Sunday, 7 November 2010

Trilateral or Bilateral: No Matter, Sovereignty is the Issue.

On the 24th October, 9 days before the Chief Minister went to Madrid to engage in technical talks within the Trilateral Process, I wrote :

" The whole dispute over territorial waters only concerns sovereignty... Consequently, how is the issue of the waters surrounding Gibraltar going to be the subject matter of the next round of the Trilateral Process at Ministerial level, with the Chief Minister participating, without these discussions necessarily including a discussion on sovereignty of the waters and thus not being just about cooperation? ".

An analysis of events on the 2nd and 3rd November show how accurate this assessment may have been.

On the 3rd November an exploratory meeting was held by the Chief Minister with Alfonso Lucini, Spain's new director for Europe. At this meeting it seems the Chief Minister made clear the Gibraltar Government's view on territorial waters. This was followed by the adoption by him of a negotiating position that would seem to be impossible to achieve without affecting the viability of the Trilateral Process. The Chief Minister confirmed that he would need to be satisfied that British sovereignty and jurisdiction would not be diluted over territorial waters before any agreement on these could be progressed.

A seemingly impossible position because of the diametrically opposed positions of each side on this subject and despite the diplomatically phrased statement that the parties would, on that subject, " ... try and seek a mutually acceptable way forward in the coming weeks". In brief, on the issue of territorial waters no formula to progress matters was found, it was a failure, possibly marking the end of cooperation on this subject. Yet, despite these occurrences, it was confirmed that discussions on all other issues would continue. How long will it take for the subject of sovereignty to encroach on other items that are on the agenda?

First impressions are that that Spain accepts that the Trilateral Process is about cooperation and not sovereignty, which is the position adopted by the Chief Minister. Is there really agreement on this fundamental (for Gibraltar) principle? If there is, sovereignty will not encroach on other matters to be discussed. Is Spain's position as uncomplicated as that, however? Certainly Spain's new Foreign Minister, Trinidad Jimenez, on the eve of the Trilateral Process talks, confirmed that agreements reached within this process would " ... benefit the population on both sides of the fence without entering into sovereignty discussions." It would seem that Spain and Gibraltar are both on the same page. A deeper analysis of this very statement and others, made by Ms Jimenez on the 2nd November, is indicative that this may not be the case.

She has said that the "discussions" to be held would not be about sovereignty. I have already discussed, in the earlier piece referred to below, my view that this would seem impossible, if the subject to be discussed is the territorial waters. In addition, she has not said that the agreements that may be reached will not have sovereignty implications, just that the "discussions" would not concern sovereignty. Her additional affirmations to the Spanish Parliament are indicative that the Trilateral Process is not viewed by Spain as sovereignty neutral.

She said that the objective of the Trilateral Process is " ... to generate enough confidence to renew bilateral talks about Gibraltar's sovereignty with the British Government". In brief that it is a softening up process. A softening up process is not a process that Gibraltar should be cooperating or participating in. It is and has always been in the sole gift of Spain to behave civilly toward Gibraltar. If they have failed to do so in the past it is entirely in their sole power to put that right. If they do, then they may or may not reap the benefits in time.

Then, in the same breath, the Spanish Foreign Minister goes on to say that the Spanish national objectives on the issue of sovereignty " ... could not be modified as this is a consequence of the defense of Spanish national interests, which are above situations and people." Yes, above people, in brief that people, presumably the people of Gibraltar, cannot stand in the way of Spain's national interest. Why then should the people of Gibraltar involve themselves in this softening up process? Let Spain behave towards Gibraltar civilly and time may tell a different story.

I invite readers to read, once again, my earlier piece "Tripartite Process: Is it about Cooperation or Sovereignty?", in the context of these recent events. You can each decide, then, whether the Trilateral Process should continue. Please bear in mind at the same time, whether you really believe that this process has delivered anything to Gibraltar or whether it will in the future deliver anything. It may be that all it does is undermine the fundamental, which is sovereignty. It may also weaken Gibraltar's case in any negotiations that may ensue on this subject in the future, not losing sight that it is Spain's desire to resume bilateral negotiations on sovereignty in the future.


  1. Fred says:

    Y es que tener aguas territoriales importa: para el petroleo, cables submarinos, la pesca, traffico maritimo, etc. Por ejemplo:

    Y si no que le pregunten a los Saharawis, o al PP de Melilla...

  2. Fred says:

    Leila o Perejil? Y siguimos con las aguas...

