and which will have certain constitutional functions, including safeguarding democracy. It is this source that in a crisis is decisive of the future. Do not forget the intervention of the King of Spain when the military challenged democracy in Spain just 30 odd years ago.

Then we have the attempt at divorcing the suggestion of its leader, the Chief Minister, from the party, the GSD. There is one huge, I would suggest nearly insurmountable, difficulty in doing this. The Chief Minister is responsible for foreign affairs and relations and he has made the suggestion in a Spanish forum. How can his party deny him? Additionally, leaving aside but not ignoring, the all pervading and persuasive personality of the Chief Minister that infects all the policies of the GSD, this contention can only be supported if the party denies its leader. To date it has not done so. If the party denies its leader on such a fundamental issue can he continue to be its credible leader? That is not for me to decide. It is for members of the GSD to do so and then for the electorate to judge the result of that debate. If they do not deny, they will be seen to have adopted his, the party leader's, suggestion.

Placed in these contexts my question about joint sovereignty and the GSD is a reasonable and proper one for me, and others, to pose. Certainly an accusation of my being disingenuous and dishonest is completely unwarranted, false and malicious. I trust the person who made it will put it right. If not, I am prepared to be judged by the court of public opinion. I trust that equally he is also so willing.


  1. Judge Dread: Certainly the court of public opinion needs more evdence as to what the CM said and we need to hear from the accused before we pronounce judgment. Meanwhile it seems that PRC QC CM and the GSD have just given the moribund GSLP / Liberal the political kiss of life (Que patada!)

  2. Judge Dread

    What the CM said can be heard on Youtube. What i have asked the court of public opinion to judge is whether or not I have been dishonest.

  3. Judge Dread: The GSD always refers to political opponents and anyone who crosses them as dishonest so don't get too flustered. If PC has got himself into a pickle by suggesting joint sovereignty then you can rest assured that he and his followers will attack without mercy. I would not like to be in your shoes right now Robert but you have a reputation as a fighter who will not be intimidated and will stand his ground.

  4. Fred says:

    I am not a constitutional lawyer, but agree with you: the Andorra model is a model based on joint-sovereignty.

    I agree with your analysis that what the Andorra constitution enshrines are the realities of constitutional monarchies in a democratic age, but the rub comes in a crisis as you correctly point out, when the monarchy does have a role. (e.g. 23 Feb 1981, Tejero: "todo el mundo al suelo, conyo!).

    I would add that the Andorra model is between two political non-equals: an ecclesiastical and a secular power, the latter being the more powerful in fact on this earth. (Please let's not bring God into this one).

    I re-iterate points I have made before: different history; different political reality; very different geopolitical and strategic situation; and, the Andorrans are ensuring that their identity is maintained and reinforced, not diluted.

  5. An Andorran model for Gibraltar suggests that we ALLOW Spain, in whatever greater or mimimal degree, to have some sort of sovereignty over Gibraltar. Despite the power being vested in the people, Spain would HAVE some form of particpation in Gibraltar. As a native born Gibraltarian, I think this is something we have always been fighting against for the past three hundred years, and have REJECTED TWICE at referendum.

    I for one REJECT any form of Spanish PARTICIPATION in Gibraltar. I DO NOT want any Spanish links to Gibraltar other than good neighbourly relations with the neighbouring state.

    Selling the Andorra model with the promise of membership at the UN Level just smells of power hungry politicians willing to sell away Gibraltar, our history, beliefs and vision of the future in order for them to gain GREATER power in the World political Arena.

    British Gibraltar forever, without ANY FORM OF SPANISH PARTICIPATION. Caruana has truly messed up this time making those remarks to a Spanish audience before he even floated the idea to his people. Se le han visto las plumas descaradamente. Ive always thought PCs hunuger for greater power would be his own downfall...

  6. Mr. Caruana statement would be interpreted by Gibraltar residents "as a complete betrayal of their right and future". any opposition members there?

  7. The Done Deal

    Is is with anger that today, Friday 12th July 2002, a day which will go down in history, that Gibraltarians heard from Jack Straw that his government is in favour of a joint sovereignty agreement with Spain. We knew all along that this bunch of English traitors would be more than willing to sell us out to our fascist next door neighbours, but what literally none of us expected was that, after the postponement of today's meeting between the UK and Spain, due to the reshuffle in the Spanish government, Straw would come up with an agreement on a joint sovereignty of Gibraltar.
    All political parties in Gibraltar have condemned the UK government's "in principle agreement" on a joint sovereignty of our country with Spain, with the vast majority of us, as expressed in the 18th March public demonstration, against any form of Anglo-Spanish sovereignty.

  8. Life on Gibraltar would improve under any deal to share sovereignty of the Rock with Spain, Europe Minister Peter Hain has insisted.
    Mr Hain said the proposal would make "no iota of difference" to people living in Gibraltar - except that it would benefit their daily lives.

    Life will go on as usual, except for the better

    Peter Hain
    He said joint sovereignty was a "fantastic deal" for Britons living on the Rock while also resolving historical and practical problems.
    Last week, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw confirmed that Britain was willing to share sovereignty of Gibraltar with Spain.
    He told MPs that the two governments were "closer than ever before to overcoming nearly 300 years of fraught history".
    The Commons statement provoked anger, with Gibraltarians taking to the street in protest.
    Border delays
    Any deal between the UK and Spain will be put to a vote among the 27,000 people on the Rock.
    Mr Straw hopes to persuade them of the benefits of shared sovereignty, which he says includes an end to border restrictions which lead to lengthy delays for the many people who cross into Spain every day to work.
    And Mr Hain said on Sunday: "Frankly joint sovereignty will not make one iota of practical difference to daily life on the Rock, which will remain British.
    "Their traditions, their customs, their citizenship will remain British for as long as they like.
    "OK, a Spanish flag might fly on the Rock but what does that amount to? Life will go on as usual, except for the better."
    He told Sky News that Gibraltar would flourish if the deal was accepted.

  9. Not the worse one of the lot, but
    the closest of our enemies..

    The Governor of Gibraltar today urged people to come up with ideas on a
    solution towards a joint sovereignty deal with Spain.
    The sooner this 'gentleman' leaves Gibraltar the better.

    Joe Bossano, Leader of the Opposition stated that it is an absolute scandal that the Governor should be apologetic for the UK government.

  10. Ghost says:

    Robert you are not being dishonest you are interpreting to your conevenience, which is your priveledge, but to be honest and with respect you are only feeding a frenzy of thought that almost wants to be vidicated after 15 years of believing that PRC's only objective is to sell Gibraltar down the river of Joint Sovereignty.

    You purposely avoid the context on which the statment in which Andorra was disccused and you do this knowingly; your justification being wholly bias and is confirmed in your last posting to me (prior to this latest blog) that he did suggest Andorra as a possibility for Gibrltar. Your credibility in my view is weakening on this one and you are only feeding the egos of those who believe Caruana's ploy is joint sovereignty, something which not even you believe!

    The matter and question here is why he refers to Andorra and the context of the question. His answer (a long one as usual) was to use the example of how ridiculous a state of affairs exists in Spain, he highlights this by calling to account Spain's responsibility as a democratic European partner on all matters bar Gibraltar; something which he goes on to say is unacceptable.

    He also goes on to state that any offer or willingness from Spain to talk to Gibraltar would be welcome given the past 300 years and that his responsibility was not to tell, suggest or demand that the people of Gibraltar do anything, but rather to protect the right for Gibraltarians to decide what ever it is that we wish, whilst under no circumstances allowing our inalienable and undeniable right to determine our future to be undermined in any way or form. He does say that he (under the right conditions) would take a status such as Andorra post 1993 and offer it as a "possibility" for Gibraltarians to consider and decide at their will.

    I suggest to all those that may want to have a nibble at me after reading the above, on this Sunday evening, that you refer to the debate: ( ) and in particular minute 109 to 115, where you can decide for yourself how to interpret PRC's comments.


  11. Ghost

    My intent in this piece is to reject without doubt a serious attack on me personally, which was totally unjustified and unsupported. I agree let people watch the video and decide for themselves. I have.

    I have also quite purposely not expressed any view in favour or against the Andorran model. All that I have done is direct attention to the proposal. What is unconscionable is that a GSD supporter should attempt intimidation based on untrue propaganda against me. I will not tolerate that for one moment and I will come back fighting to the detriment of anyone who tries that on me.

    Fight fairly and with the truth and politics will improve. Interpreting to one's convenience? I am not sure what you mean, each individual is free to understand the words of another. I did not suggest the Andorran model. It cannot be a hypothetical suggestion that the maker of it does not himself agree with, surely?

  12. This is what Scotsman journalist Margaret Neighbour reported: "Peter Caruana, who has been in power for 14 years, made the call for the Rock to be given a similar status to that which the tiny mountain principality of Andorra had when it was jointly ruled by Spain and France..."

    Now that's quite different to saying "Peter Caruana called for an Andorra solution..." which would imply a present-day i.e. post-1993 Andorra solution. Surely he can't have said the "when it was jointly ruled by Spain and France" part. Certainly not in a pre-election year, unless he was intent on committing political suicide which would be out of character - unless he wanted to sabotage Monty's prospects as next GSD leader, that is, but Monty has reiterated that he will not stand or take over.

    Margaret Neighbour must have either picked up an erroneous wire report from Reuters or suchlike, or mistranslated from the Spanish - surely.

  13. Ghost says:

    I agree that any personal attack should be refuted and cannot deny you that.

    I would however point out that your blog has led some to jump on a band wagon with no truth behind it and who are using your rebutle to a personal attack as a means to suggest that comments made in Seville by PRC are tantamount to his executing the evil plan.

