Monday, June 13, 2005

Carracao says Gibraltar could become “little Monaco”

PSOE senator for Cadiz and former Mancomunidad president Jose Carracao has declared that the Eastside project could turn Gibraltar into a “little Monaco.”

In an article in the Spanish press Sr Carracao writes that the potential for cross-border economic development of the zone is considerable and argues that projects such as these could yield great practical benefits.

As regards the shared use of the airport this should not be seen by Spain only in terms of “gaining ground” but from the perspective of the development of communications and tourism that will have a direct impact on the maximum development and exploitation of the port and marina facilities of the Eastside project, and also attracting investors.

Sr Carracao states that the Spanish Government is already improving the flow of traffic through the frontier modernising roads and infrastructure to improve the quality of life of the Gibraltarians and the Spanish frontier workers, and at the same time speed up the passage of tourists heading for the new Eastside recreational facilities.

“Spain is prepared to abandon hard-line positions to advance in areas of mutual cooperation. It is a sincere approach to the sovereignty problem which will require an equivalent response from both the UK in its international role and has its own military interests on the Rock, and in Gibraltar whose participation is essential in any cooperation plans.”

He adds:

“It is the good state of the economy, its quality of life and freedom of movement that will be damaged if we do not advance on these points.

Gibraltar is a process of dialogue that has started and which I favour and pledge to support in the measure of my possibilities.”

Sr Carracao emphasised that Spain had not renounced its sovereignty claim although it “now prefers to concentrate on cooperation initiatives.”

He also stated that the tripartite forum and the Mancomunidad’s Comision Mixta were “initial steps in an open process, which has to be ambitious in reaching an improvement in our mutual understanding to achieve our objectives.”


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