Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Spain, Relations with the UK and Decolonisation, Another CIR Core Principle Explained

The 2006 Constitution has established Gibraltar’s constitutional status for the foreseeable future.  It has been adopted by referendum.  CIR recognizes that the adoption of the 2006 Constitution came about because it was “miss-sold”.  The GSD promoted it as an act of self-determination, which so clearly it was not.  The Chief Minister now seems to accept this conclusion, having suggested an Andorra style constitution.

Irrespective of this misrepresentation, presently, it is pointless to pursue further advances on Gibraltar’s status as established by the 2006 Constitution.  The adoption of the 2006 Constitution has put the issues of Gibraltar’s constitutional status and, also, of Gibraltar’s international status to bed for at least two generations.  The UK is unlikely to reopen it earlier, as has been shown, by history, to be the reality.

CIR’s view on Gibraltar’s international status is based on the statement, contained in the Despatch to the 2006 Constitution to the effect that  “… independence is only an option with Spain’s consent”.  The inclusion of this statement should never have been permitted by Gibraltar. However, one is forced to recognise the reality of and political force of this statement, whilst not accepting its effect. 

Presently, it is not a useful or productive political venture to seek any change to Gibraltar’s international status and, consequently, a change in its constitutional relationship with the UK, taking into account:
  •     That the view of the people of Gibraltar and that of the UK is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future;

  •    The view of the people of Gibraltar is that they do not want a change to British sovereignty, as expressed in referenda;

  •     The UK’s statement in the Despatch, which is a clear expression of the UK’s view that achieving independence, which in the end analysis is the only step left for Gibraltar to take, is not envisaged by them at present; and

  •     That, consequently, pursuing such a policy toward achieving independence, presently, will serve simply to weaken and strain Gibraltar’s relations with the UK, which CIR consider to be counterproductive and contrary to the interests of Gibraltar and the wishes of its people.
CIR considers that it is important to strive for and positively promote good relations with Spain, as a separate neighbouring state and co-member of the European Union.  CIR will not tolerate and will resist any hostility displayed by Spain against Gibraltar.  CIR will reject and will resist any attempts by Spain to achieve any advance by any means or in any forum of its claim to the sovereignty of Gibraltar.


  1. I have not seen a better summary/interpretation of the situation so well put in so few words. I applaud this post and all that it says. The post demonstrates a thoroughly sound legal understanding expressed in words all can understand. It is the brilliant and demonstrates clearly, in my view, that its author would make a brilliant politician. Go for it RV, I hope you/CIR get all the votes you so thoroughly deserve and that we finally get the CHANGE we deserve!

  2. Anon 22:12.
    How can you say 'I hope you/CIR get all the votes you... Deserve' when you don't even know who else is standing. RV may have proved himself worthy of votes but what about the rest, they could be unworthy.

    RV, how will it work, can anyone join the CIR or will they need your personal approval? Once in will the other candidates get a say on who is admitted?

  3. anonymous at 22:12

    This comments diverts from the topic in hand. I have answered similar comments in the past. I will answer it but will edit out any further comments that are not on topic under the new editorial rules.

    Why is it in any way wrong for someone to say that I will get his/her vote? My core principles are now public. My wider views are public on this blog. I have said that I will stand for election irrespective of whether others ally themselves to CIR..

    As to joining CIR, the process is simple. The proposed Core Principles have been published. The first decision for anyone is whether they are in agreement with them. They are subject to tweaking following further discussion but not to major amendment. As to choosing candidates, the first issue is whether anyone will come forward. This is difficult for the same reason that most people post comments anonymously. If some do then there are already supporters and obviously a process of discussion and consensus will need to ensue. All are welcome to all meetings of CIR.

  4. Another great post Robert,
    I totally agree with your opinion. I agree that we should seek good neighbourly relations with Spain,but like you say we should NOT tolerate any hostility from our neighbours towards us.
    My questions to you are the following.
    1- What in your opinion should be done about the constant aggressive incursions by the Spanish Law enforcements agencies into our Gibraltar terrirorial Waters?
    2-I would also like to know what you think about how our current Govt is handling this situation?