    Surely you are not about to condone what even you have classed as a formidable defense of Gibratar's rights and its sovereignty.

    On the interpretation, I quote from one of your own posts in your last blog, to which I replied to:

    "Thank you, did he or did he not say that he personally would be prepared to take the Andorran joint sovereignty model to the people in referendum? You say he did. He is Chief Minister, that makes what he says policy. Accepted that you put it in context but does it change what he said? All it does is place a safety net, the opinion of the people of Gibraltar, between his policy and his ability to implement it. In which case why did he make the statement? Is he flying a kite? Is he opening up a path Peter Montegriffo to return to frontline politics? I do not know but said it he did. It is for him to defend it.
    It is he who attends the Trilateral Process to negotiate "cooperation". What is "cooperation" in this context? does he try and negotiate an Andorran model and then put it to the people in referendum like he did the 2006 Constitution? That puts everything back to front and do you know why? Because he is the Chief Minister and has the power. The people get to choose a foregone conclusion ..."

    You are essentially saying without having heard the debate (at that stage) that you believe he is selling out to joint sovereignty without any due concern for the way in which a great many see you and respect you and therefore almost supporting the view by those who falsely believe that Caruana's only ambition is to sell Gibraltar; something (and I say again) that I do not believe you believe or accept.

    Like it or not you do indeed have a great deal of responsibility as blogger and whilst it is refreshing to have a blog with many views that will allow us all to learn from and agree to disagree on, you must (with respect) call a lie a lie and cease a personal attack on someone whom even you have admitted to protecting the rights of Gibraltar as formidable.


  14. The relevant extract of what PRC said (translated into English) is:

    " i have said many times that a proposal ... for one possible solution for the Gibraltar issue ... would be, for example, a status like Andorra ... post 1993 not the earlier status ... if that were to be viable i would say well ask the people of Gibraltar in a referendum, i would additionally not see it impossible that i would recommend it to the people of Gibraltar but in the end the ones who will decide the future of Gibraltar will not be Caruana or his successor the ones who will decide are the people of Gibraltar who have the right to decide the future and not have it imposed on them ..."

    PRC says that he would not see it as impossible that he would recommend an Andorran model in a referendum. You will not suggest that he would recommend something that he does not agree with are you?

  15. Robert you have highlighted Caruana's
    blooper / clanger / booby / cock up / metedura de pata (call it what you will)and are now in the cross wires of the GSD propaganda machine. You also dissed Britto. I know some of Caruana's pelotas and I can tell you for a fact that they are gunning for you but remember always that on this occasion you are right and will be able to count on the support of all true Gibraltarians. Two things now worry the the GSD above all, the other is the MidTown scandal.

  16. Sorry what has Monty got to do with any of this? He retired from politics a decade ago and has shown as much interest in returning to the GSD as he has taking up stand-up comedy in the Northumbrian pub circuit. Stick to the point and that is that RV is under unfair attack from elements the GSD propaganda machine. I think that the court of publc opinion backs brave Bob.

  17. I am not hear to judge, but please permit me to think aloud and theorise for a moment:

    The Holy Pope as Head of State using a Spanish Bishop as his Representative and sharing this responsibility with the Queen of Gibraltar...

    I think some might struggle to find how this would involve Joint sovereignty with Spain.

    This could be one of many possible scenarios which IF found viable the CM might want to put to the people of Gibraltar.

    At the Forum Q&A he CM was emphatic to stress he was referring to a Post 1993 model. The only mention of the the word sovereignty in that 1993 constitution is found (as LW has already pointed out is where it refers to "as vested in the people". Whereas the Scotsman article which LW linked on its Facebook page deliberately misquotes the CM as saying that "he (Mr Caruana) personally, favoured a status similar to that which Andorra had when it was jointly ruled by Spain and France".

    Which of course, is completely the opposite of what he said.

    Quoting from your blog: "The Chief Minister is responsible for foreign affairs..." I thought this was UK Foreign Office responsibility?

  18. Ghost says:

    As quoted from your translation " i have said many times that a proposal ... for one possible solution for the Gibraltar issue ... would be, for example, a status like Andorra" POSSIBLE and LIKE being the operative words here Robert.

    That only if possible were we to be in a position to consider a status like Andorra, then we would take a view and on the basis of having no predetermined impositions.

    Surely in your mind you cannot mean exactly like, but rather based on the principles of Andorra as a self governing autonomous state with full U.N recognition and a seat in it.

    But quite apart from all of this is that you have an audience of people who believe that from this debate in Seville he is essentially beginning his execution to sell Gib...this is wrong and i believe that you know this as the fullness of the debate is all about putting Spain o notice of its ill conceived and erroneous beliefs with regard to our sovereignty.


  19. Ghost

    I really do not understand why you say that I believe PRC is selling out to joint sovereignty. Nowhere do I say that. There is no personal attack or lie. You must distinguish between facts and theory. I put a theoretical question in that quote not a fact.

    You now have, published by me, a translation of what PRC said. Let each reader decide for himself. Please do not attribute so much importance to me. The issue was well advanced in postings on Facebook and in Panorama and the Chronic well before I wrote anything on this blog.

  20. Mike: You are wrong Robert. Llanito world IS important because it is a medium for the free flow of ideas. That frightens those who have had a strangle hold over Gibraltar for so many years. To them you are a danger.

  21. Ghost:

    Why oh why do you leave out the words 'I would additionally not see it impossible that I would recommend it to the people of Gibraltar..." You do your case no good by selectively quoting.

    I do not know my audience. They are people of all views. Some may think as you suggest but I cannot change that nor have I fueled that belief with anything that I have written. You yourself are interpreting and spinning PRC's words. Can others not think different to you? The words are there for all to listen to or read.

  22. Fussy

    PRC would not be able to put anything to the people that was not acceptable to Spain i.e. Spain would never accept a post-1993 Andorra model if the titular co-heads of state were to be a Spanish bishop say, the Bishop of Cadiz (nearest), and the Queen of Gibraltar. They might accept our Queen plus the King of Spain - but only as an interim measure towards gaining full sovereignty. That was always their publicly-stated intention when Jack Straw and Peter Hain hatched their plan, which they thought PRC might accept, given the fact that he was elected in 1996 on a pro-Brussels ticket.

  23. Fussy Fellows

    Yes the UK is responsible for foreign affairs but within our government the CM has assumed responsibility with protecting Gibraltar's interests in the field of foreign affairs.

    Other anonymous bloggers

    Should I be scared that GSD pelotas are gunning for me? I do not think the GSD would gain electorally if they pursued a vendetta against me. I think that they know that.

  24. Ghost:

    What you advocate in your last comment is independence for Gibraltar. PRC does not advocate this and has never done so. If he does let him say so.

  25. Ghost says:

    Joder Robert, I was not being selective, i am happy to include that part of the statement which very clearly shows that if it were on offer he would offer it as would be normal democratic and right to do so, or are we now saying that he should not even put it on the table for discussion if offered. That really would be undemocratic.


  26. I agree. It would be electoral suicide for GSD pelotas to gun for RV. That is what worries me some of the extreme elements might try the stab-in-the back approach. Ojo!

  27. Joder Ghost, most of us don't know what you are talking about and you are creeping me out.

  28. Justus: You are not the only one who is being creeped out. There is a kind of mano negra about this entire blog. The mono negra of those who will use intimidation for political purposes albeit subliminal intimidation. Now we know why there is no free media in Gibraltar and Llanito world is the shining beacon in the darkness.

  29. My computer has crashed twice whilst i was reading this blog. Has anybody had a similar experience?

  30. Ghost says:

    Que polla eres Robert...:)

    Oh and I'm delighted to be of assistance in your FB marketing...:) Y quien eres tu en X factor.........?


  31. Ghost:

    Words "LIKE", "POSSIBLE" and giving people a choice. PRC is Chief Minister it is about politics not about being a lawyer. It is about messages given and received and the source of those messages: the Chief Minister. A message coming from him has totally different connotations thna one coming from anyone else, be he an academic, a journalist, a commentator or a lawyer.

    Words of reservation, like these and the ones in the Despatch to the 2006 Constitution, have no place in either politics or international relations.

  32. Ghost

    Me in X Factor?

    Simon Cowell perhaps? A marketing and self promotional icon?

  33. Wagner Carrilho: I thought this was a serious debate. Certainly some people were enjoying what they thought was a serious debate.

  34. Ghost says:
    Or an arrogant b*&stard........perhaps?..:) Actually that one may well be reserved for you and your first cousin.

  35. Ghost you are making a fool of yourself and making a mockery of this important matter for the Gibraltarian people

  36. Ghost

    Oh dear ... I really was only trying to be light hearted. I appreciate your contribution to the debate.

  37. Plato says:

    Robert, I agree entirely with your interpretation. I have now viewed the video a few times and it is clear that Mr Caruana is pro an Andorran 83plus deal and also clear that he would have no problem recommending the people of Gibraltar to accept if it were put to a referendum.

    The GSD followers in this bog forget the following. In 2002 we had a referendum on joint sovereignty. There was an 87.9% voter turnout, total votes cast were 18,176, valid votes were 18,076, 98.48% of the voters (17,000 votes) voted NO. Only 1.03% of voters (187votes) voted YES.

    What do the GSD members who were in the region of the 50% of the NO votes think about what has happened. Don't even bring the other 50% of the NO votes into the equation.

    So let us call a spade by its name and not by any other.

    Incidentally carry on the good work.