    Morocco made it clear that Perejil was within its territoral waters, although the Spaniards would dispute that. The French media contextualisation of the incident within the challenge to sovereignty that we faced in 2002 is of interest:

    "Cet incident intervient au moment où Espagnols et Britanniques achèvent des négociations sur le statut de Gibraltar que revendique l’Espagne alors que Madrid a toujours refusé de négocier avec Rabat le sort des deux enclaves de Ceuta et de Melilla et celui de quelques îlots voisins [...] le Maroc avait décidé d’installer «un poste de surveillance» sur l’îlot Leila, aussi appelé île du Persil, situé à une quarantaine de kilomètres de la ville de Tanger, «à l’intérieur des eaux territoriales du royaume».

  3. In your last article on the tripartite I wrote this comment:

    I believe that the tripartite PROCESS is that a PROCESS. It is clearly a PROCESS for us Gibraltarians to be woed for Gibraltar to become Spanish. All Spanish politicians at least in the PSOE believe this and they have said so. The British in turn who most of the time speak with folked tongue tell the Spanish to woe us into submission. But the most dangerous thing of all the PROCESS is that it is aided and abetted by our own Chief Minister who is taking part in this woeing all be it at times trying to show that he is a true Gibraltarian like he did in his infamous Ministerial Statement.

    I did not know what the new Foreign Minister of Spain was going to say but it is easy to predict since they are all the same, but in agreeing with you Robert I think that we should not be in a PROCEES in which the ultimate goal is not co-operation but sovereignty or even the use of co-operation as a woeing tactic to gain sovereignty.

    I will not bore you all with the other part of my comment that I posted on the same topic but it just confirms what Robert is saying on the tripartite and I Believe that the worst enemy is our own CM in being part of this PROCESS. We should NOT be part of any PROCESS to become Spainish or our Homeland be Spanish.

  4. Anaibal Sa Carneiro Pereira: Your readers may also be interested in the following: Le Maroc portugais est le nom donné à la partie du Maroc occupé militairement par le Portugal depuis le 15 août 1415, à la prise de Ceuta par Jean Ier, jusqu'au 11 mars 1769, quand Diniz de Mello e Castro, dernier gouverneur et capitaine-général de Mazagan, rend au Maroc cette dernière place portugaise sur le sol marocain, sur ordre du Premier ministre, Marquis de Pombal. Mazagan était à cette époque assiégée par le sultan du Maroc, et son abandon permit la signature du tout premier traité de paix luso-marocain, cette même année. La plupart des habitants de la ville furent transférés aux frais de l'État en Amazonie, brésilienne, où les colons reçurent argent, terres, maisons, pour fonder la Nouvelle Mazagan, actuellement simplement Mazagão, en Amapá.

  5. Mark A, Independent Commentator8 November 2010 at 14:56

    This is what the CM said in a widely-distributed published and printed statement entitled 'In Response to Criticism by Other Political Parties' on 12 October 2006:

    "...the (Cordoba) agreement says that the Government of Gibraltar understands and accepts that the REFERENCES to sovereignty are bilateral to the UK and Spain.

    "What is bilateral therefore is the REFERENCES to sovereignty in the texts, NOT THE ISSUE OF sovereignty itself. This is clear from paragraph 3 of the Ministerial Communique."

  6. A bit off topic but where else but Llanito World can a man vent?

    Another great example of the appalling standards in local Governance is splashed across today’s Chronicle. An invitation for tenders for shop units at the New Airport Terminal. Time given to potential tenderors to obtain documents, put together business plan/tender, secure finance, submit proposals? – just 13 working days…..THIRTEEN! For goodness sake we’ve been building this airport for ever, and it probably won’t be finished for another year. Offering such short tender periods smacks of two things i) insider traders – these tenders are not to secure the best deal for public money – they are only for those who are playing the inside track and already have most of the information they need thanks to personal contact with the Government departments involved (ii) total government incompetence – if they really need to have the tenders completed in thirteen working days time, then why they hell have they been sitting on their hands for so long? Or will this be another Orange Bastion / Chatham Counterguard fiasco – where for the original round of tenders the Government needed the tenders submitted again within in a period of just a few weeks, and then people who had worked had to put together proposals and secure finance just waited days, weeks, months, years before anything actually happened (unsuccessful tenderors, or at least some, were not even officially informed that they had been unsuccessful). Even today the vaults lie unoccupied and close so what the hell was the rush about in the first place?

    The best way to secure best value for the public purse is to giver tenderors realistic time frames both to prepare and submit a tender AND a realistic time frame for a definite response. That way who knows we might attract UK chain stores, Spanish chain stores instead of handing concessions to the people on the “inside track”. Might be great for them, what about the tax payer that is paying for the building they occupy? What about some quality in public office and some value for money!!!