  5. Power2thePeople

    On 1 we cannot go to war, Spain is in the EU and in NATO so the methodology is to record incidents carefully and to lodge diplomatic protests so that no prescriptive rights are obtained by Spain.

    On 2 confusedly, first the Chief Minister says he will buy bigger boats for the police to patrol and control and then he criticies the Opposition for suggesting the very gunboat diplomacy that he was advocating.

  6. L.E.F. says,

    I agree on the way ahead and believe that all political parties will advocate the same reasoning in their manifestos .

    Here it seems all Gibraltar is united .

    We all want to maintain our links with the UK.
    We all want to foster good relations with Spain, and We do not want to cede an inch of territory.

    2 things worry me.

    The electorate was fooled by the Chief Minister into believing that we were no longer a colony and that we had achieved self determination and Mr Bossano was his accomplice by showing no leadership on this most important of matters .

    The other is that in 20 years or when the population is ready , Gibraltar will have to reach the end of the road to self determination . That road we still have to travel.

    I personally would like to believe that one day Gibraltar will be truly independent . Even if I do not have the chance of witnessing it , I hope that my children do .

    By independence I mean, when the United Nations delists us from the colony list once and for all and no country will ever be a threat to us . When the LLANITOS are recognized as the people of Gibraltar by every organisation in the world.

    Vote Change

  7. Please inform me...if it was "miss-sold" why did nobody come out and 'advise' the people as to why it was being "miss-sold"? Why do you need to bring this to light after years have passed?

    Did the opposition not catch on? Are they also unaware and therefore incompetent to take the reigns?

    Another issue...has the present government in power not attempted to have good neighbourly relations with spain, but in return have been faced with constant hostility and no attempt in reciprocating?

  8. Anonymous at 23:38

    The "NO" Campaign said it and I said it in my article in the Chronic during the "NO" Campaign. So perhaps you were not listening?

    I do not criticise the present government for its attempts at good relations with Spain. I do not agree that there is constant hostility from Spain.We also have to look at hw we take advantage of our cheaper economy so it is give and take.

  9. RV i was unaware of the "NO" campaign. My concern is that it seems to be a serious discrepancy within our constitution that has received very little criticism, or at lest that i am aware of.

    As far as i can recall...constant incursions, confrontations between local and spanish authorities at sea, daily long queues, "el peaje" episode.

    Please inform me on what you mean by "We also have to look at how we take advantage of our cheaper economy so it is give and take."?

  10. Anonymous at 23:55

    No me seas tan innocente :)

  11. You are obviously referring to the difference in prices between our products and theirs...not to be specific. You reckon this justifies our "problems" with them?

  12. Vote change, excuse me by you lively coco land....we will never be able to be independent, we are simply to small and our history does not allow's a fact of history...

  13. I did not realise that you were a member of the "No" campaign at the new constitition on the referendum but you are absolutely right. Less that 1/2 of the population voted for the 2006 Consititution so the constitution was not missold it was never bought but imposed on us. In addition to you several prominent Gibraltarians and groups openly campaigned against it and I recall Sir Bob Peliza, Joe Caruana, Willie Serfaty, Charles Gomez and Stephen Bossino and many others took a stand. The GSLP / Liberals and the PDp bottled out and supported the yes vote. The combined failure of those parties and the GSD to convince more than 50% of the people to vote yes shows that our politicians do not represent popular sentiment.

  14. Anonymous at 08:08

    I was the Chairman of the "No" Campaign. All the persons you name were heavily involved in the campaign and did excellent work, achieving a 37% "NO" vote of those who actually voted. It is the first referendum in Gibraltar in which such a high opposition to a government sponsored motion has been achieved.

  15. L.E.F. says,

    To anon 2:02

    I can agree with you that 'We will never be able to be independent' only on the basis that we are the only ones able to decide that view.

    Being a firm believer in democracy , I will always accept what the majority chooses and if that means that we never want to further our self determination so be it. That is fine by me.

    Your statement however implies that all future generations of Gibraltarians have no option but to continue being a colonized people.

    Your statement rules out completely the democratic choices and aspirations that the people of Gibraltar might want to choose in 20 or 30 years time.

