Friday, June 17, 2005

Caruana and Feetham to meet after the Budget

Peter Caruana, Chief Minister, and the Labour Leader Daniel Feetham will be meeting after next week’s budget session to discuss merger plans, the GSD (Gibraltar Social Democrats) has confirmed.

The discussions will take place following the go ahead from the GSD executive and in the wake of a meeting of GSD activists held at the John Mackintosh Hall on Tuesday night where Kieth Azopardi and Nick Cruz voiced their objections again.

Mr Cruz is understood to have read a statement from Mr Azopardi in his absence urging the party not to follow this route.

Freddie Vasquez’s objections were also raised. However, both Ernest Britto and Dr Bernard Linares spoke in favour of pursuing the merger.

Meanwhile, Mr Feetham again expressed his support of the Government position on tripartite talks in the face of criticism from Opposition Leader Joe Bossano.

Mr Feetham said that Mr Bossano had supported ‘open agenda talks’ before Mr. Caruana was elected to the House of Assembly and quoted an April 2002, statement by Dr Joseph Garcia, the Deputy Leader of the Alliance as stating:

“The concept of a tripartite forum (i.e.) with a separate Gibraltar delegation with an open agenda was mooted by me in 1992 to the then Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd.

In their response the British Government indicated that this was a forum they could go along with and the GSLP (Gibraltar Socialist Labour Party) which was then in Government signalled the same thing.”

Mr Feetham said Dr Garcia had “rightly” stated why open agenda dialogue was to be supported by saying “under the Brussels Agreement sovereignty is an essential requirement of the talks, whereas under an open agenda framework it is not. This means that there would be scope for dialogue with Spain to concentrate on good neighbourly relations and normalisation at a local and European level.

Mr Feetham added that the tripartite talks have buried the Brussels Process “in all but name” and said that the Chairman of the UN Committee of 24 has recognised as much.

He also said that for the first time in history Spain has recognised at the UN that no agreement can be reached on any issue without the agreement of the people of Gibraltar and that Gibraltar speaks for itself in any talks.

“It is a statement that Spain cannot easily withdraw in the future.”

Mr Feetham said this must be awkward for Mr Bossano and said that the Opposition Leader’s current statements are “all about fabricating a difference between the Alliance and the GSD for perceived political gain where there wasn’t one”.

Related Articles:

14 June 2005 - Labour joining GSD ‘not a merger of equals’

10 June 2005 - We do not agree nothing can be changed, Bossano tells CM

06 June 2005 - Gibraltar politicians leave for New York

01 June 2005 - Caruana to formally explore merger with Feetham

United Nations Special Committee of 24 on Deconolisation (C24)

Full text of the Chief Minister’s address at the United Nations Committee of 24


Post a Comment

<< Home