Thursday, 29 September 2011

"Its the Economy ... Stupid!"

I have been asked to desist from writing again about the "democratic deficit" and reforms to correct it. I have been asked to write about something else. I have a commentator who keeps on telling me that its all about "the economy ... stupid!". So I will write about the economy. This subject takes me outside my comfort zone, which revolves around the law.I must quickly admit that my limited knowledge of theoretical economics is based on an "A" Level (actually "S" level that in my days, 1969-1970 school year, was one step higher than an "A" Level) in economics and politics. My practical experience is down to closely following current affairs and to having run and helped run law firms and related businesses.

Anyway, here goes. I will argue that the politics of our economy revolves around expenditure and not around the potential other area from which Gibraltar generates its wealth for the simple reason that certain factors reduce the room within which governments can manoeuvre.

There is a tendency in Gibraltar to use the word the "economy" interchangeably to mean what is in fact the economy, meaning how wealth is generated in Gibraltar and what should be termed "government finances", meaning the monies that the government receives and spends. Undoubtedly the health of government finances is directly related to and dependent on the health of the economy. Conversely, the the need to raise public revenues combined with the knock on effect that need has on the level of direct and indirect taxation impacts on the health of the economy. The reason is simple. Gibraltar's economy, like most economies relies on its competitive edge. The competitive edge of Gibraltar's economy is reliant on fiscal leverage. In simple terms this means low direct and indirect taxes because Gibraltar has no natural resources. However, it does have some 'natural' advantages.

First is its geographical location. This helps in the main 4 sectors of our economy: ship repair, port facilities, bunkering and tourism. Other than, possibly, for port facilities much of the competitive edge on the other of these 4 sectors is achieved by fiscal leverage. Comparatively lower indirect taxes on oil makes bunkering a feasible activity. Comparatively lower indirect taxes makes Gibraltar attractive to masses of day tourists who are the core of the tourist sector. I am not sure that geographical location alone is sufficient to maintain current levels in these sectors.

Second is legislative agility. Legislative agility is a double edged sword because, just as it can be used to benefit one sector, business, company or individual, it can equally be used to detract from another. Therefore, directly tied to this advantage goes the requirement for political stability and trust. It is of utmost importance that Parliament, Government and Opposition are seen and believed to be stable and to be avoiding any whimsical or impulsive behaviour.

Appropriate behaviour is required in order to portray the stability that is needed for all sectors but, primarily, for the other two major sectors of the economy: financial services and gaming. It is, however, this legislative agility that permits Gibraltar to develop these 2 sectors by being able to speedily react to situations and external factors, thus allowing Gibraltar to become an attractive jurisdiction or retain its attractiveness as a jurisdiction. One essential requirement to ensure continued growth in these two sectors is a competitive tax environment.

What this simple analysis reveals is that it is most unlikely that new areas of economic activity will be found or can be developed. So there is little or no politics to be played out on this aspect of the economy. Gibraltar has what it has and can exploit only what it has. What our government from time to time can do is maintain the fiscal leverage and use legislative agility. What our government from time to time can do is ensure prudence in expenditure and to prioritise different areas of expenditure. It is in these two aspects of economic policy that politics can be played out by the different political parties.

Too much expenditure results in too much borrowing, which in turn gives rise to revenue commitments that become fixed. In the absence of an ability to refinance or increase borrowings, which in the present international economic crisis is likely, the demands on recurrent government revenues to service capital and interest repayments continue. It can result also in the Government's liquidity being reduced.

The cure is either to reduce expenditure, which can result in austerity measures, like those being faced by many European countries, or to increase taxation. Increased taxation will adversely affect our economy which is reliant on competitive fiscal leverage. Both are options that do not bear thinking about. Additionally, the belief, encouraged on some occasions by the Chief Minister by his pronouncements on economic growth, that the international economic crisis will not touch Gibraltar is to believe that Father Christmas exists.