    I do not agree that we are too small or that history does not allow us . I respect your view but do not share it.

    With that logic we would not be where we are today and we might not even exist as a people after the evacuation.

    We have inaliebale rights and I do not forget lightly that Blair and Straw nearly sold us down the river not so long ago.

    We as a people united and said no. We did not accept what our colonial masters wanted. We fought and won the argument.

    On facts of history let me share my views with you.

    It is a living fact of history that we are LLANITOS. That we have our own identity. That this is the land of our forefathers.

    These are the facts of history that interest me not the ones of the Treaty of Utrecht which are still round our neck and does not even allow our fellow Gibraltarian Jews to live in their own land .

    To end we can both resort to insulting others opinions as crazy. I will not resort to that instead I offer you my respect as a fellow LLANITO

  16. Ta floja la cosa - by this time there'd be around 45 comments at least!
    Aqui pasa algo? Y special K / rompecuco / el ghost / sparty / chirpy Charlie where are you? Come on guys que se va queda red rob con los pantalones bajao.
    On a lighter note I thought I though that V point was not bad last night apart from Gerard. Pero what was quite frightening was que Britto was better than the Dr, Aqui que pasa, el political phd iso el papal comparao al OAP.

  17. Special K has a baby due this weekend!

    So kinda..........tu sabe BUSY lololol

    PS- If anyone wants to check out who the face behind special K is please feel free to check out page 66 on the B Magazine. Last page.

    Confessions of Kaelan Joyce ;)


  18. To anon 22.03: apart from Special K's circumstances I think that RV's threat of censorship or what he calls "redaction" (was there ever a sillier term?) has frightened off the fun folk who used to entertain themselves and others by writing in witty and irreverent stuff. Red Rob needs to revoke his threat to increase his "moderation" or Llanito world is finished, FINISHED I TELL YOU!!!!

  19. I concur with the thoughts of Anon 09:45.

    LLW has been praised many a time for the very same thing that Robert has threatend to revoke!

    In my humble opinion "moderation" could indeed lead to the demise of this blog.


  20. No comments or opinions will be moderated. All I want to stop is just useless slagging off of parties and individuals. Anything on topic will be published!

  21. It's completely understandable that you don't want people slagging off parties and individuals on the blog, especially if the people making those comments are anonymous.

    But if people don't feel as if they're able to go off on a tangent as opposed to purely discussing the subject heading in each blog piece then I do feel that will be detrimental to the blog as a whole.

  22. 16 MARCH 2011 22:12

    My Family and Friends Absolutely Agree With the above Analyses. And thank RVJW for making us wise of the true facts, pity HIS blog did not exits in 2006 and that Ministers failed to comprehend HIS analyses.

    If constitution status was miss-sold by Peter Richard Caruana to the Gibraltarians making believe it was an act for self- determination WAS this not an understanding coordinated by the UK home office and Peter Richard Caruana to sell us the Andorra style constitution.

    It is inconceivable that Peter Richard Caruana with such knowledgeable understanding of international law as well as being street wise could not have been fully aware of the consequences involved.

    Misrepresentation need not be intentionally false to create liability. A statement made with conscious ignorance or a reckless disregard for the truth can create liability. Nondisclosure of material or important facts by a fiduciary or an expert, such as a doctor, lawyer, or accountant, can result in liability

    Peter Richard Caruana has fallen short on total frankness with the Gibraltarians again and again but this time the consequences have set our country back two generation in order to please the UK and Spain and this is intolerable.

    If indeed Peter Richard Caruana Chief Minister accepts your conclusions Gibraltarians have no option but to ask for his resignation he is not a trust worthy person to look after the genuine future interest of our country Gibraltar.

    Please note that we might not have existed had it not been for the efforts of Sir Joshua Hassan an others in 1945 who ferociousness fought the UK and brought us back to Gibraltar as a people after the evacuation.

    Rumours are that when Blair and Straw tried to sell us down the river not so long ago they did so with some prearranged conversations and recommendation given by a half a dozen wealthy Gibraltarian families known to PRC.