    If you ever needed proof that too few people are taking all the decisions and that the result is a backlog of decisions which then get rushed out – this is exactly the sort of fiasco that proves it.

  7. Anon @ 09.00...

    Someone mentioned democracy `a lo llanito` earlier on and the terminal tender issue is another clear example of this.

    We come back to the proccess again. Having proper well defined process for tenders with appropriate time scales would, as you state offer the tax payer the best deal available AND go some way in avoiding the general town gossip on who those on the `inside track` are.

    But thats `a lo llanito` democracy for you.

  8. To Spain the tripartite process is a means to an end full stop! We might play around with this and that being of benefit to Gib, but at the end of the day the Spaniards will start losing their patience and will soon want to talk about sovereignty, and when we refuse to negociate they will go ballistic.
    The CM said that the Spaniards can raise the sovereignty issue and that he was not adverse to look at proposals because we are free to reject them. What is he playing at?

    Why should a country and its people (even small as we are)be subjected to wooing etc.
    Can you imagine any other democracy having to continously be on guard to preserve their nationality.
    Hell, we are Gibraltarian British. The vast majority wants them and their descendants to remain so. If there are some hispanohiles amongst us who want to keep their options open, they can b ... off to Spain.

  9. I belive that the tripartite process or the brussels process,Should be terminated until Spain recognizes our right to our land. Something which we all know will not happen. Whats going to happen when we want be able to please Spain. All roads lead to the same destination our intergation to a SPANISH STATE.

  10. I totally agree with anon 15:32 above since I am the one above also that mentioned that the Tripartite PROCESS is a PROCESS for gib to become Spanish. The worst enemy is our CM and the GSD since they believe in a PROCESS for Gib to be Spanish and they are actively participating in the slow and comfortable sell out!!

  11. 09-11-2010
    I would like to start by congratulating Mr. Robert Vasquez for his LLanito World site thus making it the only place possible for people of all walks of life to air their views without fear of being branded and harassed by the present undemocratic government.
    Many intelligent professional individuals have written about the tripartite PROCESS or TALKS and anticipate more will be written in the immediate future but what Gibraltarians basically want know is what have we really achieved and where are we heading?
    The Main Question Is, Can we TRUST Peter Caruana to secure what forefathers have fought throughout generations, in my opinion NO, should we send a clear message by having a demonstration or referendum whatever it takes and send Pedro Caruana, Uk foreign minister and the Spanish government a crystal clear message that Gibraltarians will not allow any deals on sovereignty and will not allow PC to succeed despite his predetermined work trying to persuade and convince Gibraltarians to accepted the UNACCEPTABLE
    Over the last 16 years Peter Caruana has FORCED GIBRALTARIANS to buy flats, houses, properties etc in Spain in order to make certain that he got their votes in future elections since buying property is the biggest investments any middle family makes during their life.
    PC has sold the land given by the UK Government and used the monies on unnecessary projects which I will not mention as we are all aware off he never used our money to construct any affordable flats for the middle class, old age citizens new schools or anything insufficiently required by the community at large.
    We are British citizens of Gibraltar, GIBRALTARIANS. The Uk Government or Foreign Office have been trying to read itself from Gibraltar i.e. joint sovereignty etc over the last 50 odd years and I assume will expect PC to comply to their request of the early 1990 if he came into power.
    Gibraltar has never had anyone more Gibraltarian than Mr. Joe Bossano who has proved throughout his term in office and in opposition as the only minister willing to fight anyone anywhere to secure our legitimate rights as person despite the condemnation by PC who is simply trying to woe us to agree with Spain. Joe Bossano is in my opinion the only straightforward honest Gibraltarians to save Gibraltar and its inhabitants.
    We have all made mistakes in our lives especially in difficult circumstances but Peter Caruana methods and procedure over the last 16 years are atrocious and should no longer be allowed to continue given that he never had a mandate to so what he is doing is very double-crossing for Gibraltar and its inhabitants.


  12. yes we should wait until spain recognizes us - no wait a minute, they won't, they never will! Oh well, then we should stick our heads up our a*@e and hope for the best. Yes that's the way, we can leave Spain and Britain to sort it out.

  13. Anonymous at 20:49

    Noted and, yes, excellent point although expressed in the basest language.

    The logical conclusion of your argument is that we should not be skirting the issue but that Gibraltar, not the UK and Spain, should be negotiating about sovereignty. I have a tendency to agree but you may have noticed that there are really rather strong feelings amongst the people of Gibraltar that they do not want this.