Lack of money in other countries, which is one aspect of the crisis, will result in less consumer and business expenditure. It will lead to a reduced demand, at a minimum, for our tourist and finance centre and other services. In time these factors can result in reduced government revenue. This reduced economic activity could lead to a downward spiral, which has to be avoided at all cost. It can only be avoided by prudent expenditure policies.

It is important at the forthcoming election to closely look at, not only policy statements contained in manifesto relating to expenditure, but also at immediate past behaviour. It is palpably obvious that the present Government is on and has for a long time maintained a spending spree with our money. I has done so to both retain power and to see if it can recover some electoral advantage. I would suggest that this behaviour, in the present international economic climate, is irresponsible and unsustainable. What we should look for is policies that espouse prudence and are not profligate, even if this course will seem a worse political offering in the short term. Prudence will stand Gibraltar in good stead in the longer term.

We should also look at the prioritisation of expenditure on necessities and not luxuries. This means prioritising expenditure that favours the needy and disadvantaged. One measure by which a society is judged is by how well it treats its people. I urge voters to be a little selfless in how they choose the next government. If they do so they will be helping others. They will also be helping themselves, in the longer term, to maintain a standard of living that will continue to be envied.


  1. Hello Chaps!

    Gosh Peter!

    What a great job you did in Parliament yesterday. I tell you we were gathered around our radiograms at Ke listening to the spittle fly with whoops and cheers. "Give Picardo some of that" we cried as we drank our cafe con leches.

    Why who does he think he is telling everyone that you borrowed £20 million so we can build a few office blocks? Everyone knows its £19 million. Pure deceit! And what’s all this about favoured cabals? Why I was just talking about this with the Hon. Member the other day at the beach club, “what’s all this inside track rubbish?” I said “ it’s rubbish” he agreed before stooping to savage a handful of lobster bisque “we came to power in ’96 on the tender ticket and we’ll stick with it to the end…except of course in relation to building contracts, and consultancy contracts, and well, other contracts where tenders are just a pain in the arse. We know what’s best anyway and as you know, we are quite fair”. Fair indeed! Who needs tenders when somebody as fair minded as PRC can sweep away all that left wing bureaucracy with one mildly arousing stroke of the pen?

    And then these internet debt levels. Come on Picardo, how low can you go? Tapping into voter sentiments just to win some votes? Our PRC is honest and noble and calls a spade a spade. He knows that his least attractive voter attribute is this wiffy little suggestion that he might just be a little bit of a bully and has to be right and have the last word. But does he hold back? No Sir. He comes out guns blazing, colours pinned firmly to a tall proud and firm mast. What a mast. And debt. DEBT! Come on – of course we have a lot of debt. Do you know how much we’re paying in overtime just to finish these dam projects on time? Come on Picardo.

    Anyway, off to play some paddle. See you there?

  2. A great blog entry Robert and a fantastic contribution anonymous 09:31, jolly good show!

    I must say the Government's press release regarding the ambulance fiasco is a truly pathetic display of sheer desperation.

    One cannot defend the indefensible. By continuing to do so the GSD are cementing their future position as the opposition after the next general election.

  3. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that the extra costs we are incurring these days, just so that the Government can finish a project in time for the manifesto 'show and tell', could have all been avoided if they had planned these projects in a timely fashion.

    It also takes a very gullible and superficial person to believe that this is a job well done.

    The worst of this is that we are stuck with all these ill-thought-out projects which have cost the earth to produce and, in many cases, will continue to cost the earth to maintain.

    The GSD legacy will hang around our necks like a millstone for many years to come!

  4. Robert

    Don't you think that the airport and the easy access to UK airports particularly a hub airport one of Gibraltar's most valuable assets?

    I am thinking of business users in particular.

  5. Robert

    You state:-

    "What we should look for is policies that espouse prudence and are not profligacy, even if this will seem a worse political offering in the short term. Prudence will stand Gibraltar in good stead in the longer term".