  38. Ghost says:
    LOL I know Robert, you don't know me or my sense of humour and I have taken it in my stride, my reference to your being arrogant was NOT meant badly at all and only in the context of our banter and your very funny reference to me on FB.
    Although I think we have offended a few of your bloggers...:) I'll leave it you to apologize on my behalf...;) thanks in advance.

  39. What is there to joke about?

  40. Has anyone noted that Andorrans are in fact a MINORITY in Andorra??? The majority are made up of French and spanish nationals residing there.

    Allowing an Andorra type set up into Gibraltar would just put us on the path toward integration into the Spanish territory. Like in andorra, over time, Gibraltarians would no doubt become a minority. The majority would be made up of Spanish nationals who would move over due to the incorporation of Spanish school / professional, etc set ups. Eventually they would become the electorate and over the years they would vote YES to integration with Spain.

    An Andorra set up would just ensure that Gibraltarians spill out into the hinterland (we already are- so imagine if the education / political / professional spheres favoured Spanish nationals) allowing Spanish to move in and eventually with the pasisng of time they would become the majority and vote YES.

    ANDORRA is DANGEROUS. Any political party favouring this does NOT HAVE Gibraltar's true interests at heart! Caruana has committed political suicide with this metedura de pata!

  41. Thank goodness that the debate is back on track after Ghosts rubbish.

  42. The Opposition and the PDP should publicly challenge PC to a LIVE TV debate to discuss the whole Andorra episode. It should come from them because unfortunatley the GBC will never ever call to organise such a programme.

    That said, come Monday, caruana will either

    A) Reboot to pre-Foro de Europa and ignore / pretened that anything was ever said, or;

    B) Go Live on CaranaWatch and attempt the usual "mind meld" where he tries to convince everyone in his characterisitc patronising tone of voice and postures that he said nothing of the sort and that Opposition Activists have twisted his words to create panic in the community and revive the "GSD Soft on Spain" campaign.

    Let us see what this week brings...

  43. Well, you only have yourself to blame. You may not be a dishonest person, I do not know you well enough to say. BUT, you did start a post stating "GSD want joint sovereignty". This is not true. You know it is not true. You knew it was not true when you wrote it. Therefore the statement you made was both disingenuous and dishonest.

    The CM has stated before that he thinks an Andorra type solution may suit Gibraltar. This is his personal opinion not party policy. It should be noted that he has suggested an Andorra "type" model not necessarily a carbon copy of the Andorra Constitution. The previous Andorra Constitution was a joint sovereignty one. The current one is not. This is a matter of fact, it matters not how many people "like" your facebook post assertion that it is. Both you and those people are simply wrong.

    The CM's views on joint sovereignty are well known and were well aired during the 2002 referendum campaign. He does not advocate joint sovereignty, indeed he is implacably opposed to it.

    People will have different views on whether any variation on the Andorra model will suit Gibraltar, but I think it is important that people find out what that actually is before making their minds up. Joint sovereignty it isn't.

    This appears to be a return to the GSLP old tactics of "we can't beat Caruana on other fronts, let's pretend he is soft on spain again". People saw through that for the nonsense it was last time, and the three elections previous to that.

  44. Anonymous at 23:29

    You persist with the defamation commenced by Darren Olivero on Facebook. Perhaps it is still you. At least have the decency to identify yourself and read my full piece that explains my argument.

  45. PC may have laid on the table his view that some sort of joint sovereignty solution Andorra style was acceptable to him, those comments even if it was personal (rather than Government policy) should not have been made in the first place, he is the Chief Minister of Gibraltar and should not show any possible confusing signs of any likelihood of a joint sovereignty offer to Spain.
    No one better than him ought to be conscious what people went through due expressing their personal opinions / comments years ago which triggered of very unpleasant disturbances in Gibraltar.
    If PC carries on behaving as he is instead of a Knighthood he will have to acquire a Hood in order to get from A to B

  46. Plato says:

    Anonymous at 23.29

    Firstly Robert is an honest person. I do know him.

    Secondly, Mr Caruana when he acts in an official or in a quasi-official capacity, should respect the wishes of Gibraltarians who after all are in the majority not lawyers and who understand broadly joint sovereignty. He disregarded the 2002 referendum and has sent out the wrong message.

    Thirdly, in my opinion your attempt to salvage something isn't going to work. What do the rank and file GSD members think about his statement? Answer me this when you have carried out a GSD poll.

  47. Quill said.............

    Shall we have another poll now that the Andorran model issued has been aired?

    Oh but not by the Chronicle this time please or else we might find that the GSD margin has increased even more ....... and yes there will still be some who will believe that Chrismas does come early!

    A week in politics is definately a very long time.

  48. Quill said.....

    Oh and by the way WELL DONE Robert keep up the excellent blog, its a breath of fresh air and great, except when some get too carried away.

    Nothing personal Ghost but you really do need a Kit Kat sometimes! lol

  49. The CM should not have even expressed any possibility of an Andorra style solution without the consent to say so by the citizens of Gibraltar. He represents us & his mandate is definitely nowhere near this scenario. It is obvious to me that he is not looking after our interests & wellbeing or even respecting us. He speaks like if we are the Gibraltarians & he is not part of us.

  50. I have read your argument, and I don't have Google or Live Journal etc, so it was easiest to just log on as anon. It is not defamation to state a truth. Your statement "GSD wants joint sovereignty" is plainly false. Pointing out that your statement is false is not defamation. However much you may try and twist the argument the simple fact remains that your opening statment is simply not true, the GSD party do not want joint sovereignty and have said so many times. Read all their press releases during the last referendum.

    No amount of argument will make Andorra what you want it to be. You cannot argue against reality. By all means oppose any form of Andorra solution for Gib, but at least have a clear idea what you are opposing. Your contention that Andorra = Joint sovereignty is incorrect, and no amount of argument will alter that reality.

  51. Darren

    My dear chap, I posed a QUESTION I did not make a STATEMENT.

    A CO-PRINCIPALITY (Andorra) where one HEAD OF STATE is a Bishop in Spain and another is the President of France has TWO JOINT SOVEREIGNS and however many times you say it is NOT joint sovereignty that fact that it has TWO JOINT SOVEREIGNS making it JOINT SOVEREIGNTY will NOT CHANGE.

    You say the GSD do not want joint sovereignty. That is YOUR answer to my question but is it what people think? That is what matters. If they think that fine.

    I agree that disagreeing with me is not defamatory but saying that I am disingenuous and dishonest when I pose a question, which has a valid and justifiable basis. well let people decide ... anyway its not that I care too much. You have done the cause of the GSD no good at all by your reaction.

  52. Llanita from Gibraltar says...

    Perhaps they are right, the majority of the GSD don't want joint sovereignty, but their leader seems to, so this public confirmation of his personal belief must have come as a huge shock to them.

    The GSD propaganda machine must be working overtime (more than usual!) to deny their leader's words, re-invent what he meant and, if all of that fails, either ridicule whoever dares speak such profanities or viscously attack them with accusations of scaremongering or hidden agendas, etc.

    Fabian Picardo once said that when he starts getting personal abuse from the Government, he knows he's on the right track. I was quite taken aback by this at the time, surely not in this democracy of ours, but perhaps his analysis was right, and perhaps now, Robert, you too are on the right track.

    Credit to the GSD propaganda machine who must be congratulated on their hard work. Sympathy to them too, as they must be feeling a little like the orchestra of the Titanic at this point in time.

    I expect a few will come out now to ridicule my post, and I welcome them, as perhaps this will mean that I too am on the right track.

  53. Ghost says:

    Robert you may have just asked the question, but it seems clear which way you lean. One thing is to say that its up to the people to say and think what they wish; another in this instance is to suggest (very cleverly) whilst always protecting your right of return and scream "I pose a question"!

    So I say again, you feed those who almost want to believe that Caruana is about to execute his plan of sale to Spain. I think this is proven in that you now have Fabian jumping on the band wagon, in very diplomatic manner I might add (I refer to the FB comments) and casting his iron guarantees (you gotta love it)on the matter. This debate is so entirely filled with speculation as to deem it worthy of an Orson Wells sequel to War of the Worlds; and to boot we now have Fabian, with his knight in shining armour antics wanting to fight it out at the next election…..classic stuff Robert, you must be doing cartwheels in the office..;) Given the oppositions antics during the constitution, they would do well to hold fire and not fall into the trap of knee jerk reactions, they have proven disastrous decisions in the past; this unlikely to happen though and we may well find that yet again they may a crucial mistake.

    There is the possibility that you (Robert) are cleverer than we all might give you credit for………..but surely you are not a closet GSD supporter are you?

    Finally what amazes me is that so few people have actually seen the debate in Seville which lasts for over 90 minutes and of which makes reference to a POSSIBLE Andorra LIKE discussion over Gibraltar for 4 minutes.


  54. If the GSD does not Support an Andorra-like model for Gibraltar, Peter Caruana SHOULD NOT HAVE made the comment in PUBLIC. He is The Chief Minister of Gibraltar and was at the Foro as such and representing Gibraltar. In the same way professionals from many different fields are not allowed to make personal comments when wearing their professional hats, PC should NOT HAVE made the comment if this was a personal opinion. When acting the CM he CAN ONLY speak as the CM and not as Peter Caruana, the individual. As unforunate as this may seem, it is what he HAS TO ADHERE TO just like any other normal working person has to refrain from personal comments whilst in a work capacity.

    It still amazes me how some have chosen to come up with excuses that PC is not pro-Spain in finding a future model for Gibraltar despite the comment he made. Nowonder the man is so arrogant when hoardes of people seem to thrown themselves at his feet and kiss the ground he works on. They do know he is a mere mortal right? Scary to see such extremities in loyalty to a person who is neither a relative nor friend but a mere politician with hunger pangs for power!