    No one knows who will succeed or why. All we know is who deserves to succeed and that is not the GSD party VOTE FOR CHANGE.


  23. To Anon 23.02 I do not know whether you saw the same Viewpoint as I did but I thought the Dr ie Joseph Garcia put CA Britto Matamono to the cleaners. The fact is that the OAP was out of touch and he cannot defend the undefendable.
    The GSD Have spent a gr8 deal on tourism and yet we do not get the return we expectfrom the expenditure.
    One thing that was not mentioned was that this GSD govt have wasted the fact that we had a MISS WORLD and did not use her and her title to Market Gibraltar. The OAP was fast asleep.

  24. I wonder if last night's testicular cancer do was the culprit for the mysterious disappearance of most of the usual crowd!

    Perhaps Robert, a piece on the state of the beaches on the east side might spark some renewed interest :O)

  25. I concur cum anonymous 0945 19.03.2011. The reining-in of witty and irreverent banter will/has put many off. RV may be redactic editor but there are many whose raison d'etre, on the blog, is to be able to be part of the banter which 'many dare not speak' for fear of reprisal by the 'motley crue', many of whom were at the 'Fingers up to fondle yer prostate' do! It was obviously not meant for the hoi poloi. There was more glitter dripping from frocks and fingers than at 'Come Dancing!'[sic] Dearest Bobby, please don't start 'reining' before you've even been elected. Editorial judgement is one subject. Censorship is not required when one's lampooning is de rigeur to counter-balance and overcoming the kind 'rein' primo Pita has enjoyed hithertofore, del cual estamos hasta el mon~o!

    JUEZ GALION DE CORDOBA.(Hermano mayor de Seneca)

  26. People ni tanto ni tan poco ... moderation is the rule ... the reality is that on this topic I have not cut anything out ... it has just been very quiet!

  27. L.E.F. says.

    LlanitoWorld 1 question.

    Is it possible for us to achieve self determination as a people without achieving the sovereignty of the territory ?

    Is there a distinction between us as a people and our homeland ?

    Kaelan any news? Llanito or Llanita? All the best.

  28. L.E.F

    My view is that when dealing with sovereignty a people and its territory are indivisible. Self determination includes the exercise of one's sovereignty over ones territory. I do not believe that a distinction can be drawn between us as a people and our homeland.

    The issue of "territory" raises an interesting legal question. Why is 96% of all land in private hands in Gibraltar leasehold as opposed to freehold? One effect is that if any government wished to use it, leases offer substantial control to a landlord. The government IS the landlord in Gibraltar.

  29. LV I thought that it is The Crown that is landlord NOT the Government correct me if I'm wrong!!

  30. Anonymous at 22:47

    Another interesting legal question. It can be the Crown in right of the UK (i.e. military installations) or the Crown in right of Gibraltar that the government controls/manages. Who decides that leases should be the only form of title to land?

  31. You lie Robert
    Im still waiting for you to publish my comment and you totally blanked it.... Will you even post this one?

    Angelina Jolie

  32. Anngelina Jolie

    Your last comment contained statements that could be defamatory. I have said over and over again that I am liable for defamation so I will not take any risk on that front. If you wish to make those statements please provide me with the evidence to defend a claim in defamation and also let me know your identity so that you can also take that risk both in costs of defending and damages.

    By the way, calling me a liar is also defamation so please think before you write and then you can see your contributions in print. Could you tell me who you are so at least I know who thinks so little of me?

  33. RV correct me if i am Gibraltar we also have freehold properties and assuming that it only comprises 4% of the private property is incorrect.

  34. Angelina Jolie says:

    Anon at 21.48.

    How on earth can you describe Picardo as 'un genio'? Eso de 'got the look' ni me va ni me viene, hardly a substantial and weighty reason to feed him my vote

    I consider it an insult to he/she who stated that Fabian and Robert are 'on the same page'. What an insult to Robert.

    Furthermore, to all those voicing opinions on Daniel Feetham:

    To undermine Mr. Feetham's achievements by dragging up the past/his father/his change of parties is so petty. Most MPs in Gib parliament today have some history of either switching parties or making u turns on their 'principles' when it suits. Meanwhile, Mr. Feetham's achievements are self evident and a product of his long and hard work.

