What awaits us next

Carmen Gomez

It is expected that the PSOE will lose the forthcoming elections. Sanchez forgot for one moment the promises he had made to the other parties who helped him get into Government.

One might be tempted to say that he is not a good strategist, except on closer inspection it's obvious that his failing has been due to the fact that he is after all Spanish, and therefore it is in his genes to promise others anything to achieve his goals and then, having done that, discard them and their aspirations. We know a lot about that. In order to get the sufficient votes he needed to cement his ambition he forgot the one golden rule of play. The same used by any ambitious would be head of a company who allows into his boardroom alien players, who despite not sharing his ideals, will be prepared to back him; players who will eventually expect to have something in exchange for their support. This was never going to be the case and so his term in government was doomed to failure from the start.

What awaits us next is the question to ask. In the meantime, the Gibraltar Government forges ahead, complying with the tasks in hand; one of these being the very important tax treaty which has been signed between the Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell and Britain's Cabinet Minister David Liddington. El Pais speaks of stricter rules to determine the tax residency of individuals and businesses. Others may say that finally Spain has achieved what she has been after for so many years, i.e. information on companies registered here. We are told by the Chief Minister that in the treaty, Spain recognises for the first time in history, the existence of registered Gibraltarians and of the Gibraltarian status act; the act that determines who are the people that can register and describe themselves as Gibraltarians; adding that this is massively significant. We believe this;

but do we believe Spain will in the long run believe this too? Will an incoming Spanish government, once they have got all the information they need, ignore the significance of said treaty for us?

Not at all the same thing, but for some reason, the Cordoba agreement comes to mind. True this was an agreement and not a treaty; an agreement signed on terms acceptable to all and which established the tripartite forum; a first; providing for regular dialogue between Gibraltar, the UK and Spain. Commitments where made across the board and much ado locally was made about this, with the then Chief Minister saying that even for those of us who might not be fully in agreement with every detail of each agreement, it was important not to lose sight of the overall picture; of the overall prize for Gibraltar. As we all know the outcome was good for Spain, but when it came to delivering on matters regarding maximising fluidity at the frontier; or the lifting of Gibraltar airports suspension from all EU aviation measures, which meant Gibraltar airport would be bound by, comply with and benefit from all applicable EC regulations and directives, this never came about.

In fact, Spain's obsession with Gibraltar's status was never more vehemently illustrated, and none more serious than when it interfered with the implementation of UN sanctions against North Korea, as a result of the testing of a nuclear device. Spain refused to sign because Gibraltar was included as one of the competent authorities responsible for the enforcement of said sanction. The UK maintained at the time that Gibraltar had to be mentioned, because the arms sales sanctions applied to the possible freeing of financial assets in Gibraltar bank accounts. The issue was eventually resolved by replacing the annexe to the agreement that contained a reference to Gibraltar by a sit of websites.

We are only too painfully aware of Spain's attention span to detail on Treaties. Perhaps because of this many an author has wrongly stated in their writings, like one Maurice Harvey in his book "Gibraltar the history", when mentioning the time of the Great siege of 1779-83 he writes "when Spain made her most determined attempt to recover her "lost possession." What everyone fails to understand is that they never lost us because they gave us away, thank God, to Britain in PERPETUITY! By everyone, that includes our arch enemy Margallo who far from having retired from political life, is now off to the EU as an MEP. As he put it to another of our arch enemies TV presenters Ana Rosa, he was off to make sure that certain measures regarding Spain are put into place and to pursue "El Contencioso de Gibraltar." Yet another arch enemy of ours, a member of the Vox party, was seen spewing vile against the Catalans this week, in Brussels of all places! We will be next no doubt. This does in no way undermine any of Gibraltar's efforts at present nor in the long run, to safeguard our nations future but I'm sorry, I don't believe in Spain's assurances and we should be diligent in guarding against a too compliant UK in the face of this apparent show of goodwill From Spain towards them.