    You seem to accept that a slow progression toward Spanish sovereignty with the cooperation of Gibraltar's government is more acceptable than sudden death coming from an Anglo/Spanish negotiation. I do not think either is acceptable and I really do not think or believe that the latter is within the realms of possibility at present.

  14. Ghost says:

    RV, I had not planned in engaging on this debate. With respect I had hoped for another topic as I fear that we squeezed all we could out of the last tripartite banter.

    Having said that there are some remarkable comments which have been submitted and which I am sure you were expecting me to address -some really quite wild and outlandish remarks on the apparent sale of Gibraltar by "Pedro" Caruana (you gotta love it) the local real estate broker who it seems is flying the spanish flag and.... wait for it.......has been doing so for the past 14 years. Classic stuff!

    So, we are now told by our learned friends that in his devious wisdom, Pedro has been machinating, scheming and deviously creating a plan that would take Gibraltar through a whorl wind 14 year extravaganza, in which he "forces" Gibraltarians to buy property in Spain only to draw them back in and vote for him, a plan so intricate in detail as to fool the British and Spanish Govt as well as the European Union and the U.N and which will eventually culminate in the ultimate sale / hand over of Gibraltar to the Spaniards - what an evil genius. We must oust him at the earliest possible opportunity!

    What a relief to know that at least the opposition flatly opposes the Tripartite talks and will put a stop to it immediately. That is their position isn't it? Did you look into breakfast in Madrid RV?


  15. Ghost:

    Agreed on outlandish conspiracy theory on Peter Caruana to which I do not subscribe one iota but each one to his own. Why do you attribute it to "learned friends", which is a phrase descriptive of barristers? I assure you I have a much wider readership.

    I do not care what the opposition think. I form my own opinions. Give up on the Madrid breakfast. I do not know how or where to look into it, nor do I care. If you know "put up or shut up!"

  16. Ghost says:
    Point taken RV. I am baiting a little too much - unnecessary. I'll get you a message privately somehow.
    Would never dream of suggesting you subscribe to such theories and yes indeed, each to his own.

  17. Fred says:

    Ghost, you rubbish the conspiracy theorists, which is fine.

    However, you totally evade the main issue: to most of us it seems that the Tripartite process for Spain is nothing more than the vector it has chosen to pursue its sovereignty claim.

    As for the breakfast I am with Robert: you are a boring tease. Either tell us, or shut up about it.

  18. Ghost is back!! It is incredible how this person obviously "learned" is now trying to attribute things to the opposition which is not quite right and so are you Robert. I have not heard from the official opposition say anything about "flatly opposes the Tripartite talks and will put a stop to it immediately."
    The perosn who wrote GIB FIRST 19.56 above is not the official opposition but a person who obviously does not like what Pedro Caruana is doing and likes Joe Bossano. This does not make him/her the opposition.

    It makes him/her be a true Gibraltarian since he/she is not willing to sell his/her homeland, Punto.

    It is very obvious that the GSD psychofans are out on the hasheo trail.

    Lets not forget Peter Caruana now Pedro has in the past advocated an Autonomous Gibraltar within the Spanish state. A fact that many have always had in the back of their minds. In fact I remember when Pedro came into power in 1996 because the GSLP lost the election! that even people who wanted Bossano out but did not trust Pedro were saying that they were willing to vote for him but they were willing to kick him out as soon as they "Smelt Rat" in relation to our sovereignty issues with Spain. Unfortunately it has taken 14 years for people to realise where we are been taken. So although not quite believing the way the conspiracy theorists are presenting it I believe there is something behind all this Tripartite Forum.

    The fact is that many are insensed by the way "Pedro" (I like it too since most who live in Spain ie upper and lower Soto have now changed they names to sound more Spanish, just look at the telephone directory from that place!)is dealing with our 'foreign affairs', including some from the GSD. I would even say that some from the GSD would like their CM not to go to the Tripartite Forum and they are not in the opposition.

  19. Anonymous at 13:14

    I do not believe that i have attributed anything to the opposition, so I fail to understand your comment in this regard.

  20. Ghost says:

    Anon 13:14 I accept your comment and you are absolutely right in that Gib First 17:56 is not the opposition and is just a supporter who may have gotten things wrong. What is the opposition’s position on the tripartite though? Clearly you imply that they are for it; are they?