  55. Ghost


    Are you suggesting that free speech should be moderated to outcome and subjective unverified views of or about the party in power? That smacks of censorship, which has no place in a democrarcy.

    I have said frequently I belong to no party. I give my honest opinion. I fully accept that it may not be shared by others or indeed anyone, pero lo negro es negro y lo blanco es blanco, para mi at least.

  56. Espion: The word from the GSD propaganda machine is that Robert is being "mischievous" (that is apparently the word that supporters have been ordered to use), and is being manipulated by the GSLP. They are looking for dirty linen but have obviously not found any. My sources tell me that Robert has become the bete noire and to expect reprisals.

  57. They key to an Adorran solution for Gibraltar may rest on the fact that the sovereignty of the land, sea and air rests with the Gibraltarians and, in that setting, who the figureheads are may not be that important to some and is perhaps a democratic debate and issue to consider consider.

    The problem is, constitutionally and democratically, what the proposals for the UK's powers on foreign affairs, defence and internal securuty are going to be. The options would seem to be limited to four:

    a) UK retains them
    b) Shared between UK and Spain
    c) Shared between UK, Spain & Gibraltar
    d) Gibraltar retains them

    b) very possible, a) possible c) unlikely and d) very unlikely. There would have to be compromise on jurisdiction, powers and control (these are aspects of sovereignty).

    What a potential and destabilising mess!

  58. Never have i seen in Gibraltar the level of vitriol that RV is being subjected to in some GSD circles in the last few days. Not even Bossano or Fabian have been talked about in such dark terms. I am horrified & disgusted. What is happening in our beloved Gibraltar where we all used to get on so well!

  59. Espion:

    I must be doing something right!

    The GSD think I am manipulated by the GSLP.

    The GSLP think I am with the GSD.

    Could this be a reflection of my independent mind at work? WOW, That would be a first in "party politics Gibraltar" ... someone who has a mind of his own and none of the parties like!

    Reprisals come with a penalty for those who mete them out. If that is the game, they may rebound...

  60. lol, Robert, now you are being disingenious! It was not mere question, it was a question following an untrue statement. You started off the debate stating "GSD want joint sovereignty..." which as you well know is not true. Your question was as to how can a party which wants joint sovereignty lead the which the answer is quite simply, because they don't want it!

    This debate itself has also got off on the wrong foot as you started with another wrong statement. You stated that you had been " accused, on the Llanito World Facebook page, of being disingenuous and dishonest because I posed a question about the Andorran model floated by the Chief Minister in a forum in Spain". This is not true. You were accused because you started out by making an untrue statement about GSD policy. This was the reason I said your statement was "disingenuous and dishonest", NOT for debating or questioning Andorra.

    It is right that the Andorra model be debated, and of course there will be a wide variety of opinions. I am sure that you welcome debate, as this appears to be the raison d'etre of this blog. But when debating certains things have to be expected;

    A. People will at times disagree with you.
    B. If you make a mistake of fact, somebody is bound to point it out.
    C. If you say something that is untrue, somebody is bound to point that out.

    It may well be that people think that Andorra = joint sovereignty, but they are wrong. I am sure that the CM does not want a carbon copy of the Andorra constitution, but feels there may well be some kind of variation of it which would suit us. Therefore the details of the Andorra model are not so important as whether a modified Andorra model may work here.

    I do not post here to "subject you to vitriol", but when anyone makes an untrue statement in what appears to be an attempt to discredit a political party by ascribing to them views which they do not hold, then I think it is right that people should set the record straight.

  61. Darren

    In every disagreement the stage arrives when we must agree to disagree. That stage has arrived. Neither one of us will achieve anything more by repeating endlessly our respective positions ... so I will not reply to you again nor will I publish any further comment by you unless it makes a new point.

    Thank you for your involvement ... It has resulted in more hits than I have ever had before on this blog

  62. Ghost says:
    Bueno entonce que, have you been spinning those cartwheels through Triays chambers? Or are you in hiding given statements made by some and not least "the level of vitriol" that you have been subjected to....:)
    You do indeed hold that middle ground well though.

  63. Ghost

    The day I made the headlines in "The Key", that auspicious pamphlet produced by the GSLP, I was dubbed the new leader of the palomos. I did not hide. I walked down from my house quite openly with no reprisals. I will certainly not hide because of the vitriol that I am being subjected to here or the threats of reprisals that someone has said will come my way.

    In fact I am glad that this debate is being had. I am also glad that some think that the Andorra model is not joint sovereignty. I beg to differ but interestingly they do not say what it is: it is INDEPENDENCE under joint Heads of State or SOVEREIGNS. If independence is what anyone wants why don't they say it?

    I certainly do not want independence. Gibraltar is not ready for it. We need to improve our democratic credentials and also convince Spain first (which I consider to be impossible). This will be the subject of a more extensive blog by me on another ocassion.

    In the meantime I am the bete noir of the GSD (aparently) and not on the right side of the GSLP... oh dear! How the exercise of the right to freedom of speech in Gibraltar is viewed by some!

  64. Ther is no conspiracy theory going on here as Anon 15.36 claims.
    I am a GSD member and I am yet to hear a negative word spoken against you Robert. On the contrary, many members, including myself, very much enjoy your blog as something refreshing and as food for thought.
    We comment and discuss the IDEAS (and not you) made on the blog as anybody else would.
    The GSD members I know are not the tyrants some make us out to be: we do believe in freedom of speech and alternative thinking and we do recognise well thought out and intelligent argument from whatever side of the fence.
    It is an insult to think we would stoop so low as to mete out reprisals because someone has an opinion that is thought-provoking...give us a break, we are not that banal!
    And NO, in answer to your original blog question, I do not think you are dishonest Robert.

  65. Anonymous at 17:23

    Believe me when I say that I have not for one minute thought that there would be reprisals against me. I know from various GSD and GSLP sources that my blog is read by GSD adherents as well as GSLP adherents.

    I try and write my views in a thought provoking way. I honestly believe that Gibraltar will benefit from this type of open dabte, which unfortunately, due to many reasons (in the main due to perceptions rather than reality), tends to be stifled.

    When people see that I am still alive despite reprisals (JOKE!) maybe more will join in and improve the democratic atmosphere in Gibraltar. After all, that is what we fought for during the closed frontier days. Let us not spoil it for ourselves.

  66. Ghost says:
    ""The Key", that auspicious pamphlet produced by the GSLP" ......Robert you are a comedian too?..:)

  67. I agree with Anon 17.30. I am also a GSD member and cannot believe some of the stuff I am reading. Robert. you are doing a great job and although many times we will agree to disagree, everyone has a great deal of respect for you and this blog.

  68. Robert,

    How on earth can an experienced lawyer like you confuse joint sovereignty (two states have jurisdiction over Andorra) with joint sovereigns (two different people holding the top job). You said yourself that the Andorran constitution vested sovereignty on its people,does it matter who the sovereigns are?

    I only wish the 2006 Gibraltar constitution vested soveriegnty on Gibraltarians. In exchange, we would make Penelope Cruz and Posh Beckham joint sovereigns. Deal?

    Hound Dog

    Hound Dog

  69. Quill said.....

    Let us not forget that thanks to the creation and maintenance of this blog, it is probably the first time that everyone (yes all of us) can debate truthfully, energetically and with passion. However whilst we all hold the privilaged position of anonymity and are able to express our opinions without fear of reprisals, Robert has enough C O Jones to stand and be counted for what he says and believes. Well done mate!

    The fundamental is not whether we agree or disagree with RV's views or whether he is right or wrong, what matters is the very essence of being able to agree or disagree freely in the first place. In doing so we have to respect each other and if some of us are incapable of this basic principle, then there will never be proper debate.

    Therefore these die hard political fanatics of all parties, who threaten and tarnish those of different opinion and especially the good work of others, pose the biggest threat to our freedom of speach and to this blog.

    Keep it up Robert and do not loose faith on your mission, whatever it may be.

  70. Hound Dog

    I was waiting for the semantic argument, well done!

    This is exactly the debate that needs to be had. I have said it a few times and no one takes the bait. I make this point precisely in my reply to Ghost timed at 16:43 above.


    Is it a nationalistic emotion or is it about real power? If as you suggest, it is about real power, where does the 2006 Constitution leave us on this front? Does it matter who the the joint sovereigns are? You seem to think not ... many people disagree with you.

    I do not think it is as simple as you suggest. Sovereigns have an important role to play especially in a crisis as I illustrate in my original piece above.

    It is because I am a lawyer that I dig deeper than your comment implies that you have. Trying to ridicule me will gain you no traction at all. I take that with a smile.

  71. I think that GSLP fifth columnists are trying to scare Robert (as if he would be scared, HUH, LOL ;)!)into adopting anti-GSD positions. As a GSD supporter de toda la vida, I think that Robert made a mistake but, hey, to err is human. No one that I know hates him or wishes him harm. After the demise of the Panorama, Vox and Gibfocus discussion forums Llanito World is needed althought Robert you should take more care the next time. Cheers!

  72. Tony Blair has said he is determined to resolve the dispute by the end of this year. The presence of a British colony on the Iberian Peninsula has blighted Anglo-Spanish relations for almost 300 years.
    It is deemed by many in London and Madrid to be an anachronism which presents a stumbling block to many EU initiatives. Spain however has shown no signs of withdrawing from Ceuta and Melilla, its enclaves in North Africa, both of which are claimed by Morocco.
    In the past London has indicated that it will sweeten the pill of a joint sovereignty agreement with the offer of greater autonomy for the Gibraltar government. Over the years, successive British governments have attempted to hand the colony back to Spain, either in exchange for colonies in Latin America, or more recently as part of EU horse-trading.
    Could PRC be following the UK instructions?

