Thursday, June 09, 2005

Spanish Pensions Demo will not block Frontier, says Ayuntamiento

A demonstration “in defence of the pension rights of former Spanish workers on the Rock,” will take place in La Linea on Thursday June 16th at 9pm, a spokesman for the Ayuntamiento confirmed yesterday.

The planned demo will set off from the Plaza de la Iglesia and make its way to the frontier area where over 1,000 candles will be lit at the foot of the monument of the Spanish frontier worker.

Meanwhile local pressure group Voice of Gibraltar Group (VOGG) yesterday called on ALPEG leader Manuel Garcia Bado “to distance his association from Sr Juarez’s political manipulations,” and take his protests to the nearest offices of the British Embassy in Spain,” since adds VOGG, their pensions ‘impasse’ (as Sr Bado clearly understands) is of UK Government competence.

For his part a spokesman for Mayor Juan Carlos Juarez said:

“This will be our tribute to all the pensioners who have died without receiving their entitlement to a revalued pension.”

He also assured that the frontier traffic flow will not be affected.

“We are absolutely clear on this and learned the lesson from the fisherman’s dispute of a few years back. The frontier will not be blocked,” he added.

Meanwhile the organisers expect that a meeting to be held between the ALPEG group with senior Spanish Foreign Ministry (Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores MAE) officials in Madrid a few days before the demo – it is understood Minister Moratinos may be present — will influence the mood of the demonstration.

VOGG will monitor the Event

VOGG spokesman Paul Tunbridge said:

“La Linea Mayor threatens demonstrations at the frontier.

Should the planned protests proceed, they may rest assured that we will be there, or thereabouts, monitoring the event.

It will be entirely up to the organisers to prevent the type of ‘nasty’ situation that developed during the fishermen’s dispute.

Sr Juarez should recall that when first elected, under a GIL ticket he told us that he would never use the frontier as a political weapon. Anyone surprised at his change of heart? It is rather comical too see F&CO (UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office) officials perplexed when Gibraltarians refuse to trust Spanish politicians.”

Mr Tunbridge added that Alpeg should think of instigating legal action against the Spanish administration, “just like those shopkeepers did a few years ago.”

“After all, everyone, including Sr Bado, knows who put him and his fellow-pensioners in the present predicament.”

Related Articles:

02 June 2005 - Not the moment for Demo, says CITIPEG

02 June 2005 - La Linea Mayor gives deadline on pensions

26 May 2005 - Britain seeks extra time in Pensions case

25 May 2005 - Juarez attacks Caruana as Pensions Row deepens


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