    Or will this be another constitution farce of yes, maybe, no, maybe, not sure…. based purely on the prospect of any potential to discredit the Govt, as opposed to acting in the best interests of Gibraltar; it was Bossano after all who featured in the drafting of the constitution and who submitted it jointly with the team concluding it was fit and in keeping with our aspirations (RV is going start hyperventilating now.

    The trilateral process never has and never will affect our position or Spain’s for that matter on the question of sovereignty. Spain has held her position for over 300 years on the matter, do you honestly think that she needs this process to execute her intention. Our worry should not be Spain, but Britain for it is she who holds that key. To date enough has been done by the GSD in securing this, you will recall I am sure, that Peter Hayne ended up in Wales.

    Spain has every right to have her tantrums and throw her toys out of the car in the name of sovereignty and she can do this in the forum, out of it, wherever she chooses. We too have our own right to politely, in an educated fashion and representing the mature confident community that we are, to tell her to piss off. What would be madness and quite frankly childish is to walk away from a forum of communication and do what exactly? We have an independent voice respected as such; yes we have to deal with the waters issue, the Alejandro issue and believe me, many more to come; walking away will get us nowhere and will only cocoon us further and show us for what I DO NOT believe we are, immature and unable to battle out diplomatic / political realities that are part and parcel of our community.

    The issue at hand is our appetite to play politics for real with diplomacy and the strategic understanding of the expectations that there may be across the table, both on the part of Britain and Spain, whilst always protecting our bottom line.
    You imply that Pedrito (at least we agree on liking this reference) has brought us closer to loosing our sovereignty than ever before and that we should kick him out – we smell a rat you say. I disagree! There is absolutely no evidence of our position having been diluted in any way or form; and certainly no more that the 1995 threat of direct rule – you will recall this too.

    The reality and truth of the matter if you care to see it, is quite the opposite. I fear however, that I would go blue in the face (finger tips in this case) trying to convince you of it though, so I will refrain.

  21. Ghost

    I will absolutely not start hyperventilating after reading your comments on the constitution. I fully agree it meets the aspirations of many conservative people in Gibraltar. I simply maintain two points, which I will explain very briefly.

    First, neither the 2006 Constitution nor the referendum that adopted it is an exercise in self determination. A choice was not given to the electorate. It was an exercise in "take it or leave it". To the extent that it more accurately reflected how Gibraltar's system of government had evolved taking it was the easier choice.

    Second, my objection to the 2006 Constitution was that it did not and does not contain sufficient separation of powers, checks and balances and democratic safeguards. It left these to be legislated upon by the incumbent government and guess, what as suspected by many, it has never enacted these. For example where are the promised backbenchers? Where are the promised electoral reforms?

    I have made my arguments on the trilateral process. I fundamentally disagree with you time will tell. I recommend that all who agree with it read a book about the Irish peace process. Its title is "Making Peace" written by Senator George Mitchell. It is an eye opener and is what changed my view on the trilateral process. I am in the process of reading it again. I intend to publish quotes from it in time.

    Of course Spain does not need the trilateral process but its foreign minister has clearly said it is part of their strategy. We have already walked away from discussing the waters ... will we have to walk away from other issues. if that is forced upon Gibraltar who will come out looking worse? Only time will tell but always remember the GSD asked for the process.

  22. REPLY TO GHOST 9 NOVEMBER 2010 22:25
    I fail to understand why GHOST told RV there are some remarkable comments which have been submitted and which I am sure you were expecting me to address
    Ghost will always be Ghost a protected privileged persona with feathers know-all full of S perhaps he should re-read GIB FIRST.
    Many Gibraltarians bought properties in Spain not to have second home like many have but because Peter Caruana had failed to re-construct old government buildings or flats, constructed any new buildings or flats as promised by him to those in and out of the housing waiting list over the last 16 years. The rentals of private flats in Gibraltar were too expensive considering the middle class wages and buying within the new private developments was impossible cost wise, the only other option for those many distress individuals and families was to buy in Spain and hundreds of families did.
    Throughout 16 years of GSD government it never failed to spread the word around that if the GSLP came into power they would stop any dialogued with Spain and those who had bought their homes in Spain might find themselves with a close frontier this was especially spread prior to election time frightening those who had bought in Spain and ensuring they voted GSD.
    Ghost analyses of my letter is wrong and deceitful to say the least, he has most likely expressed they way he actually feels of the GSD affair, I am only a 100 % Gibraltarian and a supporter of the GSLP.

  23. El Pavo Que Nunca Nos Comemos10 November 2010 at 21:08

    PC should not attend Tripartite Talks where sovereignty is discussed directly or by implication. He should form no part of that. His presence would lend authority to any decisions or inferences made regarding our sovereignty.