  73. Que confusion! Para mi que nadie sabe lo que esta diciendo. Muchos abogados pero poco sentido! debajo de algunas pelucas parece que hay poco cerebro.

  74. The only reason that Gib is prosperous is the fact that it is 100% British. That is why we have prominent financial entities and betting companies etc here, as at the end of the day Britain is the guarantor of our institutions. Do I like an Andorran solution ? Yes, if the other party was France and not Spain.
    By the way Robert, please do not let your blog become a ding dong between you and el pesao de Ghost.

  75. Ghost will get his fair share on this blog but I agree that he should not monopolise the argument so from now on I shall be more judicious with him.

  76. Anonymous said...
    The reason Gib is prosperous is because the UK has ALLOWED us to compete worldwide financially i.e. personal and companies’ taxes, online betting, gambling and other incentives.
    Over the years UK have smooth the progress of PRC by releasing land and properties which PRC has sold to DIRECTLY and other developers, UK are further releasing another 300 odd more properties which could yield another £150/200.000.000 in the near future, this is clearly a sign that UK are getting out sooner than later.
    Was this a plan or agreement between the UK and PRC to build Gibraltar to its highest financial level in Europe to later on say we’ve done our best to support Gibraltar you must now find another solution to your problems.
    Be aware that we are mainly competing with the UK financial businesses market and individuals who are leaving the UK and setting up in Gibraltar, and question how long the UK / EU will allow us to carry on this route?
    Whoever takes over will have tremendous problems to maintain our present financial level and our £600.000.000 pounds of debt.

  77. Election or referendum.
    PRC will be counting on the non Gibraltarians new residents permit holders. We must know how many new non Gibraltarians there are in Gibraltar and ensure they are complying to the full within the Gibraltar law.
    The Gibraltar law states that: If you do find a job in Gibraltar then both work and residency permits will be issued. Non EU nationals may be able to obtain a residence permit if they wish to purchase property, particularly those in the luxury home market.
    Citizens of Gibraltar are in effect UK citizens, so applying for citizenship is the same as becoming a UK citizen.
    Will all residents holders in Gibraltar have the right to vote in our referendum?
    how long does it take for a non Gibraltarian to obtain a Gibraltar resident permit.
    1. Question how many non new Gibraltarians residents have been added over the last 16 years
    2. How many non new residents holders are not registered living in Gibraltar.
    3. How many non new residents holders have become residents by having bought a property in Gibraltar?
    4. How many non new residents holders are being allowed per property bought in Gibraltar
    5. How many non new residents holders have been allowed in Gibraltar for any other reasons
    6. How many none Gibraltarians permit holders are employed in Gibraltar that have resident permit and reside in Spain
    7. How many expats non Gibraltar residence permit in Gibraltar?
    8. Any other reason where non new residents permits have been granted in Gibraltar.
    9. Are UK Citizens allowed to vote in our referendum
    10. Is a non Gibraltar residents permit holders allowed to vote in Gibraltar?
    11. How many non Gibraltar employees in gaming and finance business are resident in Gibraltar


  79. Ghost says:

    Robert re your post to anon 00:02 "Are you suggesting that free speech should be moderated to outcome and subjective unverified views of or about the party in power? That smacks of censorship, which has no place in a democracy." I quote from your post to me in my reply to you (if it ever gets published), it really was the most apt and appropriate response that I could think of – call it a compliment, for your eloquence.

    I have already tried to post this and will give you the benefit of any doubt that I may have that you will indeed post it this second time round.

    In the event that you do not I can only assume that you have indeed begun to censor with a very weak excuse of my monopolizing your blog. A great shame, given that I featured so prominently in your facebook marketing.


  80. YOU have undermined the greatest Chief Minister that Gibraltar has ever had. SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!!!SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!!!SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!!!

  81. PRC Andorra Suggestion
    Gibraltarians will expect every GSD MINISTER to go public and identify themselves in favour or against Peter Richard Caruana. I can assure them that Gibraltarians will forever remember them and their action

  82. Anonymous at 19:31

    WOW are you for real?

    I really do not have that power ... what about the views expressed by Maurice Xhiberras, Joe Caruana and other newspaper articles. What about the interview of Peter Cummings on GBC last night? He was expelled by the GSD for precisely putting forward the view that Gibraltar should adopt the Andorra model.

    It was the Chief Minister who said what he said, not me.

  83. SHAME ON YOUUUUUUU!!!!!!!! don't try to shift the blame to others!!!!!!!! STOP VICTIMISING OUR CHIEF MINISTER.SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!YOU INFURIATE ME VASQUEZ.

  84. Ghost:

    I have not said that I will censor you.

    I have said clearly that you will get your fair share of this blog. I assure you that all your comments will be published in the usual way.

    I said that I would be more judicious, meaning in my replies, you will allow me that choice at least.

  85. Peter Cummings made a fair point on GBC that there is also a form of joint sovereignty of Gibraltar, as the EU has a measure of sovereignty. Spain is a member of the EU and therefore has some say in what happens in Gibraltar.

    My view is that the UK/Spain sovereignty argument is increasingly becoming a side show, due to the increased powers of the EU. There is huge opposition to the EU in the UK, and Gibraltar may find it has to consider pulling out of the EU, whatever the UK decides.

    Gibraltar is the only UK territory to be in the EU, but not in the UK. As the following link shows there is a precedent for a territory leaving the EU, as Greenland left but Denmark is still a member.

  86. The "Shame on You" Anon must be one of those who pleasures himself daily over pics of the CM.


  88. "Shame on You" Even more embarrasing to admit be a man and be so OBSESSED and protective of the CM LOL Itd be even funnier if you're not a teenager but a grown man, and even funnier if you were a married family man ROFL.

    Calm down and get back to "gluing" your CM pics

  89. The CMs statement is insulting to anyone with a single brain cell! He tries to "quitarle hierro al asunto" with a statement which delivers no substance, lacks any explanation, and is basically watered down bumf which he thinks the electorate which he sees as "thickos" will just accept and not look into further.

    The CM PRC has evolved into the biggest "bell-end" ever!

  90. Francis Buttigieg30 November 2010 at 23:27

    All I want to say at this stage is that for much less said, not so long ago, people would have manifested visibly.

    Vivir para ver esto, que verg├╝enza!

    To this I add, Not in my name PRC CM QC (P).

  91. "Shame on You" Anon
    You must be aware how many excellent government employees have retired before their time and how many are just rotting away waiting for their time to come due to your idol, I can only assume you are one of those intelligent good for nothing yes-man pelota

  92. There is ONe Civil Servant who is often the cause of "verguenza ajena" in his department for openly and very frequently and insistingly informing one Minister that they are their No.1 fan LOL My face feels like its on fire every time I recall this LOL Just goes to show how obsessive people become, and how willing they are to trade their intellect / capacity of thought just to please!

  93. RV

    The Cm issued a statement tonight (as reported by GBC) following the Andorra controversy that "no degree of Spanish sovereignty over any part of Gibraltar is acceptable. It is absurd that after having spent 10 years defending Gibraltar from Joint sovereignty including the Territorial Waters dispute, that he woudl findf this acceptable." He further explains that the Current status of andorra involves no Sovereignty on the part of Spain or France.

    Basically he is trying to swerve away from this now, thinking that "co-princes" as opposed to "joint sovereignty" makes any difference to Gibraltarians. If we were to adopt an Andorra Post-93 like-status, Spain would be a "co-primce" of Gibraltar which in my book, and probably for the majority, is more or less the same as Joint Sovereignty - in effect Spain wins and has some form of ownership, direct link or whatever the word is in relation to Our Rock.

    No doubt Caruana trying to be word-clever again and attempting to confuse the electorate!

  94. Spartacus

    If this is what he has said ... then I really do not know what he meant by the Andorra model because earlier in the talk he gave he completely discarded the possibility of independence for Gibraltar. If the Andorra model does not include any form of involvement by Spain or independence what did he mean by referring to it.

    My question is the same as was asked of him WHAT STATUS DOES HE SEEK FOR GIBRALTAR? This is what he was asked when he made his reference to the Andorra model, so what is his reply now?

  95. RV completely agree with you. That is why I described his statement as lacking substance, failing to address the question and basically a whole lot of verbal diahorrea with which he hopes to confuse / convince us.

    It'll be interesting to see how this is just allowed to die without any real explanations given. No doubt PC in true PC fashion will just ognore this and the debate created because it is not in his interest to clear up his "messy statement and comments". I personally think he will just allow this to fade into the background at least until the Election Campaign begins and no doubt the whole issue will be revived.

    Im just hoping Mr Carauana scoops the Euromillions jackpot on Friday and following that decides to retire to a far flung island in the middle of nowhere.

  96. Plato says:

    Spartacus, he should either carry out your last paragraph or listen to David Bowie's 'Major Tom' lyrics. LOL

  97. Ghost says:

    I have refrained from making further comment on the matter of the debate held in Seville over the past few days; it now seems more than evident that most have not taken the time to watch the debate on youtube and clearly prefer to accept a premise which suits their argument and delivers the palomo characterization.