    Please take a look at the GSLP/Libs 2007 manifesto where they promised to equalise state pension so that males can receive their pension at age 60.

    What?!! and reduce taxes as well?!! Say what you will but I can not wait for their manifesto this time round.

  6. Anonymous at 19:43

    Yes that is MY opinion. I do not speak for or defend the manifesto promises of any party. I will say that I also state:

    "We should also look at the prioritisation of expenditure on necessities and not luxuries. This means prioritising expenditure that favours the needy and disadvantage. I urge voters to be a little selfless in how they choose the next government by so doing they will be helping others and also themselves to maintain a standard of living that is to be envied."

    Looking after our elderly in a minimum pension might well be in line with this? Might it not? It is certainly more so than a leisure centre, an oversized air terminal, an unbuilt theatre ...

  7. Anonymous at 19:13

    The airport is a useful but not essential convenience. It does not produce revenue so it is not in the same category as the sectors that I mention. it is a cost base. The overly expensive air terminal no. With Sevilla, Jerez and Malaga airports so close it is not an essential in my view.

  8. Robin Hood says:

    Good post Robert and I am inclined to go along with a lot of what you say. I talk to people who keep telling me that the economy is in fact doing very well, but not being an economist myself I truly do not know what to believe. I assume this may be something that is also affecting a large majority of the electorate, and perhaps some proper explanations by the various parties and experts in the run up to the election would be welcomed. What I do see is money being spent on badly thought out projects which are being rushed and therefore costing a lot more. In my opinion public money is being spent irrationally and we are not getting good ‘value for money’. Nor are we spending money in real investment projects which have a strong chance to generate money for the future, but rather liability projects which will inevitably end up costing more money in maintenance and running expenses. I truly hope that should a new government replace the current administration, a proper audit is carried out to see how public money has been spent, and should it find that this government has in fact been squandering money unnecessarily for its own selfish eagerness to stay in power, the people responsible should be held to account. How this is done I am not sure but it most definitely would not deserve a Knighthood for any of those involved!! Here are just a few examples of some of the projects which have cost the tax payer dearly or are simply half baked:

    1. A great bike hire scheme but nowhere safe to ride them. Why build new roads like Devil’s Tower Road and the new link alongside the new rental housing estate and not make any provision for proper bike lanes? Even painting safe demarcated zones in the public highway would help.
    2. Toilet’s which always seem to be broken or under going maintenance, but no one appears to use. Are they viable?
    3. A magnificent new airport building, in which most of the floor space appears to be used to create a link to Spain and which will remain a link to nowhere in the short to medium term, unless the Spanish are much better at organising building projects than our own government and their exclusively selected project managers.
    4. The East Side project, what a catastrophe I have never heard of anything like it before. Complete lack of understanding or reality and a total embarrassment for Gibraltar in the eyes of the world.
    5. Mid Town project another disaster area and waste of valuable land resource
    6. Conversion of a perfectly good office building into an expensive hospital which does not even belong to the public, but rather high rents being paid to private landlords
    7. Theatre Royal fiasco
    8. Cumberland and Nelson’s View development. I wonder what the build cost per square metre for these projects turned out to be with all the things that went wrong along the way
    9. The famous tunnel, or is it the under pass??
    10. Bad management of beaches and other leisure areas

    And what projects have not yet materialised, which are deemed to be of great importance for Gibraltar’s own development or the public have been crying out for:
    1. A new power generating station
    2. A new sewage treatment plant and system
    3. New berth facilities to replace all those that have been lost
    4. Upgrading and building of new schools
    5. New facilities for the elderly and mentally ill
    6. The abandonment of the upper town. Areas such as the old Police barracks and natural open areas like the ‘Jungle’
    7. Proper investment and facilities for the Upper Rock Nature reserve, such as toilets and safe access routes

