Housing Minister, Charles Bruzon has thanked all those who have sent their good wishes for a speedy recovery following a major surgery for bowel cancer last November. The Minister is undergoing a second stay in hospital for radio and chemo therapy.
Next month, Chief Minister Fabian Picardo will speak at The Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival along with a host of world class authors and speakers, in late March.
The invitation comes in the year that Gibraltar is set to launch its own Literary Festival. Mr. Picardo, a graduate of Oxford University’s Oriel College will address the crowd on Self Determination. He will explain that ‘the right of a nation to determine its political future is inalienable’.
Gibraltar-based Sovereign Insurance Services marked the beginning of the New Year by expanding its business in Ocean Village. The company has acquired the general insurance book of Eurolinx Limited and as a result, well-known local insurance personality Alan Montegriffo has joined the expanding team.
Commenting on the acquisition, Sovereign Insurance Services Managing Director Geoff Trew said that although organic growth was positive, the Eurolinx general insurance book would allow the business to grow exponentially over the coming year. He added that the company is delighted that Mr Montegriffo is joining the team. Mr Trew pointed out that Neil Entwistle has also recently joined the company, and that he will concentrate on working with the Sovereign Group offices world-wide to generate international insurance business opportunities for their Gibraltar, London and international insurance markets.
During this month’s session of Parliament, Opposition Spokesman for Health, Isobel Ellul-Hammond is set to probe Health Minister Dr. Cortes about when the new GHA website will be launched and when the Colon Cancer screening programme will start. She will also ask the Minister whether he is now in a position to publish the GHA review Report. Mrs. Ellul-Hammond will also query the GHA process used for measuring the results of hospitals used in the UK, Spain and other countries Gibraltar refer GHA patients to, as Sponsored Patients.
A draft for a new legislation on Civil Partnerships is currently being reviewed by the Gibraltar Government and is set to be published soon, as a Command Paper. Following this release, there will be a public consultation period of two weeks, then a further six weeks as the proposal becomes a Bill.
The legislation follows the Government’s Manifesto commitment to legislate for the recognition of civil partnerships between two people, regardless of gender of sexual orientation, reflected by a binding contract through the signing of an official register. The manifesto says that this action would entitle them to benefits related to tax, pension and property rights.
This weekend, Minister for Financial services, Gilbert Licudi, attended the FONDS 13 conference and exhibition in Zurich. Also in attendance of the conference was the Gibraltar Funds and Investments Association (GFIA) who has six member firms exhibiting at the conference.
Speaking at the event, Minister Licudi noted Gibraltar’s status within the EU and its access to the single market. He also stressed that ‘Gibraltar is well on course for the transposition of AIFM and we are determined to hone our funds product range still further so as to become even more attractive for Swiss asset managers to consider using Gibraltar in various ways’.
In response to the GSD’s recent statement on Gibraltar Savings Bank Debentures, the Government has claimed that their policy to redeem debentures early is in order to provide these through the Savings Bank, the liabilities of which are secured on Government finances by law.
The Government is pursuing this objective in a manner that takes due care of its debenture-holders, who currently hold over 60% of this public debt, and who are mainly senior citizens of our community that have come to depend on the monthly interest that they earn on their debentures.
The UK Government met late last week with the Gibraltar Government to discuss number of issues. Discussions were led by Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and included Deputy Chief Minister Dr. Garcia, Chief Secretary Ernest Gomes and Chief legal Officer, Michael Llamas.