    Look, you may not like the man, that it is your right, you may disagree with policy, you may even get rattled at the fact that he has been in power too long and that Roberts interpretation of the limited checks and balances provided in our constitution allow him too much power, you may have a gripe about Rosia Tanks, OEM, the airport; but for the love of God if there is one single thing that cannot be questioned it is his unwavering defense of Gibraltars right to self determination. We were at the brink of direct rule people, a status which would have almost certainly mean’t shared sovereignty with Spain. Compare our position today with that of 15 years ago and you cannot argue anything other than the fact that Gibraltar stands far more confident, politically stable and with cast iron guarantee from Britain that our sovereignty is protected and decisions about it at our discretion and control. This state of affairs has not miraculously appeared whilst Peter Caruana planned his 15 years devious ploy to rob us of our right to decide….or are some of you really suggesting that it is ?

    The Andorra statement is NOT policy, has been completely misconstrued by those wishing to create a frenzy and is quite literally an insult to our collective integrity as a people in which we choose to gun down the one man who has gone out there to defend our position and hold Spain to account in Spain, to Spaniards and to those with misconceptions about who we are and what we seek. It strikes me that PRC should be holding a forum for all of you instead.


  98. Brown Cow said;

    1. The CM appeared in his capacity as CM – he should not have ventured personal views particularly ones that have the potential to be so controversial. One rather begins to believe that the CM has difficulty in divorcing his personal views and the obligations of his office (see our age of consent debacle);

    2. Whatever the technical and legal truth may be “a status like Andorra” carries with it the notion/idea/connotation of joint sovereignty. The CM’s statement was a massive political blunder regardless of what he meant or what his real views are.

    3. Having committed said blunder our official and remunerated opposition have promptly failed to react timeously or at all. Rather they bide their time and rely on their individual MPs to make comments on Facebook.

    Maybe the CM has blundered / perhaps he has revealed his true views. I for one don’t care, at least he is doing the job he is paid to do, and working very hard for his money. What I do care about is how utterly pathetic our official and remunerated opposition are in taking up a golden goose of an opportunity.

    Probably, as LW has commented above, they are withholding their views waiting to make sure they don’t put their foot in it. If so that is even worse. This is a core issue. The people expect to hear from them immediately and robustly. The opposition is a mess. Polls reflect this.

  99. Brown Cow said;

    Ghost - we are on the brink of direct rule again. See age of consent case for details.

  100. This doesn't square up.

    If Gibraltar exercised its right to self determination in 2006 under the new constitution what's the point behind having any proposals for Gibraltar's status now or in the future? WHAT FOR?

  101. Ghost

    The vast majority of Gibraltarians (like myself) will not be aware of the legalistic details of the post `93 Andorra Constitution and what this really means but by the looks of comments both here and in the press, most notably by Xiberras it obviously means different things to different people!

    In the context of recent events (Territorial waters most notably)and Spains continual insistence to do things in her own unimitable way - Cordoba or no Cordoba - the CM`s comments were ill timed and he would serve himself (not to mention his party`s chances at the next GE)better by a proper explanation of WHAT exactly it is that he meant when he uttered the words.
    I`ve read the statement in todays press and I`m none the wiser as to what the "Andorra model" would really means for us.

    The vast majority of us are quite happy to keep our present status - thank you very much and to toy with a future status which may or may not include a role for Spain is simply playing with fire.

    If it ain`t broke don`t fix it !

  102. The CM has said in reply to Maurice Xiberras that "No degree of Spanish sovereignty is acceptable".

    I wonder why when he says in the same breath, just one paragraph earlier, that his example possible solution to the Gibraltar problem, the Andorra type status, is "... to a certain extent ... problematic for everyone ...". This admits that it is for Gibraltar as well as the other parties. If there is no Spanish sovereignty implications in the Andorra model, as the CM says.

    What is the problem for Gibraltar that the CM sees with this status?
    Why was Peter Cummings expelled from the GSd prior to the 2002 elections? He said on GBC that it was because he advocated the Andorra model for Gibraltar.

    He also says "The fundamental point is that modern Andorra is NOT a case of joint sovereignty between Spain and France. It is not a case of shared sovereignty between them. Neither France nor Spain have or exercise sovereignty in or over Andorra. Accordingly, the application of the Andorra Model to Gibraltar would not involve Spain having any sovereignty of Gibraltar." Several questions arise.

    Is the CM advocating independence for Gibraltar?
    If he is advocating independence why did in that same talk, he say that he did not consider independence to be a viable option for Gibraltar?
    How can the Andorra model resolve the Gibraltar problem, when, what Spain claims is sovereignty?
    In view of the previous question, what was the point of the CM suggesting this status as a possible solution to the Gibraltar issue?
    If there was no point does it not just raise unnecessary expectations in the minds of Spain (and possibly the UK) where there are none?
    Is raising such expectations beneficial to Gibraltar?
    Why did he say this at all?

    I do not consider that the explanation given by the CM is understandable, unless it is read as the retraction (ungenerous though it is) which Maurice asked for. That is how I read it and on that understanding of it, the statement is to be welcomed.

  103. Ghost

    I agree with you.

    The 2006 Constitution is what we have to work with. I do not believe even the UK has an appetite to change that Constitution or revisit it, unless it is in the context of resolving issues with Spain.

    I believe that most people in Gibraltar are happy with the 2006 Constitution to the extent of the matters dealt with in it. What people are not happy about are the issues not dealt with in the 2006 Constitution. These are essentilaly issues of democratic deficit. These are in the power of our politicians to put right. Why don't they just forget Spain (other than to defend our interest) and get on with what they are paid for: to govern us DEMOCRATICALLY. Its time they changed the institutional deficits in our democracy that have been so often pointed out to them.

  104. In his statement today Mr Caruana says that Mr Xiberras has based his analysis and conclusions on a false premise. He states that the post-1993 Andorra model is not a case of joint sovereignty between Spain and France and that neither country exercise sovereignty over Andorra. Robert, you and Fabian say it is (joint sovereignty) to a degree, he insists it isn't. Who is correct?

    “The application of the Andorra Model to Gibraltar would not involve Spain having any sovereignty of Gibraltar,” he says adding: “It is absurd to imagine that, having spent the last 10 years defending Gibraltar from joint sovereignty (including right now in relation to territorial waters), I might now find it acceptable. No degree of Spanish Sovereignty of any part of Gibraltar is acceptable.”

    So is Peter Caruana 'doing an Albert Hammond' i.e. saying one thing to the Spanish media and another to the Gib media? Albert is a private citizen and can say what he likes in Spain but Peter should weigh his words more carefully when speaking in Spain in his capacity as CM, surely.

  105. What's the answer to ANON 1 December 2010 12:08?

  106. Robert with your permission I will give a more considered exposition of my views on Andorra a little later today.

    For now, I simply wish to comment that, under my interpretation of the speech, the CM's phrase "which to a certain extent is problematic for everyone" refers to the "Gibraltar issue" (i.e. the sovereignty dispute generally) and not the Andorra proposal specifically.

    The full extract reads:
    "For example, I have said many times that a proposal, which I do not think Spain would make, is not minded to make, now, or perhaps ever, a proposal for a possible solution to the Gibraltar issue, which to a certain extent is problematic for everyone, would be, for example, a status like Andorra which is a situation in which, well, you all know the Andorra post its new Constitution of 1993, obviously not the one before."

    With your permission I will engage fully in the debate a little later on, when time allows.

  107. Marcellus Wallace1 December 2010 at 14:23

    The Chief Minister’s statement in Sevilla served no purpose whatsoever other than give Spain a little bit more hope of regaining sovereignty over Gibraltar. This was imprudent of him as when it comes to Spain the proverb “you give them an inch and they take a mile” could not be more apt. Furthermore, his retort to Maurice Xiberras is full of inconsistencies and contradictions. Again he is trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the people of Gibraltar. An Andorra type model would mean joint sovereignty whether Mr Caruana likes it or not.
    But what do you expect from a man who is full of delusions?
    This is the same Chief Minister who states that we have been fully decolonised with our new Constitution, yet we are still listed in the UN as a territory waiting decolonisation.
    The same Chief Minister who claims to be a true Socialist ("LOL")when he reduces personal taxes in the budget, yet a truly socialist tax policy would require higher taxation rates in order to properly centralize the economy. Don’t get me wrong I applaud his policy of reducing personal taxes, but don’t call yourself something you are not. Going back to the main subject under discussion, the fact is that he admitted to “not seeing it as impossible” he might recommend a post 1993 Andorran Constitution model to the people of Gibraltar. He can try and diffuse the issue as much as he likes but for me and anybody who is capable of basic comprehension that means he is quite possibly open to the idea of proposing joint sovereignty.
    It saddens me, the state Gibraltar has reached that such a statement no matter how ambiguous it is; people are not outraged by it. Only a few decades ago - and Gibraltarians would be calling for the Chief's head (metaphorically speaking of course),


  108. Calpetano:

    I accept that your interpretation is certainly possible save that it is such an obvious truism as would make it unlikely that the CM meant it in that way but yes it could be.

  109. Anonymous at 12:08 poses a very pertinent question. I do not believe that the 2006 Constitution was an exercise of the right to self determination. There are those who do and have so stated publicly, the CM included. He sold it as such at the time of the 2006 Referendum. You will recall that I headed the "NO" campaign.

    Why then does he think the existing status is not enough? It should be for him who has said it the 2006 Constitution referendum was an exercis of self determination by Gibraltar. I do not think by accepting the 2006 Constitution in a referendum Gibraltar has exercised the right to self determination but the 2006 Constitution is good enough for me, save that, as I have said above, the democratic deficit has to be made up by reforms introduced by our Parliament, now that they were not introduced by the 2006 Constitution.