    To dismiss these achievements is a sad reflection of our society, one which says its never enough no matter how much someone works for our benefit. - this may even be another reason why some of our 'best brains' don't bother standing. Why would they when the electorate is so ungrateful? - Can you imagine? - and bringing up the stabbing too! - Thats just disgraceful when Feetham himself openly states each time he's asked that he just wants to get on with his job! - is he to blame now for been 'too cold' about the stabbing as well?

    -I agree that the CM could have and should have given way to Mr. Feetham to take centre stage, after all it was his project. But then again, we all know that the CM HAS TO BE ON CENTRE STAGE! What to do? Dont vote for him next election!

    However, in general, it was apt for Govt. to be present at the opening of the Courts. Why on earth is such a hooha been made about this one? They restructured the entire system, architecturally and legally, and then put it out there, of course, as it should be, but why wouldn't they proudly open the courts? What kind of minuti argument is that one?

    People, we need perspective here.

    THERE YOU ARE ANGELINA JOLIE A REDACTED, with apologies to the person who does not like this word :), VERSION OF YOUR COMMENT.

  35. Anonymous at 12:04

    Yes about 4% is freehold. All freeholds in private hands were granted by Governors prior t approximately 1965. I do not know what happened to change the system but some consider that it was a decision taken by Sir Joshua. I am not privy to the reasons for it.

  36. L.E.F. says.

    To LW

    Do you think the reason most properties are acquired under a lease and not a freehold has anything to do because we are a colony?

    To stir the pot a little let me stray a bit.

    What legal entitlement would I have to a property in Gibraltar if I had in my possession a document confirming said ownership issued in lets say 1703 ?

  37. Shouldn't the Commissioner of Income Tax be answering a few questions? Give a few explanations?

    Forensic audit now!!!

  38. Whilst I agree with Anon 12:06 that "to undermine Mr. Feetham's achievements by dragging up the so petty", I wonder, out loud, if that is not also true of the GSD's one-trick-pony answer to most Opposition criticisms, which seems to be "but it worse before 1996"...

  39. Anon at 15.40 makes an interesting point and I can mention other blue chip companies that were and are no longer owing thousands in tax, PAYE and social security. Then again there are those chips that have been fried to a cinder and appear every week in the Gibraltar Gazette as companies in liquidation. As a businessman I could not give a flying turd if some do well or bad as long as my company is given an even playing field in which to trade - that has not been happening for many years.

  40. Many believe that not settling the international status of Gibraltar as against Spain is very unhealthy and a continuing illness that Gibraltar will never recover from fully.

    Lord Howell of Guildford 23 March 2011:

    Gibraltar's right of self-determination is not constrained, except through Article X of the Treaty of Utrecht. Should Britain renounce sovereignty over Gibraltar, Article X of the Treaty of Utrecht makes clear that Spain would be given the right of first refusal.

    Gibraltar could become independent from the UK if this were the freely and democratically expressed wish of the people of Gibraltar.

    When considering the results of a referendum, the UK would be obliged to comply with obligations under the Treaty of Utrecht in which the UK undertakes that should Britain renounce sovereignty of Gibraltar, Spain is given the right of first refusal.

    Lord Howell's statement opens the door to a very simple question:

    Is the 1713 agreement between Spain and Britain internationally legally binding on Gibraltar and the Gibraltarians?

    Lord Howell accepts that the UK would not consider it binding but only Spain.

    Isn't the door being widely opened for a final constitutional settlement that deals with Spain's contention over it???

  41. Anonymous at 00:18

    I cannot understand how you come to the conclusion that Lord Howell's statement is that he does not consider the Treaty of Utrecht binding. He says the exact opposite! He says that if we voted for independence in a referendum the UK has undertaken to give Spain first refusal and it would " ... be OBLIGED to comply with the Treaty of Utrecht!..." !

  42. Lord Ashcroft could perhaps ask Lord Howell this question next time:


  43. I hope you now understand my point?

  44. All you are saying is what the Despatch to the 2006 Constitution says! And of course the UK would do it if Spain agreed.