    Our waters should be defended by the Royal Navy, who have enough fire power and clout to escort the Spanish authorities out. They lack the interest to get involved. The Foreign Office know how to make us believe that we have power when we don't. We are merely being lulled into a false sense of security. Peter Caruana has limited powers and our Governor is the ultimate authority in Gibraltar. Why is PC not working with the Governor to achieve better results for us, when at the end of the day Gibraltar belongs to the Crown. There is no point in fighting for something that does not belong to us and clearly we have limited say on.

    The Tripartite process is merely a farce,

    In the same way as we have a continual blockade at our frontier, the Spanish authorities could easily start using similar measures at sea in an attempt to slow down tourism and business via our ports. All governments, present and past, have had no power to resolve the misery the spaniards have made us endure at the frontier. Similarly, this government will have no power to solve the issues surrounding our territorial waters. It is up to the owners to defend their property and for this I call on the English and not on our 'native' politicians.

    It saddens me that our local army lads put their lives on the line for Queen and Country, whilst the Royal Navy here idly watch our endearing neighbours continue to flex their cowardly muscles in defiance, and fail to get involve. Has Britannia forgetton how to Rule Her Waves.

    Kind regards,
    A Very Disenchanted Native

  24. Of course Spain does not need the trilateral process but its foreign minister has clearly said it is part of their strategy. We have already walked away from discussing the waters ...

  25. Worried: The real issue is whether Alejandro Sanchez will turn it into a quadrilateral process; then where will we be?

  26. Ghost 17.49 is a clear example of a pychofan who likes to justify things that are unjustifiable. The fact that you say that The trilateral process never has and never will affect our position or Spain’s for that matter on the question of sovereignty just goes to show how mistaken you are. The tripartite forum as the Brussel Agreement dead and buried then revived at an election by Caruana and he is now trying to replace it with the tripartite just because it was his baby, has and will affect our position. Look at what happens in the UN year in and year out dispite the fact that first Joe Bossano put arguments agressively, diplomatically, calmly or in any other way you want to see it then after Peter Caruana, the committees always refer back to the Brussels PROCESS and they will use now the TRIPARTITE Forum as an excuse not to rock the boat.
    Taking your criticism of the way the opposition dealt with the Constitution referedum I ADMIT that it was badly handled. But then again Peter Caruana is handling many things in Gibraltar badly but you have not got the political maturity to ADMIT for example the disasterous mistake of building an air terminal at such cost or the fact that the Theatre Royal will be the Caruana legacy and many other disasterous things he has done. The one which I will not allow him to get away with is the way in which he has appeased Spain in many ways and we are now suffering for those mistakes. As far as you should be concerned the mistake of the oppositions handling of the constitution you should welcome since it got through which I presume you where happy with, but the mistakes Caruana is making will be there for years to come such as all the highrise buildings such as Midtown (Hopeful it will not see the light of day) Kings Wharf, Clifftops, Ocean Village, etc.
    A typical example of pychofans blindness was demonstrated when Caruana HAD to go to the US with his tail in between his legs to sign the Tax Agreement and he made a lot of PR here in Gib and the pychofans in the GSD were saying that Caruana had participated in the G20 meeting!!They are like you who really think that Peter Haine (not Hayne, yo tan bien me puedo poner pedantico)was sent to Wales because of the joint sovereignty issue. Unfortunely you either live in cockoo land or you are trying hard to give the impression that we are that important in the world stage like the other pychofans.
    The reality is that we are small and we have to defend our position vigorously and with out fear.

    Gibraltar's issues have to be put into context in relation to others around the world and although for me it is THE most important political issue you are just blinded by believing that Caruana is the best thing since sliced bread.

    I hope now that you will not take all that I have said as the oppositions view!

  27. Native of where?

  28. Panorama reports that the age of consent case starts tomorrow as the forces of reaction make a last stand against the 21st century . Our very own Chief justice presiding. How about a debate on that.

  29. Ghost says:

    RV, delighted to hear that you did not hyperventilate. I agree with you on the fact that there was a clear intent to factor in back benchers and reforms as part and parcel of the new constitution.

    This indeed is something that would be progressive and would create further accountability, or at least some intelligent accountability with the interests of Gibraltar at heart. At the very least it will lead to debate, something which we see little or none of at present and may reduce the volume of questions currently presented in parliament which can quite simply be addressed by civi servants. My concern is whether we really could attract more people into politics?