    The UK have essentially said (in the Despatch to the 2006 Constitution)that the 2006 Constitution is as far as they will go. The practical effect of this is that any further progress toward independence (or call it self determination if you like) is achievable only with the agreement of Spain. In my view that is what the 2006 "self determination" referendum achieved for Gibraltar. Briefly, confirmation that beacuse of the Treaty of Utrecht Spain has a say in that issue. Admittedly, Gibraltar on the face of the Despatch records its disagreement to that stae of affairs but, in my view, that is a legalistic and not a real or political approach to the issue.

  110. So when Mr Caruana says

    "The current status quo does not displease us, it pleases us, but is it the final status for Gibraltar? I personally think that it is not"

    is he then accepting that Gibraltar did not get self determination with the 2006 referendum?

  111. Anonymous 15:31

    I cannot answer for the CM but it is rather confusing, not to say contradictory, isn't it?

    I have always been of the view that the referendum on the 2006 Constitution was not an exercise in self determination. I have no problem with that, myself, but I do have a problem with it being characterised (wrongly in my opinion) as such by politicians.

  112. Kaelan Joyce

    You still have the reference to a physical disability that I will not publish. Please delete that and i will publish.

  113. Ghost says:

    Might there be such a thing as an exercise of self determination within elements of constraint and affected by circumstance; that being that the U.K will not at this stage move further on its position hence the current constitution and that it is unwilling to move further because of the relationship with Spain? Is there no logic in keeping an open door to dialogue with Spain whilst at the same time holding them to account when there is an opportunity to do so? And if as has been the case over the past decade we continue to be strong economically and righteous in our resolve, might we not see a gain in a position on which right is clearly on our side?

    If this was the case would it not be short sighted for anyone to suggest that our current status cannot be improved upon because that same constitution, which in my view only reflects a phase of movement toward progress, deems that our right to self determination has already been exercised?

    Surely we can aspire to further movement given that the age old position (undemocratic that it is) of Spain is weakening by the day. It seems to me that PRC has secured our position first and foremost with the party that controls it – that being Britain, this is now enshrined in our constitution, which was an act of self determination within the parameters of the day. The key however, is not Britain we know this; the mind set of Spain may in future lead way to further acts of self determination, and which can lead to constitutional changes that provide us with many versions of independence, autonomy, call it what you will.

    My point being that PRC is taking his case to the Spaniards now with the full backing and confidence that Britain will stand by us. On the one hand he is showing them a willingness for dialogue, whilst on the other he is rightfully reminding them of their democratic duty as a European Nation.


  114. Ghost

    A constarined esercise in SELF DETERMINATION? That is a greta theory but I think that a vist to the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary will dispel that idea!

    Spain's position does not weaken at an institutional level. It is less stridently pursued perhaps but do not interpret this as a weakening on fundamentals.

    I disagree with your analysis of the what the 2006 Constitution has done but I will never convince you. But you concede that we have to look to Spain and not Britain for our future constitutional evolution? Is that not Spain exercising an element of sovereignty over us in practice rather than as a matter of law (de facto rather than de jure? I do not disagree but WOW!

  115. Touchy are we?? It is a well known quote! Anyways for the third time......

    Dear Mr. Ghost I believe it is YOU and not Mr. Vazquez who is interpreting things conveniently.
    I admire Robert for coming out publicly and speaking his mind whilst people such as yourself and many others hide behind sudo-names and post anonymously. Cowards the lot of you!!
    I take it you saw the Letter’s published yesterday in the Chronicle by Joe Caruana (No relation to Peter) and Maurice Xiberras? BOTH FORMER MINISTERS and members of the BRITISH INTEGRATION party might I add. In these aforementioned letters they both CONDEMN the Chief Ministers Comments as do I and many other Gibraltarians. Let me remind you it was the CHIEF MINISTER HIMSELF who MENTIONED the ANDORRA “arrangement” and NOT the Spanish Politicians. It seems to me that our usually politically savvy Chief Minister SLIPPED up (if it was only for a mere second) and blurted out what he has always been open to a SPANISH GIBRALTAR.
    Yet according to the GSD Fraction (e.g. you) people such as myself & TWO RETIRED MINISTERS with no ties what so ever to the GSLP party are PARANOID. The Chronicle (which the Government controls) "misquotes" the Chief Minister as does the Scottsman Website and the Youtube Video is misinterpreted by members of the public who don't understand English/Spanish properly. Do you REALLY BELIEVE THE PEOPLE OF GIBRALTAR ARE THAT GULLIBLE?? The Cat is out of the Bag my friend and everyone can see it!!
    What the Chief Minister should have said is NO TO SPAIN!! NO TO THE ANDORRA STATUS and NO to ANYTHING that gives SPAIN a FOOTHOLD IN OUR LAND!
    Please note that under the current ANDORRA “Arrangement” the Head of Government (e.g Caruana) if not satisfied with his current Council, may request that the Co-princes (prince of Spain for example) to dissolve the Council and order new elections. IN TURN, the Councilors have the power to remove the Head of Government from office. After a motion of censure is approved by at least one-fifth of the Councilors (which would probably consist of other Pro-Spanish members), the Council will vote and if it receives the absolute majority of votes, the Prime Minister is REMOVED. Therefore the SPANISH Monarchy under an ANDORRA type “arrangement” could DE-ELECT the peoples Government of choice! What this means is that BY LAW the people of Gibraltar could be subjected to a form of Spanish Dictatorship!!!
    Wake up and start thinking with your hearts and not your damn pockets before it is too late!!

  116. Ghost says;

    Oh Robert what to do, you would do well as an etymologist.

    I have never suggested that the U.K holds the key and I think it remains clear to all that Spain is and will always be that key holder. Whilst we live in a world where Spain remains in this untenable position, we in turn and by default are presented with a world of our own and one in which we need to seek to maximize and evolve. It is under this pretext that we did in fact exercise our right to self determination. And we should strive to seek further if positions change, as they have in the past.

    You talk about Spain exercising an element of sovereignty over us.........accepted, but you could argue that France and Germany have exercised an element of the same over Ireland. As PRC said in Seville, who really is truly independent? Whether it be financially, socially, constitutionally. We have an age old position which we have begun to control thanks to our execution of our right to determine our future in today's reality, that being with the 2006 constitution. We move on and now we address Spain, with full confidence in our new position.


  117. Has Britain ever told Spain they will never pass Gibraltar to Spain or anyone else because it’s theirs?
    I only remember reading that they would not pass sovereignty to Spain without the consent of the Gibraltarians inhabitants.

  118. SHAME ON YOU!!!! you are playing vile word games and you allowed anons yesterday to say that I take onanistic pleasure from pictorial representations of the CM. That is disgusting!!! Llanito world is read by young people. How dare YOU??? YOU ARE A DISGRACE & A FOOL!!!

  119. Llanito -01-12-2010

    PRC has been reminding Gibraltarians over the years that Gibraltar was on the verge of (direct rule) when the GSLP was in power, which would have meant shared sovereignty with Spain.
    The way many Gibraltarians see PRC is that he is under extreme pressure; his out of character behaviour since the tripartite talks started may be due to an ulterior motive in that he may simply be following the UK mandate of a joint sovereignty deal with Spain as expressed by Uk Government ministers over the last 50 years and recently by Tony Blair, Jack Straw, Peter Hain and other.
    I urge PRC to come clean, ANYONE CAN MAKE MISTAKES and consider his latest actions very carefully; Gibraltarians are fed up with his arrogance, dictatorial attitude, double talk, devious and deceitful replies. It has however been quite refreshing to find a final trace of humility on his part in deigning himself to write in the chronicle justifying his actions to one of his subjects.
    God bless Gibraltar


  120. How often have we heard from the CM that the Brussels Agreement is dead and buried, meaning that negotiations on sovereignty are out of the question. What has replaced it, we are also told, is the Trilateral Forum, which is about neighbourly cooperation. Yet, the same CM would jump at an offer of an Andorra status for Gibraltar - which would entail sovereignty negotiations!
    Without entering into the debate about joint sovereignty yes or no, what is obvious is that by having two co-princes, or two 'governors' if you like, British sovereignty would be diluted.
    The extent of this dilution of power in Spain's favour is crystal clear by reading through the list of responsibilities of the two co-princes as recently reproduced in the Panorama, from the Andorra constitution.
    An Andorra status would thus give Spain a say in the affairs of Gibraltar. Is this what we have been fighting for? Is this what the vast majority want?

  121. Fabian Picardo has suggested on Facebook those who think that Spain and France do not exercise sovereignty over Andorra should read the article at:

  122. Many here are assuming that 'Andorra-style' for Gibraltar is a fait accompli!

    The key extracts in Mr Caruana's answer are: "My obligation is to protect their (Gibraltarians) right to choose, and not to be victims of imposition, which is what I do...Any (proposals) would be good, provided that they are freely accepted by the people of Gibraltar...let's put it to the people of Gibraltar in a Referendum".

    BTW Llanito World, are you know Fabian Picardo's messenger?

  123. Robert,

    Fabian Picardo has finally understood that microstates are susceptible to pressure from their larger neighbours. Wow!

    Hound Dog

  124. That New York Times article says Sarkozy threatened to renounce his co-princely title if Andorra did not play ball with the OECD on tax information exchange, which would have rendered the Andorra model arrangement rather lopsided.

  125. Anonymous

    Think we should have an annual referendum PERHAPS?
    I fully agree with the following text in your blog.
    My obligation is to protect the (Gibraltarians) right to choose, and not to be victims of imposition, WHICH IS WHAT I DO. Let’s put it to the people of Gibraltar in a Referendum".

  126. Hound Dog and Mark

    I believe the article says more than that ...

