Tonight Robert goes through the three parties manifestos and give us his view of something he believes very strongly in, which is Political reform here in Gibraltar.
Your Gibraltar TV continues to cover the Elections ’11 campaign and so we meet again with political blogger, Robert Vasquez, in the second of 7 shows. Every day in the build-up to Election Day we will be catching up with Robert to see what he thinks of the campaign and catch up with all the latest details of what’s going on in the political arena.
Dec 01 RGP Commissioner retiring, new commissioner to be announced
Louis Wink, Commissioner for the RGP will be retiring in April, having held the post for six years. The selection process will decide which of the three superindendents; Eddie Yome, Jay Gomez and Richard Mifsud will be named as successor.
The three senior officers have completed their senior command course at the police training college and an announcement of their decision will be announced sometime before Christmas. The RGP stated that they will not select a candidate until after the elections in order to make it clear to the general public that the two matters are not connected.
Dec 01 Western beach campaigners want closure
The Western Beach Users group and the ESG are complaining about the rapidly deteriorating situation at Western Beach. The campaigners are now calling for a full closure of the beach over the winter months until such a time as the problem has been tackled or the sewage drain blocked off.
They also cite the Environmental Agency’s data as “Scant” and if more sampling had been done, the facts would be all too clear. Karen Everett from the Western beach users group states “it is also important for Gibraltar to be collecting this data to help support the Official Complaint and Petition currently under review at the European commission with support from Sir Graham Watson”.
Because sewage and bacteria levels have been seen to spike during even mild rainfall, the groups urge for the beach to be closed immediately, as the only way to limit use of the waters during a time where the danger of contamination is highest.
Dec 01 Parties views on PP and Bilateral talks
The Partido Popular has made its position clear on Gibraltar’s sovereignty. It has, on repeated occasions, spoken about their desire to return to Bilateral talks with the UK, in their own words they stated that “We will recover the Brussels process”, they want Gibraltar to have a voice in these matters, but not a veto.
With the election looming and political unease on the cards regardless of who wins; the party lines appear the same and the PP are likely to be just as intransigent. So pervasive is this question of sovereignty that the GSD and GSLP/Lib manifestos make a point on the matter on the foreword, and the PDP are just as firm on the subject.
All are agreed that Gibraltar has a right to self-determination, but how do the individual parties plan on tackling relations with Spain and the PP? The GSD believes that “we need to continue to conduct our relations with Spain in a firm but calm, mature, confident and intelligent way that does not undermine or threaten the prosperity and quality of life in Gibraltar and the Campo”. The GSLP on the other hand states that the most important factor is remaining clear and unambiguous over the issue and that “honesty and clarity is the only way to deal with the Spanish government’s claims” further, they remain committed to dialogue, but will not entertain discussion or negotiation over Gibraltar’s sovereignty. The PDP put it to the public, believing that Gibraltar’s status cannot be changed without a referendum. We all believe we should have our own say, but it seems clear that we cannot yet agree on how to approach the matter.
Robert Vasquez - 7 Days to go...
With only seven days to Election Day, tensions are mounting. The three parties are out on hustings, rallies and political drives to make sure that they don’t leave out any of the demographics.
Your Gibraltar TV continues to cover the Elections ’11 campaign and so we meet again with political blogger, Robert Vasquez, in the first of 7 shows. Every day in the build-up to Polling Day we will be catching up with Robert to see what he thinks of the campaign and catch up with all the latest details of what’s going on in the political arena.
The coalition against bunkering on the east side are delighted that all three political parties have agreed not to allow bunkering on the east side of Gibraltar.
The coalition includes several campaigners from GONHS, ESG, Gibraltar Federation of Sea Anglers, Gibraltar Sub Aqua Club, Caleta Hotel and the Both worlds retirement and resident committees. They have been particularly outspoken over the myriad of environmental and safety issues surrounding increased bunkering activity around the rock.
This assertion by the three parties will lay a dispute to rest that has been active since June 2011, The ESG was particularly outspoken on the issue, releasing a report on the five key issues surrounding increased bunkering activity. These included the lack of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), the increased damage to the environment, the quality of life in an area frequented by bathers and other recreational visitors, lack of any mitigation measures to prevent increased pollution and the effect on the Caleta Hotel, which would suffer loss of business.
Nov 30 Bus routes and reviews
Following many reviews, reshuffles and public suggestion surveys, the bus services are receiving yet another facelift, no doubt people have noticed the changes here and there in November; such as the Fishmarket road becoming one way and the new stops included in some bus routes. These have been in effect for a month, following on from their three-month trial earlier in the year.
In the words of Andrew Perera; director of administration and support “The changes came in effect to make the service more user friendly, and provide a better level of service” having been in effect for a month, Mr Perera states that it is still too early to gauge the impact of these changes, but that feedback has been generally positive, and citizens should look forward to more, including a club card which will allow travellers to pay a yearly subscription to use the buses.
Nov 30 The Manifestos are out
Now that the parties’ manifestos have become publicly available, citizens are given an opportunity to see the framework of their potential government over the next four years. Each party has its own merits and its own key issues to tackle.
GSD Leader Peter Caruana stated the party’s central theme was “Community Issues”, he said that in concentrating on this key theme, the party would focus on “the smaller things” that impact on people’s daily lives, as well as the “Happy problem” of Gibraltarians living longer. Mr Caruana stated, “We believe that our manifesto is a typical GSD blueprint for continuing economic success and prosperity”.
Alliance leader Fabian Picardo used the press conference to urge voters to read the manifestos of all three parties as they made up their minds on who to vote for. He told reporters “we would ask that the election should be about these manifestos, about these ideas, we do not believe in personalising this debate”. Mr Picardo promised a “more inclusive, positive, teambuilding style of government” if elected.
The PDP’s manifesto is structured around five key domestic pledges that the party believes are central to its campaign. These include a new style of politics; lower personal tax, better economic management, better quality of life for all and better public services. Party leader Keith Azopardi stated “those options are a step into a progressive future with the PDP, status quo with the GSD and a return to the past with the GSLP”. In closing, the PDP are quick to restate that there are three options in this election campaign.
Nov 30 R.H.I.B Apprehended
A press release issued by the RGP details an arrest made on Saturday 26th November. One of the interceptor vessels of RGP Marine section, assisted by the Guardia Civil Launch was engaged in a chase in the east side coming from the Marbella area. The vessel being chased was an 8 metre RHIB, which, according to the information received from the Guardia Civil had jettisoned a number of bales containing cannabis, it was also said that the Guardia Civil had retrieved one of the said bales from the sea.
Three persons were seen onboard the RHIB and despite rough seas, they landed at Eastern Beach and attempted to escape on foot. Two were apprehended and an extensive search was carried out to locate the third, to no avail. The two detained persons, namely local man Anthony Gilbert and Spanish National Mohamed Yasin, were to appear at the Magistrate’s Court on Monday 28th November, charged with importing a prohibited import (The RHIB). Both were granted bail and the RIB was seized for application of forfeiture.