  9. I often wonder why no government has ever exploited one of our biggest asset.......our geographical location in relation to the marine industries,we boast about how important our port is and has been for the bunkering and the Royal Navy.
    We have fail to cater for a huge market in the lesiure marine industry aimed at the smaller yachts which now bypass gib and make La Linea's new marina and other nearby ports their port of call.
    We don't even cater for the local population,there are over 300 in the Port Authority's waiting list and over 200 in the small boat owner's club.
    We even have to take our boats to nearby spanish ports to haul them out,most of which did not even existed 20 years ago.
    I'm sure this industry would generate more than bunkering and with less risk to our environment.
    Imagine the marina we could have had and enjoyed for a tenth of what the new airport is costing us.

  10. Robert@20:30

    I am not suggesting that state pension be abolished or reduced but that reducing the eligible age to 60 for males would not be financially prudent.

    Taxpayers, whether corporate or individual, get enough tax breaks when making pension provision.

    To suggest that the population should be deprived of a leisure centre and/or an airport terminal befitting our prosperity in order to equalise state retirement age is difficult to justify.

  11. Robert@20:33


    I am in constant contact with both local and UK based executives who would only use nearby Spanish airports unless pushed. Most tell me that they are not prepared to spend more time at the frontier queue than it takes them to fly and/or the meetings that they attend.

    If you feel that the new terminal is oversized is fine by me, however, that the old terminal is not even suitable for cattle is clear for all to see.

  12. Anonymous at 20:30

    You put words in my mouth that I have not utterred. Your counter-arguments do not address what I have said. They are consequently disingenuous. I have at no stage suggested that we be deprived of anything that is not a luxury to fund state pensions. I have said that the leisure centre and an oversized air terminals are luxuries and that other expenditure is more prudent. I take no position on state pensions at 60. I would incerease for women to 65 and in fact for both to 67!

    Anonymous at 11:09

    I respect your position and understand the argument. It is very convenient to have an airport.

    I do not suppoprt the enormous expendture on the new air terminal. Adequate provision could have been made for less expenditure.

  13. I haven't read the 7 Days yet Robert (for which both my brain and eyes thank me), what exactly do they say about your blog?

    I'm assuming they didn't publish those poll results either?

  14. Anonymous at 12:35

    No it has not published the poll.

    It is a long article but about me it says:

    "The irony of the matter is that GSD is the only major political party ever to have made parliamentary reform an issue now and is now being criticised by the opposition and others such as the Llanitoworld blog for being too late with delivery.

    In a blog posted on Llanitoworld on 18 September, Robert Vasquez writes that: "The GSLP/Liberals have been accused, during the debate in Parliament [on parliamentary reform], of not being serious about democratic reform by the GSD. It has also been accused of its proposals being "woolly" by others. I disagree with this criticism……It is a bit rich for the GSD to make its criticism of the GSLP/Liberals when it has been so remiss in the 16 years that it has been in power on giving effect to reforms.".

    Of course we may have missed something here, but shouldn't my friend Robert have recognised that it was the GSD that has triggered this debate and others such as Picardo have followed...It is a shame that bloggers such as Robert Vasquez cannot see through all of this and seem to be taking Picardo at face value. We are confident that the people of Gibraltar won't, for a minute, believe any of it."

    It does not deserve a reply beyond stating that it continues the holier than thou atittude of the GSD that only it tells the truth and all others lie. Well ... is that borne out by its 16 years in power ... well Parliament has not been reformed ... well the electoral system has not been reformed ... you tell me?

  15. Robert@12:42


    And the opposition has not mentioned it until now.

  16. Anonymous at 12:42

    Which is why the blog in question is headlined:

    "FINALLY on the Road to Greater Democracy?"

    The 7 Days quote selectively for its own ends a very shabby political trick that kournalists would not stoop to do. It is called dissemination.