  45. No.

    It stands to reason very clearly, that the UK does not believe in Utrecht at all as a matter of sound moral judgment or human right reasons OTHER THAN as an historical legally binding contract between them and Spain.

    If that is the true implication of Lord Howell's statement, I say that the door is being opened to a challenge to the UK's strictly legalistic stance as a matter of UK and International Law!!!

  46. Anonymous at 00:47

    If what you are saying is that the implication of Lord Howell's statement is that it is Spain's fault that our right to self determination is constrained, I agree. The point I would make is why does the UK feel the need to constantly reaffirm the Treaty of Utrecht? The reason must be that it is because it established and is still considered by it to be the basis of Britain's sovereignty over Gibraltar. In the end this takes us to the same place as the Despatch to the 2006 Constitution that if we want independence, we need to convince Spain. Defeating the Treaty of Utrecht in a Court is an uphill task if it is constantly reaffirmed by the signatories.

  47. The UK's position is highly contradictory.

    a) It is an international legally binding agreement. Strictly legalistic view.

    b) UN resolutions continue to call for a bilateral resolution, which undermines Utrecht 1713. International pressure to end Utrecht in Spain's favour.

    c) Britain will not move without Gibraltar's consent, which likewise undermines Utrecht 1713 and UN resolutions. Self-determination of sorts.

    d) Britain, were it not for Spain, would give Gibraltar full self-determination. On what legal or principled basis would they do this under international law? UN Charter on self-determination but for a) above.

    Therefore, it does not matter to us why Britain re-affirms Utrecht, what matters only is her legal position a) and whether she can be legally released from it by a challenge by Gibraltarians based on the UN Charter.

    Spain's insistence on the legal title to Gibraltar must be legally defeated otherwise every direction we try to take will simply pave the way, inch by inch, towards that end -b) above - particularly if Spain's consent or cooperation is required!!!

    Full self-determination will simply lead us to the same constitutional link with Britain with possible improvements to that relationship, based on a referendum, but internationally Gibraltar will have its recognised status as a people and Spain no valid international legal basis to undermine the legitimate international autonomy of the jurisdiction directly or indirectly.

  48. In other words, fighting for full self-determination will strengthen our links with Britain both ways and break us both free from the Spanish claims.

    Britain's legitimate presence in Gibraltar would be through the exercise of our right to full self-determination and not from Utrecht 1713.

    Shouldn't this be the new basis of our partnership with Britain?

  49. Anonymous at 11:45 and 00:05

    I cannot fathom out any logic or legal basis for these arguments. The answer under the UN Charter is the argument that Spain uses, which is territorial integrity.

    What is interesting and possibly worrying is the use of the word "... should BRITAIN renounce its sovereignty ..."" Is there are threat implicit in that statement? Namely that it is not Gibraltar that decides but Britain who decides whether to renounce its sovereignty causing Gibraltar's sovereignty to vest in Spain? Food for thought perhaps?

    Its use contrasts with Britain's undertaking not to enter into arrangements that will lead to a change of sovereignty without the consent of the people of Gibraltar.

  50. 1945 UN CHARTER 1945 ARTICLE 1.2 & Declaration on the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples resolution 1514 (xv)

  51. "I cannot fathom out any logic or legal basis for these arguments"

    It's a new direction based on sound logic and underpinned by the legitimate rights, aspirations and expectations of the vast majority of Gibraltarians 70.5%: the 54% that did not vote at the last referendum and the 26.5% that voted 'no' as against the 29.5% that voted 'yes'.

  52. Not voted: 54%

    Voted 'No': 19.5%


    Voted 'Yes': 26.5%!

  53. I would like to ask Mr Vasquez what his opinion is re: the Industrial Tribunal. Although I am all for workers rights and I strongly believe that employees should be protected from harrassment, bullying and genuine unfair dismissal I also believe that the way the procedure stands at present the tribunal makes honest employers who have genuine reasons to dismiss individuals are made to feel that they are the guilty party. Many employees seek "free" legal advice from the Union whereas employers have to engage expensive barristers. If and when an employers wins there is no recourse to claim damages. There are cases where employees take employers to Tribunal simply to inflict financial damage on an institution and the Union provides a free vehicle to do this. Please what are your opinions?


