PANORAMA interview: We can develop an alternative economy outside the EU, says Bossano in major

Mark Viales

From the third floor of 31 Town Range, buried under stacks of documents, a dogged socialist responsible for Gibraltar’s economic development is knee-deep in paperwork.

A parody poster of Che Guevara featuring the Minister with the famous Marxist slogan ‘Hasta la Victoria siempre’ sits in-between the countless folders populating the shelves circling the room.

Sir Joe Bossano, Gibraltar’s saviour for many and a champion for workers’ rights, recently returned from the Annual UN seminar of the Third Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism and his team is working overtime preparing for Parliament. As I started towards the door to his office, ushered in by Sir Joe’s secretary, I couldn’t help but notice the large folders labelled ‘China’, ‘Brexit’ and others that no doubt contain extremely important information. Taking time out from his busy schedule, Sir Joe sat down with PANORAMA to discuss his knighthood, the UK’s recent tax transparency bill and other matters.

Any anecdotes from receiving the knighthood?

Frankly, the experience is like going back in time. His Highness enters with an escort of two Ghurkhas with Beefeaters in the background –he chuckled. They tell you that the sword belonged to William IV, so it is an extraordinary thing to happen in this day and age.

Why do you believe it is extraordinary?

It had some significance initially. The monarchs actually decided things –in those days-. Those who were knighted were the trusted followers of the monarch who could be relied upon on protecting and defending the monarch’s property. I suppose on that basis I deserve the knighthood more than most because I have protected their property in Gibraltar for 46 years.