    But anyway, accepting for one moment your (and seeming the CM's) position that the Andorran model is not joint sovereignty, is it safe to deduce that what the CM wants for Gibraltar as a status for the future is independence? If os why has he always (including in the talk to the Europa Forum) say that this is not a viable status for Gibraltar?

    Anonymous at 22.20

    I am no one's messenger not even Fabian Picardo's. It just so happens that he posted that link on Facebook. I thought it would be a useful additional contribution to this debate.


  127. Ghost says:

    Kaelan, Thank you for your comments, I think we all have a right to opinionate and this blog delivers a medium for us all to participate in. Given your firm stand on the matter and your belief that PRC was essentially preparing the ground for an offer of joint sovereignty, I see little point in trying to convince you of the realities in this matter.

    I will however refer to the fact that this frenzy of thought and interpretation began after the news feature published by a little known newspaper “The Scotsman” suggests that PRC has stated he wants joint sovereignty between Gibraltar and Spain. A statement which I believe to be entirely erroneous and I believe the content and substance of the debate / forum proves this. But back to the Scotsman…what Gibraltarian actually wakes up in the morning goes online and says mmmmmmmm the Scotsman let’s have read.

    Let’s not forget that the Scotsman owned by a national Spanish news network has in the past produced some pretty questionable descriptions of Gibraltar, to which all Gibraltarians collectively have refuted loudly and openly. But no, on this occasion we suddenly find truth in the Scotsman’s statement and without even questioning agenda the publication suddenly becomes a statement of fact that we are now all prepared to accept as truth and that our CM has over a breakfast in Seville sold GIb……WOW. I suggest that you re-visit the youtube recording of the 130 minute address and QA and then review the assertion by the Scotsman. You might also want to take note that the only Gibraltarian waking up bright and early to read the Scotsman on the 26th of Nov (the morning after the forum) was none other than Fabian Picardo who obviously felt that it was in the best interests of Gibraltarians to be aware of this diatribe and kindly posted it on his facebook page (or so I am told) I do not have access to his personal page.


  128. Hound Dog

    I would have thought there was a massive difference between two neighbours bullying a smaller neighbour who is protected by British Sovereignty (Gibraltar)and a smaller neighbour (Andorra) who is being bullied by the President of one of the neighbours (France), who also happens to be the Head of State of that smaller neighbour (Andorra) and to boot the other larger neighbour (Spain) has one of its Bishops as the other Head of State of the smaller neighbour (Andorra).

    Do you not see the difference? What chance did Andorra have?

  129. High Rent says:It is not just the Scotsman, that other paper of record "GibLive" of "Monaco (sic)Ocean Village" titles its story: "Caruana wants Gib like Andorra" - if GibLive says so it must be true. On another note why is the Liberal party so quiet about the Andorrean story - do Dr. Garcia, Rubio Linares and Nils Costa perhaps agree with PRC QC CM?

  130. New Blogger says...
    Mr Caruana has let the cat out of the bag. I do not care much about what people like Ghost and even "Shame on you!!!" says to try and justify the FACT that MR Caruana is willing to recommend to us a Joint Sovereignty formula to us.

    No wonder he termed the Blair and Aznar joint sovereignty deal as "DONE DEAL". It's because it was not DONE by him, that is CARUANA.

    No wonder he has always insisted and actually did it, that is to remove the slogan NO CONCESSIONS on National Day.
    He is willing to give concessions.
    He is willing to give half of our sovereignty to at least a Spanish Bishop who incidently was representing the Foreign Ministry of Spain when the 1993 new constitution for Andorra was cooked up.

    So those trying hard to justify will fail miserably to convince me he is not a CM who is willing to give up fundamental things to Spain.

    By the way for those who might think I am of the PDP or GSLP or even GSD forget it since I have always voted for individuals who I think are capable of governing Gibraltar and Mr Caruana was one of them. Definately NOT NOW.

  131. Please post this one instead missed 2 typos on last one! :) ta

    Ghost thank you for your reply.

    I was already aware of the roots of the aforementioned "Scotsman” newspaper and did take the article with a pinch of salt. Please note though that other more reputable sources also supported the information provided by "The Scotsman". One example being the Gibraltar Chronicle, which headlined an article in the following manner ; "Chief Minister Peter Caruana has declared that he would personally support an Andorra style - post-1993 constitution - status for Gibraltar as part of a negotiated political settlement with Britain and Spain if it were on offer."
    Technicalities aside the CM did indeed say that he was open to talks regarding an Andorra type "arrangement" for Gibraltar. I also saw the YouTube Video and very clearly heard what the CM said. Furthermore his body language indicated he was feeling rather anxious when relating to the Andorra "arrangement". If you look at the video closely you will see that the CM raises his hands, gestures and even looks into the desk in front of him (avoiding eye contact in the process). Why was he flustered by this and even more worryingly WHY did he even bring the subject up? It just does not make sense. One thing is responding to a proposal and quite another making the proposal oneself!

    In my opinion the CM no longer understands the people of Gibraltar or their needs, being to self absorbed in his own personal quest (I shall not go into that now) to be able to do so.
    We need a CM who can relate to the general public and the common Gibraltarian. A CM who does not think himself superior to those around him and actually has the peoples interests at heart, which I sincerely believe our current CM no longer does. The CM has demonstrated on numerous occasions via a sequence of events that he is NOW more concerned with his own personal legacy than with the needs of his own people.

    I must admit I was once a fan of the CM, even though I never supported his political party in any of the previous elections as an apolitical stance has always been my preferred stance of choice, until now. I am certainly not Pro Bossano (as many assume due) even though I do believe he has been victimised for far too long for mistakes that those around him primarily made.
    These days though I think it is time for a change.

    I am not a lawyer, politician or anyone of note just a mere Gibraltarian providing an insight to a commons man perspective. The common man, which incidentally makes up for over 88% of Gibraltar’s population. The people of Gibraltar will never forgive the CM and his minions for sabotaging National Day and attempting to dissolve the identity of our people. This is the general public consensus regardless of what the polls say.
    His sugar coated presentation of the Andorra “arrangement” was just the icing on the cake!

    The “Winton boys” had obvious flaws but al least they were patriotic!! 100% llanito bruva ;) Never give in, never Surrender, NEVER EVER SPANISH!! 100%

    Ps- bruva is not a typo it is an intentional error!

  132. Ghost says:

    Kaelan, great character analysis! I have to say that I agree with you and thought that myself, I would not say he was flustered though he’s way too arrogant for that, but he did have to think carefully on how he worded what has clearly become the subject of contention for many. Little did the CM know that he would need to have to justify his statements to his own.

    You fail to realize that you have in fact made my point for me, he was apprehensive about the comment, he not only included a caveat prior to the statement making it clear that he represents the people and his obligation was to protect the rights of Gibraltarians, and not subject them to anything that in any way weakens or affects the very position that he has fought for over the past 15 years. He also adds (and I’ve said this before) that he is not and it is not his brief to indoctrinate anything over the people of Gibraltar and that any decision on any future status would be subject to a referendum. To clarify further on the Andorra element and to use your own words as quoted by the Chronicle “"Chief Minister Peter Caruana has declared that he would personally support an Andorra STYLE – POST 1993 CONSTITUTION - status for Gibraltar as part of a negotiated political settlement with Britain and Spain if it were on offer." STYLE being the operative word in this quote, although the correct translation also includes that he might see as “POSSIBLE” that the Andorra STYLE might be something he would bring to the table for us to decide on under and I say yet again – a Referendum!
    So you ask why might he have been, not anxious, flustered or avoiding eye contact (I’ll excuse you on that punt), but rather meticulous with his wording. Do you really expect us to believe that it was because he had arrived at the climax of his plan to coerce Spain, Britain and Gibraltar into Joint Sovereignty? Kaelan, you strike me as a bright young character (I recall your valid and well structured arguments on the Dolphinarium) and judging by your writing, thought and style, you are one to question grey areas and able to see the bigger picture….I mean all of this with the greatest of respect.

    I ask then to truly consider what PRC has achieved and so furiously fought for (most evident in the Seville forum) and tell me really that you believe his intention in that forum was anything other than to inform misconceived journalists and politicians in Spain or their rightful democratic duties, not just to us, but to themselves and to explain the great strides that Gibraltar has taken as a collective community to become what in fact Andorra is not, transparent as an economy, highly regulated as a finance centre, and addressed by the OECD as in compliance……..maybe that’s why Sarkozy was showing muscle.

    Robert ventures into debates related to Andorra, which I think are worthy of consideration and I think there is great mileage to discuss how an Andorra model may in future serve as an example of what we should be seeking as we move forward. To finalize in Caruana’s words, any offer from Spain would be good, we have had none in the past 300 years, and if we agree with Robert in that Spain holds the key (as I do), then in the spirit of negotiation and progress and in order to simply move forward, we ought to stand proud and confident that we are Gibraltarians with every right to accept or REJECT offers whilst maintaining our dignity and diplomacy….vuti..:)

    Y aqui me planto, otherwise I’ll get the classic “el peaso de Ghost” or worse still my wife, whom at present is on the verge of setting up a forum of dialogue open to wives or partners of partners obsessed con el pasao de Robert….:)Now that really would be a frightening prospect !


  133. Ghost......

    I think we will agree to disagree. :)

    Your arguments are very well structured, but have not swayed my manner of thinking.

    On a last note I would like to thank you for your compliments and for finding the time to respond to my posts.

    Ps- My girl friend also gets annoyed when I spend to much time responding to posts be it on Facebook or on Mr. Vazquez’s blog :)