  17. Robert, seeing as he refers to you as 'my friend', do you know who's the author of the article?

  18. Does the editor of the 7 days Geraldo Gonzalez speak English? If not, who writes his editorials?

  19. I am told Rafael B is very close to GG. But surely he is not clever enough to write anything remotely interesting.

  20. Who pays the piper plays the tune! Who pays for the 7 days? I am told it is not only Government advertisement. Who is the treasurer to the GSD?

  21. Dear Robert
    What did you expect, we fighting a war here. You really must learn to play ball, its very inconsiderate of you to say such nasty-nasties about the GSD.
    You see, whatever Pikey says we can rubbish and the gentle folk who follow us will believe it, but you... you are one of us and the gentle folk aren't as quick to ignore your opinion.

    Please stop this at once, its spoiling my afternoon tea.

  22. Gibraltar has no incinerator facilities that i know and believe we depend 100 percent on the Campamento major friend of CARUANA and Monteverde transport What will happen if the Spanish Campo area Majors are FORCED to stop accepting our rubbish will any of the new developments over the last 16 years solve our shit problem or will Gibraltar become a real third world shitty place?


  23. robert, escuchate al chief economist del bank of scotland en GBC? ese ta comprao por Picardo!

  24. An Omnibus says:

    A modern open, market economy cannot function at optimum efficiency without a reliable power supply. Neither can a brand new, state-of-the-art, airport terminal.

    Regular power cuts of the kind we have experienced over the last few years have only helped to create reputational damage in international business circles, loss of revenue for local traders, small businesses and larger multi-national agencies based here. Above all, power disruptions create enormous inconvenience to the daily lives of our citizens.

    Truth be told, past administrations have failed to deliver on this issue, and it has to be said that, after a period of 16 years in government, the GSD have also been unsuccessful in making power disruptions a thing of the past. Yes, expensive stop-gap measures such as the provision of temporary generators have helped. And works are finally in progress to build a new power station which will hopefully replace those noisy, polluting eyesores located slap bang in the middle of our residential areas.

    But surely we have witnessed a monumental error of judgement by the GSD for not prioritising our energy needs above other major capital expenditure projects. This is not to say that a need exists to increase the capacity of our airport terminal in some form or another, but surely not at the cost of delaying far more important infrastructural projects like power and sewage treatment plants.

    The GSD administration stubbornly embarked upon grandiose, politically popular projects at great cost, and yet failed to prioritise the most basic of infrastructural needs which make the whole economy function properly.

    And - coining a favourite expression used by the almighty Peter, - to boot, we are lumbered with one of the highest utility charges in the EU. It is quite the insult to have to put up with this state of affairs for so long.

    They have procrastinated unnecessarily on the need to build a new power stations, and we have lost valuable business opportunities as a result.

    Many international analysts are of the opinion that the world economy is facing challenges akin to the Great Depression of the 1930's. Should the international downturn start to affect our micro-state's economy, which in turn would worsen our debt-to-GDP ratio, we should have at least placed our major spending decisions in the right order.

    The GSD have made a risky call by building a new airport terminal (cost approx £80m) before a much needed new power station (cost approx £ 110m).

  25. Is the treasurer the mystery businessman?

  26. The Royal Bank of Scotland's chief economist, currently on the rock, has made his views quite clear on GBC tonight. The so-called prophets of doom among us must feel somewhat vindicated by what he has had to say. No doubt the GSD will soon come out to ridicule and rubbish his warning.

  27. Which one, the consultant who appears to be involved in every Gov project? Related to the bigwigs in the GSD?

  28. Which one? The one that has a finger in every pie?

  29. Isn't he related to a Minister?

  30. Anonymous at 21:22 and 22:42

    No, I was out I did not hear him ... please tell me what he said ... perhaps what some of us have been saying for a while?

  31. Omnibus:

    I agree and have so said in the past on this blog ... pero ...

  32. Robert
    His interview was very interesting but I couldn't possibly do it any justice with a couple of quotes.

    Please check out tonight's newswatch on GBC i-player. He gives a quick comment in the news section, but you can watch his full interview on news plus a little later on.

