Friday, July 15, 2005

Juarez expresses respect for work of Tripartite Forum

September let-off for Spanish pensions issue

Mayor of La Linea Juan Carlos Juarez has expressed his “respect” for the work that is being carried out by the Tripartite Forum, following its recent meeting in the Portuguese town of Albufeira.

Speaking to the Chronicle yesterday Sr Juarez referred to the three-way diplomatic summit in a prudent tone and stated that there should be “no interference to undermine its progress,” further describing its role as “very important.”

“We have to be very respectful with those who are trying to achieve real definitive political solutions to long-standing problems and give them time to do their job,” said Sr Juarez.

The Mayor also warned against indulging in hurried speculation and declared that he will not make a reasoned analysis of the talks until the official conclusions of the meeting are known.

Sr Juarez also urged the Chief Minister to be cautious about his pronouncements in the Spanish press on the detail of an airport agreement and of his own objections to aspects of it, “so as to avoid confusion,” even before anything is agreed.

The Mayor understands that Mr Caruana has to satisfy his own political sensitivities “although it would not be good to talk about problems and difficulties when all the sides are actively seeking a solution.”

Sr Juarez added that the obstacles and difficulties along the way could be overcome and once this has been done, the mutual benefits and advantages of a joint airport agreement would be substantial.

As regards the Spanish pensions issue, the Mayor declared that he was conscious that there would be no immediate solutions but acknowledged the advances that were being made. Sr Juarez expressed hope that a breakthrough could be achieved in September.

He said it would be counter-productive to criticise their own government, and that a political solution that would be parallel to a judicial ruling could lead to progress.

Sr Juarez argued that the Spanish Government should advance payment of the revalued pensions – which is estimated at around £20m – before Britain finally paid, and reiterated that in the final instance, it was Britain that had to foot the bill.

Alpeg president Manuel Garcia Bado supported the stand taken by Sr Juarez.

Related Article:

13 July 2005 - We've been conned, say Spanish pensioners, as row erupts

10 July 2005 - Faro Tripartite Talks - Joint Statement

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