After those ‘Unlocking the Rock’ political add-ons...

Leo Olivero

What’s the size of our economic covid hole?

Much, has been said and criticised in recent in recent weeks, about some of the Government’s initial policies as Gibraltar slowly tiptoes into a post-Covid world!

Already, the present scenario looks a far cry from a month or two ago, during those serious battle cries with the Coronavirus and when the government and emergency services focused on the Rock’s immediate needs in boosting all-round capacity in our two hospitals; addressing food supply chains; protecting businesses and families; others from bankruptcy; and providing funds for protective equipment for the hospitals; paying companies to provide goods and services to essential workers and those not working at all or others doing so from home, to name but a few. But predominately, generally protecting life!

Controversial Recovery Stage

Now, we have moved to another stage dubbed in many places as the ‘recovery stage’ (a phase in fact) that already and in certain areas, has become hugely controversial.

Many are enraged and do not agree, with what they believe, is clearly an unrelated, unwarranted and blatant political extension or ploy to the important post-Covid (recovery stage) programme of preparing the people of Gibraltar for life after the Pandemic. This, by way of the ‘Unlocking the Rock 6-Phased’ strategy announced by the Government over a week ago!

But already there are thousands of people who are either critical or oppose what appears to be a political forced through ‘fait accompli’ with plans to restrict access to Line Wall Road to the majority of motorist, and to completely close other busy access roads, while at the same time introduce other unpopular (at this stage) measures in the name of a cleaner environment and healthy living and where local motorists, have all been indirectly told, to put their vehicles to bed for good and use the supposedly, more healthier and cheaper option of ‘walking everywhere, notwithstanding where one resides in Gibraltar or of people’s physical and health condition or where one’s local journey may take them and purpose’. But it’s the timing that is unintelligently abysmal!

Covid a Crisis Like No Other

The Covid pandemic, is a crisis like no other. We were told it was a war, it felt like a war, we were prepared for war, which still rages in many other countries. People are still dying from the virus. Medical professionals remain on the front lines. Essential services, food distribution, delivery, and public utilities are still working overtime in many other places to support the so called war effort.

All while back in our Covid blessed Gibraltar, already, petty and out of context political decision making has quickly reared its ugly head during the nations important recovery stage. And where these purely blatant political initiatives at this stage of our Covid recovery ‘HAVE NO PLACE AT ALL!’

In reality, there’s nothing wrong with the ‘Unlocking the Rock’ phased programme. It’s those Political Add ons mentioned that has caused all the unnecessary, pre-unlocking concerns with many people. ESPECIALLY as we start our recovery as a nation from a global health crisis and not a political one, which may have confused - or maybe not - some of our political luminaries?