  33. no me diga que el 10th disciple del manda mas es el treasurer del 7 days, acin que te ponen a ti y a Picardo de ricos trapos!

  34. Does anyone know how much the editor of 7 Days is getting paid for not speaking English? You have to laugh really - only in Gibraltar!

    7 Days subsidized by government advertising - this is more of OUR money that the GSD is wasting and using for their own ends.

  35. Omnibus@21:37

    The following is copied and pasted from the GSLP/Libs' 2007 Election Manifesto:-

    We will not proceed with new power station until a full study has been undertaken of its environmental effects, including its
    potential carbon emissions. Our target is to make Gibraltar’s carbon emissions neutral and we are therefore committed to
    investigate all alternative sources of energy".

    Hardly an urgent tone. I wonder what it will promise on the same subject this time round.

  36. Incinerator@20:41

    What happened to the incinerator that the GSLP Government built? If my memory serves me right it was supposed to get rid of our garbage and generate electricity. I recollect that it was also going to process our neighbour's trash supplemented by imported pellets.

    I can also remember that it was never put out to tender because there was a Danish company that were specialists in this type of project.

    It didn't come cheap either.

  37. What happened to the 7 Days poll results? :)

  38. Anon@22:42

    The chief economist of the Royal Bank of Scotland advising the Gibraltarians?

    Is this a joke?

  39. In answer to the question asked by one of the anons. Isn't your only friend within the Gsd re 7 days feetham?

  40. Unrelated to your topic, but does anybody know why the Capt of the Port disappeared?

  41. Why does the opposition not ask how much the rush to complete projects is costing the tax payer?
    It is indecent to say the least when you see hundreds of workers of JBS AMCO etc working practicarly 24/7 at whatever cost to complete non urgent work when certain areas of Gib are neglected.

  42. £250,000 for one public toilet= 2x Brand New Ambulances.
    Good example of pissing money away....

  43. anon @ 18:07 the public toilets generate their own income and will one day pay for itself, how can you compare this to an ambulance that just incurs running costs and is forever needing petrol, repairs, new equipment, etc

  44. An Omnibus says:

    Robert@00:44 Sorry I haven't kept up with all your blogs. I think we're on the same wavelength. Pero...

    Anon@10:00 Anon@10:24 Indeed. Our unreliable electricity supply has been neglected for too long. Unfortunately politicians are more interested in short-term presents for electoral gain, not long-term highly, technical capital expenditure projects which by nature have higher inherent risk. For example, pretty and impressive glass-clad airport terminals are much easier to "sell" than dull power stations.

    The incinerator was the GSLP's "Theatre Royal". Except our money went up in smoke, literally. That, however, is history. Equally, this GSD government, during its 16 year tenure, has monumentally failed in its responsibilities to provide a reliable power supply. This issue should have been addressed much earlier.

  45. Anon@18:07

    Public toilets and ambulances cover different types of emergencies.

  46. and what about the parks? surely those were more important than the ambulances.
    Imagine the lighthouse complex without the wonderful park there... actually give it a good winter of levante with the waves crashing over the wall, spraying the park and perhaps we won't have to imagine it at all.

  47. By the way, those public £250,000 toilets will never pay for themselves! They need to be used 500,000 times at 50p a go and by the look of things they have to be maintained by staff and need to be topped up with chemicals etc which is costly in terms of chemical reagents and man hours. How many people use them??? Money down the loo literally! Now if they had built much cheaper wc's the normal ones then they would have created employment and cost a snip of the price!

  48. Feetham can't be writing those editorials in 7 Days. What;s in it for them, they're not standing for election.

  49. It is not Feetham who has written in the 7 Days.

  50. Who the hell is it then.

  51. Why would anyone writing articles in the 7 days want you to think that a friend of yours wrote the articles and then someone come on this site anonymously pointing the finger at someone about to stand down. Occam's razor? Someone is trying to burn one of their own?