    If it were to materialize and in doing so create more debate (as it should be), it would mean that the opposition and or backbenchers would need to declare their policies and opinions openly; in other words as opposed to asking questions, healthy debates will by pure default translate to opinion and policy on any particular issue and which therefore can be held to account across the board i.e. we would at least hear and learn what the opposition of the day actually stands for.

    You refer to a choice on the matter of the constitution and that there was none given, I disagree; the choice was yes or no and it was presented to us in a non partisan manner in which those who drafted it recommended it as a yes vote, albeit until the last moment in which some decided to sit on the fence.

    With the tripartite, you may be right and time may tell, if so I will continue to enjoy further GOOD debate with you and others on this blog, until such time where you or I may be able to say...I told you so. In my opinion and if history is anything to go by there will be many other versions of the tripartite talks that will inevitably carry a sovereignty card with it, but it will be our relationship with Britain (on the one hand) and our socioeconomic strength of independence (on the other) that will maintain our position solidly. The moment we are weak on any of these two points is when we truly run the risk loosing ground. My opinion remains that we have gained more ground over the past 14 years than we ever might have thought possible.


  30. Ghost

    On the question of choice in the 2006 referendum, there was none such as amounted to the exercise of self determination which is what it was sold as being. Just say yes or no to what we have negotiated for you ... WOW!

    On advances being made in the last 14 years and the tripartite process, the jury is out and only time will tell. Until then we are constrained to arguing opinions.

  31. Gib First

    Could you please expand and tell me what you consider a 100% Gibraltarian to be?

  32. Ghost says:
    Robert, the posting above written at 12:36 is not from me.
    I know there is no way for you know this and therefore on this basis I will refrain from posting comments as Ghost in future.
    I consider this a real shame and I am sorry that my postings have led to someone resorting to these tactics.
    All the best.

  33. Ghost
    A ghost is the soul or spirit of a deceased person or animal, taken to be capable of appearing in visible form perhaps you could tell us what you really stand for I don’t intend to waste any more time but will give you an example of a good citizen.
    Good citizenship cannot just be about the jobs we do paid or unpaid. Good citizenship is more than this. Good citizenship should be evident in everything we do and say. We should all strive to be good citizens in our words and actions smiling at people in the street and thanking the shopkeeper as he or she hands us our change are both small examples of how we can be better citizens. Above all, good citizenship is about putting the needs of the community and the needs of others above one self’s own preferences.

    Un fantasma es el Alma on espíritu de una persona fallecida o animal, adoptadas para ser capaz de aparecer en forma visible, quizá podría decirnos lo que realmente erres, no me propongo a perder más tiempo, pero le daría un ejemplo de un buen ciudadano.
    Buena ciudadanía no debe ser sólo sobre los puestos de trabajo que hacemos pagado o no remunerado. Buena ciudadanía es más que eso. Buena ciudadanía debe ser evidente en todo lo que hacemos y decir. Todos debemos aspirar a ser buenos ciudadanos en nuestras palabras y acciones sonriente a la gente en la calle y agradeciendo al comerciante como él o ella dandonos nuestro cambio son pequeños ejemplos de cómo podemos ser mejores ciudadanos. Sobre todo, buena ciudadanía trata de poner las necesidades de la comunidad y las necesidades de los demás encima de su auto propias preferencias.


  34. Quill said.............

    Ladies and Gents everytime there is an effort to have a serious debate we end up with the same common denominator - inter party political wrangling trying to score kudos against eachother, instead of addressing the real issue!

    RV posed two important questions: Should the Trilateral Process continue and does it undermine the fundamental, sovereignty? In my opinion it should continue for as long as it suits us and it does not undermine sovereignty as long as we do not discuss it in that forum. However we cannot stop Britain and Spain discussing sovereignty behind our back regardles whether the Trlateral Process existed or not.

    Quite frankly in this debate I couldn't care two hoots on whether Peter Caruana (PC) is better or worst than Joe Bossano (JB)on housing, town planning, Tax agreements, or whatever ... even si uno es mas feo o guapo que el otro. If we are incapable of seeing the woods from the trees on the very fundamental issue of sovereignty then what hope is there for serious debate....let alone for Gibraltar?

    Although we should always be aware and alert of Spain's and Britain's political manouverings regarding sovereignty, counteracting and pre-empting them (as indeed we seem to be doing), we should be more worried of the danger from within rather than from outside. We are our own biggest enemy and both Britain and Spain may be playing us into this precise corner of dividing us.

    Putting aside all these conspiracy theorists that the Trilateral Process is all doom and gloom regarding sovereignty, there is another angle from which the issue could be looked at.

