The PDP acknowledges the efforts of the Government in providing Gibraltar with five star+ accommodation. There is no doubt that Gibraltar will benefit from this product for both tourists and business travellers alike. The floating hotel in itself is a novel concept that has the potential to raise the appeal of Gibraltar to travellers and as a consequence the PDP cautiously welcomes its imminent arrival. The PDP acknowledge the advantages in terms of timing of such a concept. Clearly Gibraltar has been in need of 1st rate Hotel accommodation and there can be no doubt that the building of a new hotel would have taken far longer.
GSD Opposition Spokesman for Justice, Selwyn Figueras, has today signalled his party’s support for the provision of a permanent berth in sheltered waters on the East Side of the rock for use by our law enforcement agencies, promised by the Government at the time of the last general election, to assist in the fight against seaborne and other forms of tobacco smuggling activity in the area.
Mr Figueras explained that: “It is neither a secret nor a surprise that the incidence of ever bolder acts of tobacco smuggling on the East Side,
Following the last meeting of the Development and Planning Commission (‘DPC’), the GSD Opposition is concerned at the extent to which the proposed Floating Hotel in the Marina Bay complex appears to be a done deal.
A Shadow Inter-Ministerial Committee made up of Opposition spokesmen for planning, environment and tourism, (Selwyn Figueras, Jaime Netto and Damon Bossino, respectively) has been formed to review all relevant issues being raised with the Opposition in respect of this particular Government project.
The Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, is travelling to Madrid today to fulfill a number of engagements. Mr Picardo is attending a lunch hosted by the Association of European Journalists who will be briefed on Gibraltar affairs. These lunches are periodically held with top politicians and business personalities for strict off-the-record briefings to serve as background to journalists.
During his stay in Madrid, the Chief Minister will also give interviews to prominent Spanish and foreign correspondents.
The GSD has today insisted that the Chief Minister has made no effort in contacting the Leader of the Opposition with regards to Gibraltar’s position in the EU. A motion was passed in Parliament earlier this year, claiming that Mr. Picardo would meet with Mr. Feetham to confidentially brief him on the matter, which could shift, due to the UK’s proposed referendum on EU membership.
A GSD statement continues, ‘given the fact that it is possible for the UK to advance its plans on a referendum on its membership of the EU, it is important that Gibraltar is prepared to face the challenges that this may pose. It is obvious, from the Government’s own statements, that it has been having conversations with the UK Government going back over a year. Whilst the Government might be confident it is doing all it needs to do, the Opposition cannot, at this stage, share that optimism and calls on the Government to make good on the EU Motion unanimously passed by our Parliament and public statements made by the Chief Minister about briefing the Opposition on Privy Council terms.’