  52. Anonymous at 00:22

    Not sure what you are getting at. Danny is my friend but that does not mean he wrote the article. I know that he did not write it. I do not know who did but it does not matter. I found it an amusing take from a very biased and propagandist viewpoint. It failed to understand my piece so show the lack of insight and ability of the writer :)

  53. What is occam's razor conyo?

  54. Occam's razor (or Ockham's razor)[1] often expressed in Latin as the lex parsimoniae, translating to law of parsimony, law of economy or law of succinctness, is a principle that generally recommends, when faced with competing hypotheses that are equal in other respects, selecting the one that makes the fewest new assumptions.[2]

  55. Occam's razor: If you have two equally likely solutions to a problem, choose the simplest.

    The person who wrote the article is someone from within the gsd.

    He (crudely) wants you to think it's a friend.

    Then someone comes onto this site leading us to the conclusion it's the feet hams.. The writer of the article and or his associates? That has implications and indicates there is a turf war going on in the GSD.

  56. Or the GSLP being mischievous?

  57. GSLP tienen tela del telon! Im sure people worth their weight have more important things to deal with....

  58. Does Gibraltar have an incinerator plant that can handle our rubbish etc or do we depend solely on Spain cooperation.
    How much has using the Spanish incinerator cost over the last 16 years and why have we not built a suitable incinerator.
    What would happen if Spain refused to accept our rubbish etc anyone Political party care?


  59. Robert, hell knows that I am no admirer of the GSD but I don't think the 7 Days article was trying to argue against you. As I read it, it was a devious piece and all it set out to do was attempt to influence public opinion. I don't think the article's ambitions went any further than that.

    So who wrote it? Alguien con mala leche who's got a political axe to grind. It cannot be the Feethams because they are quitting frontline GSD politics so why would they hot at their partner in chambers. Louis? He sells flats, for heaven's sake. Isobel? Nah. She hasn't got a tortured mind. Damon? He comes across as too decent a chap for this sort of thing. It could only be.....the one and only.....Rafael Benzaquen?

  60. 1st@23:16

    I can not understand why you object to the expenditure on modern toilets. I have no doubt that the normal toilets, whatever that is supposed to be, would be costly if they are not to be unsightly. As far as the cost of maintenance is concerned I have a feeling in my water that the normal ones are more expensive to maintain. Your statement that normal ones would create employment says it all.

  61. La mala leche aqui es esconderte bajo el anonimato, no crees?

  62. Robert

    Guess when this was said and by whom:-

    "The economic growth which we project of 50% in four years is, in my estimation, easily attainable".

    Yes, you guessed right. It was in the GSLP/Libs' 2007 Election Manifesto.

    Some growth, some estimation!!

  63. Anon 11.31 Does it make a difference what Bossano predicted in 1997.

    Bossano brought his party to the biggest defeat in Gibraltar political history, and whatever his predictions Gibraltarians just did not believe him any more.

  64. anons @ 1:50 & 2:20 let me get this right, el GSLP escrive el 7 days? lol

  65. Why is rafael seen so often at the same time of the week coming in and out of Europort building? Surely he can't have business there on the same day of the week, every week? The same block which has DTI located in it. Who is the landlord of Benzaquen & co?

  66. Anon@11:45

    I was referring to the 2007 and not the 1997 Manifesto. Please read my post again.

    Surely, we can not write it off as history.

  67. anon@ 14:47
    you're right, what could the Chief Economist of the Royal Bank of Scotland possibly know about where the economy in Europe is heading, only Professors from LSE know this stuff!

  68. Anon@13:06

    Are you stalking Mr Benzaquen?

  69. Benzaquen & Co? Isn't that at the entrance to Tuckey's Lane, on the Main Street side?

  70. Stop picking on Rafael. When he is finally unleashed and appears on gbc his mellifluous tone of voice, his imposing presence and rapier like intelligence, will really make the difference. He is our secret weapon! Keep trusting!