    Gibraltar is and always has been a pebble in Spain's shoe and ever since the demise of the British Empire we have become a wart in the Foreign office's backside. Both Britain and Spain would be delighted if we (the Gibraltarians) no longer existed and just vanished into thin air. Spain would take over Gibraltar and Britain would secure a base on Spanish terrority (just like USA with Rota). But the fact is that we are here fighting our gound and we are not going to vanish into thin air and at least the Trilateral Process can be of use to us:
    (a) To discuss and agree to regional co-operation (NOT SOVEREIGNTY) with the goal of making our day to day lives better and for for the people to prosper
    b) To give us a diplomatic platform to hear (NOT DISCUSS SOVEREINGTY) what the other two sides are getting up to and it gives the CM of Gibraltar a unique opportunity to (unofficially) put clearly Gibraltar's position on any matter on a one to one basis to two Foreign Ministers.
    (c) To show the rest of the world that, even if the other parties behave deplorably as they have both done in the past, little Gibraltar has the political maturity without resorting to the use of uncivilised behaviour. This is important not only to our friends in Westminister but in Brussels as well.

    Let's not forget that taking part in the Trilateral Process for mutual regional co-operation does not mean that we are softening up to Spain, even if she and Britain (and others as it seems) are led to believe so. That is, for all intents and purposes, called diplomacy!

    That we must remain entrenched and united on the sovereignty absolutely! It is our right, just like Spain has the right to her own entrenchment on her sovereignty claim. However Judas (Foreign & Commonwealth Office mandarins) who is still intent in getting rid of the probelm (us), is a different matter.

  35. Let us not forget the many years we spent disenfranchised and ‘listening at the door’ while private, exclusive, bilateral talks between Spain and the UK took place, with total disregard for Gibraltar’s rights and with Gibraltar having NO SAY in matters pertaining to us.

    Like so many other countries, in so many international treaties and agreements the world over, Gibraltar now also has a rightful place in discussions and negotiations regarding our future and our relations with Spain and the UK. After all the years fighting for Gibraltar’s right to have a say and be heard, we can proudly say we now have a legitimate VOICE and a VETO, enshrined in a legally binding agreement which is safe and in keeping with the vision of the modern, democratic, Western world we live in.

    If we had no dialogue and agreements, for instance, the bombings and murders over Northern Ireland would still be a reality today and Israel and Palestine would be at full blown war. No meaningful agreements came out of the latest G20 Summit, does that mean the world leaders should abandon the G20 process and not give hope a chance unless their individual country’s conditions are met? No, it is good to talk.

    The Cordoba Agreement is a victory for Gibraltar. Even if we never make any progress on ‘goodwill’ relations with Spain, which we haven’t much (frontier queues etc) because Peter Caruana will never concede on any issue that has sovereignty implications, the Tripartite Process allows us to be in the room, hearing and participating in the discussion about Gibraltar. And not outside, ‘listening at the door’, with fingers crossed and second-guessing what decisions will be made about us without our consent!

  36. Quill said......

    Absolutely shameful that someone should impersonate someone else on this blog.

    Perhaps RV as administrator can ban people from future participation, so that Ghost or anyone else for that matter can continue postings without fear of impersonation.

    Or the impersonator can publicly appologise to Ghost and asure everyone that he/she will not repeat such a dispicable tactic.

  37. I am afraid that i cannot ban anonymous commentators from future participation. What I can do and and have done is delete comments that are posted by persons using another's pseudonym, so long as I am alerted to the fact.

  38. I am so shocked every time we hear a statement on this issue, Gibraltar is at the fore font of major international politics and our chief minister prides himself and his government of being forward thinking modern making Gibraltar so advance in most aspects. Yet we allow one man to let his personal opinion in connected to his religion to affect basic human rights. I do not see what the issue is about ? who is he protecting from homosexuality ? people talk about "gay" and "homosexual" and its linked to the legality of homosexual sex and age of consent. But as we discuss this do we sometimes forget that we are talking about real people with feelings who are wanting to be accepted and treated equally ?

    Being gay is not wrong people are born that way its not an issue we are about 30 years behind the UK in this issue and so many people in Gibraltar go though hell because they are gay.
    Its a huge issue in schools with bullying the whole social integration aspect comes into play and also there human right are put into questions because they are gay.

    I might have drifted this issue slightly because i have such a strong feeling for this topic i hope we open our eyes to the world, and the judge will do what is right and if we trust our judicial system we will get what is good for all in Gibraltar.