Our Christmas lights shine bright in year dominated by mixed Brexit bag

By Leo Olivero

This is the last Panorama edition before we return early in the New Year. 

With that seasonal thought in mind I have no intention of sabotaging the Christmas spirit, even Panorama reporters like me want to keep things seasonally lowkey-ish’ and not focus on any one issue or individual. 

Although it’s difficult to fully get into into the Christmas sprit just yet, particularly if you report for a newspaper (like Panorama) without mentioning some news on the last edition of the year.

So with that thought, I have prepared a report and looked back on the standout issues I believe have dominated local news in 2017 and covered by Panorama. Although as standout news items go, ‘Brexit’ has obviously dominated the year and will do so again next year no doubt.

Clearly, I will not be able to mention every news item; page-space to include the many other issues that have made the news during the course of the year does not permit it.

But this is my take and ‘Look Back on 2017’ and how I have seen the year unravel:

The Spanish Dimension – The Heated Issues That Are Now the Accepted Norm

Those Spanish Confrontational Issues Are Now the Daily Norm: By and large on the Spanish front it’s not really been as confrontational as other years. Although the latter situation mainly due to the fact, that things like border queues, illegal incursions, and illegal fishing has now become the accepted norm instead of the complete opposite.

The norm in fact being the, ‘exception rather than the rule nowadays’ because nothing effectively is done to stop these illegal practices in local waters. These are provocative sovereignty related incidents that have always riled and incited locals. Who many now see as normal or part of our neighbourly relationship with Spain.

This we have said countless times in Panorama is a dangerous practice. It is also counterproductive because Gibraltar’s position is weakened. There is also the danger of losing the integrity of local waters, if no one kicks up a storm when these incidents take place, as was the case not so long back. It also creates a false sense that relations with Spain are better or more relaxed with Madrid. When in fact it is the complete opposite.

Putting the Christmas (criticising) spirit to one side for a moment, the main part of the blame for this false sense of normality (whether we all believe it or not) is down to those local enforcement agencies that operationally are not doing what they should be doing. Blame also is also leveled at our political and diplomatic (so called egghead) defenders in London, who have bluntly, been ‘useless” and without a clue how to handle this issue or just don’t want to tackle it, which is my theory.