  71. So D Feetham has thrown in the towel...again bad news for the GSD, at this rate there is going to be one clear winner in the elections, the GSLP.

  72. Que no hombre que el secret weapon es el Power! Keep trusting.

  73. Anon@13.15 I work at Europort.

  74. Have you noticed how no one who is any good or has independent mine stays around Caruana for long.

  75. You have it wrong. The secret weapon is the mystery businessman. Keep trusting!

  76. Anon@17:22

    You must be at reception or spending the day smoking outside, otherwise how would you know Mr Benzaquen's comings and goings.

  77. Anon@13:27

    I looked it up in the telephone directory and, guess what? You are right.Great detective work keep it up.

  78. Anon@13:14

    If you mean the two LSE Professors that gave the 2011 Budget Book the thumbs up, I would remind that they did not make any statement on where the European economy was heading.

  79. Anonymous at 13.28, you have a point there. It'll be interesting to see how benzaquen's "mellifluous tones" and "imposing presence" as you call it contrasts on GBC with Picardo's rather portly figure and rapid-fire speech patterns. Do you think Picardo will just do as he usually does when caught out, just stare with a silly smile on his face?

  80. I love it! The Llanito version of "Gladiators" Fabian v Benzaquen on GBC. Bring'em on!

  81. Damon? He comes across as too decent a chap for this sort of thing. no comment just wait and see.

  82. Anon@16:41

    Would you prefer an indecent chap?

  83. I have just driven by the former "patio chico" compound and realised that there are over 40 AMCO employees hard at work, that adds up to more Firefighters , Ambulance attendance and Policemen on duty, all for political power .carry on PC.

    Rock Ape!

  84. Rock Ape@18:10

    Counting AMCO employees whilst driving?!

    You should keep your eye on the road or you may need the Rescue and Ambulance Services and arrested by the police.

    You could have killed someone!!!

  85. ooops !!!I should have mentioned that I was stopped by the non existing pedestrian crossing by the former Patio Chico,giving way to an elderly man crossing the road.

    rock ape!

  86. I had quite forgotten about the Schofields. How are they these days? Does anybody know? I suppose the current spats involving the Registrar of the Supreme Court are sub judice but one should be able to remark without fear of incarceration for contempt of court that what some (not me, oh no) might loosely call "goings on" may not (I don't know, I have not read the evidence) be a thing of the past but on this occasion whoever is at fault, if anyone (and that remains to be seen) it most certainly aint Derek J or Anne Mrs Schofield. Maybe any problems are "institutional" like racism used to be in the Metropolitan police and Cherie Blair should be called in to sort things out before a queue of QCs make their way to the Convent again. Robert I realise that you will be applying for silk and may not want to publish this even though it is no offence to anybody but I will understand if you decline publication.

  87. Anonymous at 12:07

    Published with some slight editing.

    You assume too much when you say that I will be applying for Silk under the new application system (and not new criteria as the spin has it). There are many considerations that I need to mull over before making that final decision. Presently, my inclination is not to apply but it is not a decision to be made by me alone.

    One thing I assure you of is that if the decision to appoint or not appoint me to silk is based or influenced by what my views aremor by whether or not I publish the views of others, then it is really not worth having Silk. So my decision to apply or not to apply will not influence any decion that I make about publishing my valid views or those of anyone else, nor vice versa will my decions ot publish or not publish be influenced by the same consideration.

    That is the essence of Freedom of Speech and that is one of the essences of a central rule of being a barrister:

    A barrister "must promote and protect fearlessly and by all proper and lawful means the lay client's best interests and do so without regard to his own interests or to any consequences to himself or to any other person"

    I apply this principle to my political views.

  88. Well done RV, yet another reason why this present government should go if promotions and appointments are to be based on what people are expected (threatened?) to say or must not say, as has already happened under this administration......Democracy a la GSD! And to claim we have enacted the UK bribery and corruption act in full....What a carry on!