    This morning ABC/Mundo carried the headlines:

    "El Principe insta a solucionar el "contencioso" de Gibraltar".

    «Hago votos para que nuestras autoridades avancen en la solución del contencioso histórico bilateral que aún sigue pendiente». Con estas palabras terminó el brindis que el Príncipe de Asturias dirigió durante la cena de gala que anoche ofreció al Príncipe de Gales y a su esposa en el Palacio Real. Sin mencionarlo expresamente, Don Felipe se refirió al conflicto de Gibraltar, que pronto cumplirá tres siglos. El Heredero de la Corona hizo estas declaraciones ante los más de cien invitados que asistieron a la cena, entre ellos, las ministras de Exteriores y de Ciencia. En el estreno de los Príncipes como anfitriones oficiales, no estaba el presidente del Gobierno, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

  55. Anon 31 March 2011 09:59 it's a fair comment and you may be right.There's another view.

    The Spanish Prince did not say how the bilateral conflict over Gibraltar should be resolved - it was a very neutral appeal and comment at the highest possible diplomatic level between the future kings.

    The Spanish Foreign Minister was present; the Prince of Wales did not respond to this; Gibraltar and the Gibraltarians were not expressly alluded to; it's likely that Spain will have a PP central government; Gibraltar has a new constitution that both governments are content with; recently, Caruana hinted at an Andorran-type of solution; a joint sovereignty proposal has already been put on the table but rejected by Gibraltar; elections are also looming in Gibraltar; the GSD has not commented on the Prince's remark; the GSLP has done so; the British government has not commented; there is nothing from the Governor either; and the interests of the Gibraltarians count under the UN.

    Isn't the debate not just about the question you pose but, also, whether Spain has diplomatically opened the door to another solution? An Andorra-type solution through the Spanish Prince signalling (with the diplomatic approval of Britain) the start of a new process whereby this solution could be put on the table and not rejected by Gibraltar?

    The questions are simple:

    (a) Has the Prince, dilpomatically, undermined Caruana's efforts with Cordoba etc? or,

    (b) Has the Prince boosted, diplomatically, the begining of another possible solution for the status of Gibraltar and for Caruana's much criticised comments about the Andorran model?

    The answer is not simple and time will tell.

    But what are the implications for Gibraltar and local politics if it's (a)?

    What are the implications for Gibraltar and local politics if it's (b)?

    Where does the Gibraltarian population figure and rank in all these diplomatic and political wranglings?


  56. All we've got from Cordoba in 2011 is the Instituto de Cervantes.

    What for?

    To prepare the Gibraltarians culturally and linguistically for some form of part-integration with Spain?

    The Gibraltarians master only too well their what's the hidden political deal then?

    Sports, culture and language should be above politics we're always what's this all about?

    Thanks for the free lessons and'll make Gibraltarians even more resolute in their unfinished quest for self-determination!!!!!!!

  57. anon 2 April 2011 12:16 don't know if you've read today's Chronic headlines CARUANA CONVEYS POSITIVE IMPRESSION OF REAL GIB TO THE HEART OF CATALAN SOCIETY but Paco Oliva's report is riddled with politically important overtures made by the Chief Minister to the Spanish establishment, very safely made from barcelona, pointing to your (b)s and there may be more in the air:

    - an imaginative solution that could yield modern advances that reflected the times we live in

    -there was no scope for constructive forward momentum by any of the sides on the basis of a bilateral structure of talks

    -not a viable process for us in the search for a solution

    -"advances" and that this was a notion to which Gibraltar could subscribe to if the term was adequately defined. In the Europe of the 21st century, he continued, advances can only be measured in so far as the rights of the people directly affected are respected.

    -We can advance as long as the basic principle is the respect for the will and wishes of the people of Gibraltar as the main affected party

    Carracao says UK only wants military base and bilateral talks on sovereignty unlikely

    Add to all this the PP's agreement with joint soverignty proposals

    All points to the Andorran model coming to the fore as the only solution to put to the people of Gibraltar?